An effort in the legislature to keep people from becoming unemployed draws concerns that it might keep people from being fully EMployed.

The proposed broadening of the Shared Work law would give employers more flexibility to reduce  hours for their employees by as much as sixty percent instead of laying them off.   It’s intended to deal with businesses suffering because of poor economies.

The state would have to approve the plan and it would not be approved unless employee fringe benefits remain in place.   

But some Senators, such as John Lamping of St. Louis,  worry the proposal could hurt worker such as the hourly employee on assembly lines “who’s working really super hard and needs to work the 40-hour week to support their family and with this program going into place…they’re’ going to be forced to lose hours.” 

And he worries the legislation will change employment standards. “Maybe there will be more jobs but there will be a lot less hours,” he says.

But supporters say working Missourians given a choice of working fewer hours or not working at all will readily choose fewer hours.

A study of the costs of the program has delayed final senate action.