Nebraska – Beginning October 1st, the Nebraska Department of Labor will give businesses across the state a new alternative to layoffs when economic times are tough.

Created by the Legislature in 2014, the short-term compensation program will extend partial unemployment benefits to people who are still working, but whose hours have been cut. While the program will not replace worker’s lost wages dollar for dollar, it will allow them to keep part of their regular paycheck and avoid them having to search for another job. Companies are also required to maintain their employees retirement and health insurance benefits.

According to State Senator Heath Mello of Omaha, similar programs (currently implemented in at least 21 other states), have been credited with saving about 166,000 jobs nationwide in 2009 and nearly 100,000 jobs in 2010. This program protects the workforce and also the employer, who will not have to spend months retraining new employees who are hired to replace the very experienced and proficient employees that are often among the first to be laid off in tough economic times.