FAQ Work Sharing Information for Employees

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Work Sharing is a program available to employers who reduce employee hours and wages as an alternative to layoffs. This program allows the payment of a percentage of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to employees whose hours and wages are reduced. When business conditions improve, employers can quickly gear up without the expense of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees. Current employees would be spared the hardship of full unemployment.

Employees may only participate in the Work Sharing program if their employer has applied for Work Sharing, meet eligibility requirements, and has been approved for Work Sharing. The employer will notify the employees if they have signed up for a Work Sharing plan that will allow the employees to participate in receiving Work Sharing UI benefit payments.

Work Sharing is an unemployment insurance program paid for by the employer(s) through their regular UI tax contribution or reimbursement process. Nothing is deducted from employee wages to pay for Work Sharing benefits.

The employee must meet the following requirements for each Work Sharing week:

  • The employee must be regularly employed by an employer whose Work Sharing Plan Application has been approved by the Employment Development Department (EDD).
  • The employee must be a part of the employer’s permanent regular workforce and not a leased, intermittent, temporary, or seasonal employee.
  • The employee must have qualifying wages in the base quarters used to establish a regular California unemployment insurance claim.
  • The reduction in each participating employee's hours and wages must be at least 10 percent and no more than 60 percent.
  • The employee must have completed a normal work week (with no hour or wage reductions) prior to participating in Work Sharing.

Employees must obtain Work Sharing claim forms from their employer. Employers must complete the employer section and then issue the form to the employees to complete and sign.

Employees can get Work Sharing UI benefit payment information by calling the UI Self-Service Line at 1-866-333-4606.

Employees may visit the Work Sharing Program page or contact the EDD Special Claims Office at 916-464-3300 for more information.

Employees are mailed a Notice of Unemployment Insurance Claim Award (DE 429Z) after the Work Sharing UI claim is filed. The notice will provide the weekly benefit amount and the employee will be paid a percentage of the weekly benefit amount depending on the reduced hours and wages for that week.

The Employment Development Department (EDD) issues benefit payments by the EDD Debit CardSM or by check. The EDD Debit Card is the fastest and most secure way to receive your benefits.

Yes, like regular UI customers, Work Sharing participants must serve a one-week unpaid waiting period. The waiting period is usually the first eligible week claimed after the Work Sharing UI claim is filed.

If employees are laid off, employees no longer meet the requirements to participate in Work Sharing. Employees should contact the EDD Special Claims Office at 916-464-3300 to be removed from their employer’s Work Sharing plan. The EDD representative will convert the Work Sharing UI claim to a regular UI claim and will contact their Work Sharing employer to confirm the layoff. Regular UI (and not Work Sharing) rules will apply to employees who are laid off.

Employees are responsible for mailing their Work Sharing claim forms. If employers choose to mail the claim forms on behalf of the employees, the claim forms must still be postmarked within 14 calendar days of the date the employer issued the claim form to the employees.

Employee benefits may be affected if employees miss work and the absence is not approved, or if employees are not available for all work offered by the employer.

Yes. However, any earnings from an employer other than the Work Sharing employer will affect the total wage reduction that is used to calculate the percentage of Work Sharing UI benefit payments made to the employee.

If employees find that they would benefit by waiting until a later date to file their claim, they may be able to cancel a claim if no payment has been made on the claim. Employees can refer to the Guide to Benefits and Employment Services (DE 1275A) for information on cancelling a claim.

Yes. Employees have the option on every claim form to withhold federal taxes.

Employees may write a letter of appeal and include the following:

  • Full name.
  • Social Security number.
  • Explanation of why the employee disagrees with the decision that denied Work Sharing benefits.

For more information on appeals: