By Nicky Jatana, Jackson Lewis PC

On September 28, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1731 (“AB 1731”), which creates an alternative process for employers to submit and be approved for work-sharing plan programs. Previously some employees would be eligible for unemployment benefits if they were working less than their usual weekly hours and their employer was participating in a work-sharing plan that met specified requirements and was approved by the Director of Employment Development. Employers were required to submit to the director a signed, written work-sharing plan application form that met specific requirements.

AB 1731 mandates that the Director of Employment Development must accept an application to participate in, or renew participation in, the work-sharing program that is submitted electronically and would require the Employment Development Department (“EDD”) to create a portal on its website for the receipt of applications for work share. Moreover, for work-sharing plan applications submitted by eligible employers between September 15, 2020, and September 1, 2023, the bill requires that, upon approval by the director, they are deemed approved for one year, except as specified. The bill also requires the EDD to make online claim forms available to the approved employer for each participating employee within five business days following approval of the application if an employer submitted its work-sharing plan application online. Upon completion of the documents in the claim packet, the department would establish an unemployment insurance claim pursuant to applicable requirements.