President Barack Obama has sent a draft of the American Jobs Act to Congress for consideration. The bill has several provisions which will impact employers if it becomes law.
The Work Share Program provision would encourage employers to develop temporary work-sharing positions rather than lay employees off. Employees would thus remain partially employed and draw only partial unemployment benefits. Colorado and approximately 19 other states already have such programs.
Another proposal is a temporary 50 percent payroll tax cut on employers’ first $5 million in payroll. Specifically, the bill would cut the current tax rate from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent on payroll expenses.
The Act would also make it unlawful for an employer or employment agency to discriminate against individuals based on their unemployment status or history of unemployment. If the Act passes, employers will no longer be able to state in job advertisements that the unemployed need not apply, and job seekers discriminated against on the basis of their unemployment status would be able to sue for damages.
Other provisions include extended emergency unemployment compensation and prevailing wages for laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors on projects funded by the bill.
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