1(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Affected unit” means a specified plant, department, shift, or other definable unit of two or more employees designated by the employer to participate in a short-time compensation plan.
(b) “Employer-sponsored training” means a training component sponsored by an employer to improve the skills of the employer’s workers.
(c) “Normal weekly hours of work” means the number of hours in a week that an individual would regularly work for the short-time compensation employer, not to exceed 40 hours, excluding overtime.
(d) “Short-time compensation benefits” means benefits payable to individuals in an affected unit under an approved short-time compensation plan.
(e) “Short-time compensation employer” means an employer with a short-time compensation plan in effect.
(f) “Short-time compensation plan” or “plan” means an employer’s written plan for reducing unemployment under which an affected unit shares the work remaining after its normal weekly hours of work are reduced.
1(2) APPROVAL OF SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION PLANS.—An employer wishing to participate in the short-time compensation program must submit a signed, written, short-time plan to the Department of Economic Opportunity for approval. The director or his or her designee shall approve the plan if:
(a) The plan applies to and identifies each specific affected unit;
(b) The individuals in the affected unit are identified by name and social security number;
(c) The normal weekly hours of work for individuals in the affected unit are reduced by at least 10 percent and by not more than 40 percent;
(d) The plan includes a certified statement by the employer that the aggregate reduction in work hours is in lieu of layoffs that would affect at least 10 percent of the employees in the affected unit and that would have resulted in an equivalent reduction in work hours;
(e) The plan applies to at least 10 percent of the employees in the affected unit;
(f) The plan is approved in writing by the collective bargaining agent for each collective bargaining agreement covering any individual in the affected unit;
(g) The plan does not serve as a subsidy to seasonal employers during the off-season or as a subsidy to employers who traditionally use part-time employees;
(h) The plan certifies that, if the employer provides fringe benefits to any employee whose workweek is reduced under the program, the fringe benefits will continue to be provided to the employee participating in the short-time compensation program under the same terms and conditions as though the workweek of such employee had not been reduced or to the same extent as other employees not participating in the short-time compensation program. As used in this paragraph, the term “fringe benefits” includes, but is not limited to, health insurance, retirement benefits under defined benefit pension plans as defined in subsection 35 of s. 1002 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C., contributions under a defined contribution plan as defined in s. 414(i) of the Internal Revenue Code, paid vacation and holidays, and sick leave;
(i) The plan describes the manner in which the requirements of this subsection will be implemented, including a plan for giving notice, if feasible, to an employee whose workweek is to be reduced, together with an estimate of the number of layoffs that would have occurred absent the ability to participate in short-time compensation; and
(j) The terms of the employer’s written plan and implementation are consistent with employer obligations under applicable federal laws and laws of this state.
(3) APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF THE PLAN.—The director or his or her designee shall approve or disapprove a short-time compensation plan in writing within 15 days after its receipt. If the plan is denied, the director or his or her designee shall notify the employer of the reasons for disapproval.
(4) BEGINNING AND TERMINATION OF SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION BENEFIT PERIOD.—A plan takes effect on the date of its approval by the director or his or her designee and expires at the end of the 12th full calendar month after its effective date.
1(5) ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION BENEFITS.— (a) Except as provided in this subsection, an individual is eligible to receive short-time compensation benefits for any week only if she or he complies with this chapter and the Department of Economic Opportunity finds that:
1. The individual is employed as a member of an affected unit in an approved plan that was approved before the week and is in effect for the week;
2. The individual is able to work and is available for additional hours of work or for full-time work with the short-time employer; and
3. The normal weekly hours of work of the individual are reduced by at least 10 percent but not by more than 40 percent, with a corresponding reduction in wages.
(b) The department may not deny short-time compensation benefits to an individual who is otherwise eligible for these benefits for any week by reason of the application of any provision of this chapter relating to availability for work, active search for work, or refusal to apply for or accept work from other than the short-time compensation employer of that individual.
(c) The department may not deny short-time compensation benefits to an individual who is otherwise eligible for these benefits for any week because such individual is participating in an employer-sponsored training or a training under the Workforce Investment Act to improve job skills when the training is approved by the department.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an individual is deemed unemployed in any week for which compensation is payable to her or him, as an employee in an affected unit, for less than her or his normal weekly hours of work in accordance with an approved short-time compensation plan in effect for the week.
(6) WEEKLY SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION BENEFIT AMOUNT.—The weekly short-time compensation benefit amount payable to an individual is equal to the product of her or his weekly benefit amount as provided in s. 443.111(3) and the ratio of the number of normal weekly hours of work for which the employer would not compensate the individual to the individual’s normal weekly hours of work. The benefit amount, if not a multiple of $1, is rounded downward to the next lower multiple of $1. (7) TOTAL SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION BENEFIT AMOUNT.—An individual may not be paid benefits under this section in any benefit year for more than the maximum entitlement provided in s. 443.111(5), and an individual may not be paid short-time compensation benefits for more than 26 weeks in any benefit year. (8) EFFECT OF SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION BENEFITS RELATING TO THE PAYMENT OF REGULAR AND EXTENDED BENEFITS.— (a) The short-time compensation benefits paid to an individual shall be deducted from the total benefit amount established for that individual in s. 443.111(5). (b) An individual who receives all of the short-time compensation or combined reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation and short-time compensation available in a benefit year is considered an exhaustee for purposes of the extended benefits program in s. 443.1115 and, if otherwise eligible under those provisions, is eligible to receive extended benefits.
(c) An otherwise eligible individual may not be disqualified from benefits for leaving employment instead of accepting a reduction in hours under an approved plan.
(9) ALLOCATION OF SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION BENEFIT CHARGES.—Except when the result is inconsistent with the other provisions of this chapter, short-time compensation benefits shall be charged to the employment record of employers as provided in s. 443.131(3). 1Note.—Section 56, ch. 2014-218, provides that:
“(1) The executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity is authorized, and all conditions are deemed to be met, to adopt emergency rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the emergency rules adopted pursuant to subsection (1) remain in effect for 6 months after adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.
“(3) This section shall expire October 1, 2015.”