One way to lessen the impact of a down economy on your employees: Use “workshare” programs instead of layoffs or furloughs. And you may even be eligible for state help in implementing the program. The short version of how such programs operate: Instead of conducting a layoff or furlough, you cut employees’ hours by 20% to 40%. Then the state, partly using unemployment funds, pitches in to cover the employees’ lost income.
Result: No one gets laid off, and at least in the short term, no one loses a chunk of a paycheck. And you get to keep your experienced staff intact, without the need to rehire when business picks up.
As you might have figured out, every state has slightly different rules regarding the program, so you’ll have to check with your state’s labor department to see if and how the program can work for you.
Here’s a list of the states offering such programs: