Work Share Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

Publication Date: May 14, 2020 

UPDATED: June 10, 2020

Updates will be published regularly as new information becomes available  


  1. What is the Oregon Work Share program? 


Work Share Oregon is an Oregon unemployment benefits program that offers an alternative to laying off employees by reducing work hours instead. Eligible staff whose hours and wages are reduced receive a portion of their regular unemployment insurance benefits to compensate for the lost wages. 


SSD would participate in the Work Share program by reducing eligible employees’ hours and SSD pay by 20%.  


  1. Participation


2.1 Are all work groups and departments affected by the partial furlough (20% reduction in hours and SSD pay)? 


Yes. No one is excluded simply by their classification or position they hold. All administrators, principals, supervisors, non-represented employees, certified, and classified employees will be partially furloughed beginning on Friday, May 22, 2020. We are all in this together.


Employees who are ineligible for the Work Share program will not be furloughed while they remain ineligible. There are individual employees who are excluded from the partial furlough because they do not qualify for the Work Share program under state law, including:

  • Employees whose length of employment with the district does not meet the threshold of 6 months for full-time employees/12 months for part-time employees.

  • Employees who are on a leave of absence or partial leave of absence. Oregon Employment Department does not allow the use of leave during a reduced work week.

  • Employees who have already retired from SSD in the past 18 months who are continuing to work for the District.

  • Substitute employees, including those in long-term sub jobs.

All unions have been invited to participate. Participation by bargaining unit members is subject to agreement with your union. All departments are subject to the partial furlough. 


2.2 What if I get email or questions on a day or time that I am furloughed (i.e., the furlough day?)


You may not perform work during the time your schedule has been reduced. Work Share benefits will be impacted if you work on the furlough days. These are Work Share rules that must be followed in order to receive unemployment benefits. If an emergency arises, we will be sure you have someone to direct the issue to on that day. Otherwise, all work needs to be done in the usual course on a day you are scheduled to work. We recommend you put an Out of Office reply in your email message. Families will be notified that staff are not available for work.


2.3 What if I don’t want to participate in the Oregon Work Share program?

 

The reduction in hours is mandatory, and your SSD wages will be reduced by 20%, unless you are in one of the categories of employees ineligible for the Work Share program. 

 

Employees who plan to retire between the present and 2022, or those who are purchasing or refinancing a home between now and December 31, 2020 may choose to opt out of Work Share, and their wages will not be reduced. Those employees would need to provide the District with evidence, if possible, of their refinance or purchase. They will be expected to continue to work their full number of contract hours each week.

 

If you are eligible for Work Share, but do not wish to receive unemployment compensation, do not submit an Initial Claim Form .

 

  1. Eligibility for Oregon Work Share Program


3.1 Who is eligible to receive unemployment compensation through the Oregon Work Share program? 

 

Work Share is an unemployment insurance program in Oregon that allows workers to receive partial unemployment benefits while avoiding full layoffs. You must be eligible for Oregon’s Work Share program to participate.

Generally speaking, to be eligible for unemployment benefits under Work Share, you:

  • Must be employed continuously (and not temporarily) by SSD full-time for the past 6 months or part-time for the past 12 months.

  • For purposes of participation in the Work Share program, employees who are .75 FTE (30 hours) and greater are full-time and employees who are less than .75 FTE are part-time.

  • Must not have recently exhausted unemployment benefits.

  • Eligibility is determined solely by the Oregon Employment Department based on state law. Sherwood School District has no authority to decide if an employee is eligible for unemployment benefits.

  • If you are eligible for Oregon Work Share unemployment benefits in any week for any amount, you will automatically be eligible for an additional $600/week of federal CARES Act payments through your last scheduled day of work on or before July 24, 2020. 


3.2 I live in Washington. Do I apply in Oregon or Washington for unemployment benefits? 


You apply in Oregon - following the same process as employees who live in Oregon. Washington residents who work in Oregon can apply for Oregon unemployment benefits. 


3.3 What happens if I’m not eligible? Or what if I’m eligible for unemployment, but my benefits are $0? 


Employees who are ineligible for participation in Work Share or whose benefit amount is $0, may or may not have a reduction in their SSD hours but their SSD wages will remain the same; however, employees who retired and are​ working back on a temporary contract are ineligible for unemployment benefits but will take the furlough days without compensation. 


3.4 Will I still be on a reduced schedule if I’m not eligible? 


If you are not eligible, regardless of your schedule, your pay will not be reduced as long as you continue to work when scheduled.


3.5 What if I’m not eligible now but will be before the week of July 24, 2020? 


If you become eligible before the conclusion of your work calendar or before the week of July 24, 2020, whichever comes first, you will be added as a participant in the Work Share program at that time, and you will start working a reduced schedule. 


3.6 How will I know if I am ineligible? 


You should assume that you are eligible. SSD will reach out to you if, based on the information we have, we know that you are ineligible or if we become aware from the Oregon Employment Department that you are ineligible. The Oregon Employment Department ultimately determines eligibility for each participant in the Work Share Program.


3.7 I am authorized to work for SSD through a visa, green card, or DACA status. Am I eligible for the CARES Act money?


According to Causa, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Organization, anyone who can legally work in the United States can apply for unemployment benefits in Oregon. That includes: citizens, permanent residents, asylees, DACA, TPS and U Visa recipients, NACARA applicants and others. If you are concerned about public charge implications: 

  • Unemployment insurance is not considered a public charge benefit

  • Public charge does not affect every immigrant

  • Contact your attorney for advice. SSD is not an expert on immigration, and we cannot advise employees one way or the other. 


3.8 Should I be worried that the State may become overwhelmed and my checks from them may be delayed as a result? 


The Oregon Employment Department is currently reporting a 3-week processing time for unemployment insurance payments. We cannot guarantee a certain time that the state payments will begin, and there may be some delay in payments. We are hopeful that the impact of any delay will be minimized by receiving weekly payments for unemployment benefits in addition to your SSD paycheck. 


3.9 I have a second job. Will this affect my payment amount through Work Share? 


Maybe. You will report income for other employment and from retirement during the past two years on the initial claim form. It is possible to earn too much income from other sources to receive unemployment benefit payments, even if you are otherwise eligible for unemployment. 


If you receive additional income from other employment that makes you ineligible for at least $1 under the Work Share program, SSD will exclude you as a participant going forward. You will be returned to your regular hours and pay. 


If you receive even $1 from the Oregon Work Share Program, you will also receive $600 from the Federal Cares Act.


3.10 I/my spouse make too much to get the $1,200 federal stimulus payment. Will I still be eligible for the $600 CARES Act money? 


Yes, if you are otherwise eligible for unemployment compensation. The federal $1,200 payment is different from and unrelated to state unemployment compensation or the CARES Act $600 weekly payment. 


3.11 How much will I earn through Work Share and the CARES Act? 


For those who are eligible, you will earn $600 per week through the CARES Act plus the weekly benefit amount through the Work Share program. 


The Oregon Employment Department has an online benefit estimator to estimate your regular unemployment payment. Under the Work Share program, you would receive 20% of regular unemployment: 

Unemployment Estimator




  1. Submission Process


4.1 What do I need to do right now? 


Nothing. SSD is working on the submission process. More information will be available soon. 


4.2 How many forms do I have to fill out? 

Initial Claim Form


You only need to complete a two-page initial claim application, and we encourage you to fill out the optional forms for direct deposit and withholding. 


SSD and the Oregon Employment Department are working together on the submission process. More information and support will be available soon. 


SSD will turn in a weekly certification after that. If information you provided on your initial application changes, such as a change in income from a second job or retirement income, you must notify Human Resources. 


Even if you choose to not complete the form, SSD will withhold 20% of your pay.


4.3 Is there assistance to help fill out the initial claim application?


We will make the initial claim form available. Additional information to come next week.


4.4 When is my initial claim application due? 


We are still finalizing guidance on this question. Additional information will be available soon, and we will email all employees with specific instructions. 


4.5 Do I have to apply separately for the federal CARES amount of $600? 


No. You apply once and will receive money from Oregon and from the Federal Cares Act. 


  1. Payments


5.1 How will I receive payments through the Work Share Program and CARES Act? 


You will receive payments from the Oregon Employment Department. The first payment may be in the form of a check, and after that, you can elect to receive these payments via direct deposit. More information will be available soon. 


5.2 When will my furlough days be deducted from my paycheck(s)?

Furlough days will be deducted from your paycheck(s) based on your work calendar:

  • Bus drivers will have the furlough days deducted from June paycheck.

  • Other classified staff will have furlough day deductions spread over their June, July and August paychecks.

  • Licensed staff will have 4 furlough days deductions spread over their June, July and August paychecks.

  • 255-day employees will have 6 furlough days deducted in June and 4 days in July.

  • 260-day employees will have 6 furlough days deducted in June and 4 days in July

5.3 Are the payments taxable? 


Yes, payments under the Work Share program and CARES Act are taxable income. You may elect to have taxes withheld from your unemployment compensation payments. More information will be provided with the application process soon on how to elect tax withholding. 


At the end of January next year, you will receive a mailed Form 1099-G from the Oregon Employment Department, which is a Statement for Recipients of Unemployment Compensation, to use in filing your 2020 tax returns. 


5.4 Can the state hold these payments if I am behind on state income tax payments or other payments (e.g., child support or alimony)? 


Yes, garnishments will be deducted from Work Share and CARES Act payments in the same manner and to the same extent as these obligations are deducted from regular unemployment compensation. 


Some debts are exempt from collection for a period of time under the CARES Act (such as certain federally guaranteed student loans). 


You and the District should both receive a notice from the debt processor if your debt is exempt from collection during this period. 


5.5 Will the payments come with my SSD wage payments or will it be a separate payment? 


The payments will come from the Oregon Employment Department. They will come as separate payments. 


Although there is usually a one-week waiting period, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced that the state will be waiving this requirement and that the waiver will be retroactive. This means that if you are eligible for benefits, these benefits will include your first week of furlough. 


This does not mean you will receive payment after one week.  


  1. Benefits


6.1 Will this have any impact on my health benefits? 


No. Under a Work Share program, health benefits are not reduced. 


6.2 Will my vacation and sick leave accrual rates change? 


Accrual rates for leaves remain the same. 


6.3 Will this have any impact on my retirement benefits? 


If you retired from PERS, we will submit your name to OED, but you most likely will not\ qualify and will be excluded from participating in the Work Share program.

For employees who have not yet retired, the employer contribution will be based on 100% of your normal wages. It will not be based on your reduced wages. The employer contribution that SSD will make will not change because of the furlough.

The employee contribution, which is paid by the SSD, will be based on your actual, reduced wages due to the partial furlough.

There will be no reduction in creditable service. You will receive a full month of creditable service for each month for which you are furloughed. For school district employees, a major fraction of a month is treated as a full month for creditable service.

There will be no impact on your final average salary. SSD will report as your annual wages the full amount you would have earned had you not been furloughed. It will not be based on your reduced wages.

 

6.4 What if I have already submitted my retirement notice?

 

Employees who have already submitted their retirement notices may opt out of furlough days by notifying HR/payroll by May 20 at 4:00 p.m. In this event, the employee will work according to their regular schedule.


6.5 What if I will be receiving retirement pay within the next 12 months?

 

You are still eligible to participate in the Work Share program. There will be no reduction in creditable service because, for school district employees, a major fraction of a month is treated as a full month for creditable service.

 

There will be no impact on your final average salary because the employer contribution will be based on 100% of your normal wages (not your reduced wages), and the employer contribution that SSD will make will not change because of the furlough.


6.6 What if I am currently receiving retirement pay?


We are working on finalizing guidance on this question. More information on this question will be available soon.

If you are currently receiving retirement income, or begin receiving retirement income while you are on partial furlough, you must report that to the District. Those earnings may affect how much you will receive in partial unemployment benefits and may exclude you entirely. If an employee is receiving retirement from an employer they worked for within the last 18 months, this may affect their eligibility to participate in the Work Share program. This retirement pay will be deducted dollar for dollar against their weekly benefit amount for regular unemployment insurance. To be eligible for compensation through Work Share and the CARES funds, you must be eligible for at least $1 of unemployment compensation.


6.7 What if I am currently receiving money through an IRA distribution?

 

Money you receive through an IRA distribution could affect your eligibility to participate in the Work Share program. The money you receive will be deducted dollar for dollar against your weekly benefit amount for regular unemployment insurance.

 

6.8 What if I am receiving Social Security?

Receiving Social Security will not impact your eligibility to receive compensation under the Work Share program.​


  1. Workload, Schedule & Leaves of Absence 


7.1 Do I get to choose when my hours will be reduced? 


No, employees who are eligible to receive compensation through the CARES Act and Work Share program will be instructed on how their weekly schedule will be reduced. If you have questions about how your schedule will be reduced, please contact your supervisor. 


7.2 What are the work expectations while I am working a reduced schedule?

 

A reduced schedule means you are not expected to work during the time you have reduced hours. All eligible employees will have their schedules reduced by 20% per week. If you typically work 5 days a week, this means you will most likely not work on Fridays. There may be exceptions in various 

departments to cover essential operations.


7.3 What are the work expectations for licensed staff?

 

Licensed staff will be expected to reduce the days during which they push out lessons by one each week. In other words, at the elementary level, teachers will deliver lessons typically Monday through Wednesday each week, and what has been happening on Fridays will happen now on Thursdays (Specials, Community Circle, etc.). Secondary teachers will reduce their lessons and interaction with students by one day as well.


7.4 How will working one day less a week affect my workload?

Your weekly hours will be reduced by 20%, and your workload necessarily will be reduced. Please work with your supervisor on questions about how this reduction will affect your workload.

7.5 I am a part-time employee. Will my FTE remain the same, and what are the expectations?​

Your FTE will remain the same, and your weekly hours will be reduced by 20% of your regular schedule. If your hours have fluctuated, Work Share uses a prior six-month average to determine your 20% reduction. Please work with your supervisor to determine what your weekly schedule will be while you are working a reduced schedule.

7.6 What if I completed a leave of absence in the past 12 months?

This will not affect your eligibility for compensation through the Work Share program. 

7.7 What if I am currently on a leave or I go on a leave of absence before the week of July 24, 2020?

You are not eligible to participate in the Work Share program for any week in which you do not perform work and are not actively working to provide services. If you go on a leave of absence during the Work Share program, you will be excluded during your leave.

7.8 What if I’m on an intermittent FMLA/OFLA leave of absence?

Missing a work opportunity for any reason will make you ineligible to participate in the Work Share program that week.

7.9 Can I take vacation, personal, or sick leave before July 24, 2020, and be eligible for compensation through the Work Share program and CARES Act?

If you use any leave, other than COVID-related leave on any day(s) from May 18, 2020 through July 24, you will be ineligible for the unemployment benefit during the week leave was taken, and your District pay will not be reduced. 

7.10 What if I’m on a leave for a COVID-related situation? 

If you are on a COVID-related leave, then you are still eligible for the Work Share program. COVID-related situations are defined as the following: 

a. unable to work because you are sick with COVID; 

b. subject to mandatory quarantine; 

c. unable to work because you have been advised by a doctor to self-quarantine; 

d. unable to work because the employer has shut down due to the pandemic; 

e. unable to work because you have to care for a person who qualifies under a or b

f. unable to work due to child care issues; or 

g. being asked to work in violation of the Governor’s shut-down order. 


The COVID-related eligibility issues are complex and were simplified for these FAQs. If you think they apply to you, please contact Human Resources. 

 

7.11 How will upcoming paid holidays be handled (i.e., Memorial Day and July 4th)?

For the week of Memorial Day, employees will have Memorial Day off as they normally do and they will also work a reduced work week (i.e., furlough on Friday). For the week of July 4th, as it falls on a Saturday and is observed on Friday, we are finalizing guidance on the expectation for that week.​​


  1. Other 


8.1 Will having reduced hours mean there will be no staff cuts next school year?

We do not know the full extent of the 2020-21 budget shortfall at this time, but we know that the money saved using this partial furlough will help. We will continue to provide updates as we learn more.

8.2 Will these unemployment payments for reduced hours make the state budget situation worse?

Participating in the Work Share program and taking advantage of the additional compensation through the CARES Act will help SSD to minimize budget-reduction impacts for next school year without a drain on state resources. Through the CARES Act, the federal government reimburses the state for 100% of Work Share unemployment benefits.

8.3 If we are closed on Friday, what about food distribution for that day at nutrition hub sites? 


The nutrition hub sites will still operate Monday-Thursday. On Thursday, food will be distributed for Thursday and Friday.


8.4 Am I allowed to volunteer for a school activity such as delivering food backpacks to our students during these furlough days?


Supervisors cannot require, suggest or encourage you to volunteer on a furlough day. What an employee chooses to do on a furlough day is that individual’s decision and should not be reported to a supervisor, nor should a supervisor ask.

 

 

  1. Distance Learning 


9.1 What are the expectations of general education teachers? 

At the Elementary level, teachers will post lessons and activities on Monday through Wednesday for ELA, Math, and Community Circles/SEL in the same way they have been doing.  On Thursdays, teachers will post Science and/or Social Studies lessons and activities in the same manner as they have been doing on Fridays. Specialist links for Music and PE will be posted on Thursdays. Fridays will serve as furlough days with the exception of the last week of school, when Monday, June 8th will serve as the furlough day. 


At the secondary level, teachers will continue to post lessons, provide feedback, host office hours, and conduct other activities related to Distance Learning and supplemental learning Monday-Thursday. Fridays will serve as furlough days with the exception of the last week of school, when Monday, June 8th will serve as the furlough day.  


9.2 What about Special Education?

Special Education teachers, case managers, and service providers should continue to follow the SPED Guidance for the delivery of SDI and Related Services to students. The only difference is that students will not receive direct instruction, SDI, and/or related services on Fridays. For the purposes of Special Education services, Fridays that are furloughed should be treated in the same manner as a holiday, snow day, or other school closure. Furloughed days will not count as part of the 60-day evaluation timeline. Special Education staff should reschedule any Friday meetings for another day of the week.

 

Students who receive daily SDI or Related Services will not receive them on Friday and they will not need to be made up at a later time.

 

Case managers should review their schedules and make adjustments as needed to provide weekly and/monthly SDI or Related Services Monday-Thursday. During the furlough days, students will be able to access online instruction such as Achieve 3000, Reading Horizons, and Freckle as previously determined which would continue to count as SDI.