CHEYENNE – Several bills passed by the 66th Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Mark Gordon will have an impact on employers and jobseekers alike. The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) will implement the programs created by or modified by some of these new laws, which are all designed to stabilize and develop Wyoming’s workforce:
- Unemployment Insurance Short-time Compensation (HB0009): This program enables employers and employees to work together to reduce work hours for select positions and allows employees to make up part of these reduced wages with unemployment insurance benefits. The program aims to both save jobs and limit employer premiums. DWS is currently building the framework for the Short-time Compensation program.
- The Wyoming Rental Assistance Program (SF0118): This program is administered by the Department of Family Services (DFS) with assistance from DWS. The Rental Assistance Program helps those at risk of homelessness due to the financial impacts of COVID-19. DFS is currently accepting applications for this program on their website, and renters may apply here.
- The Wyoming Preference Act of 1971 – amendments (HB0102). This program will assist employers and Workforce Centers in certifying Wyoming resident and nonresident laborers working on public works projects. The amendments go into effect on July 1, 2021.
- Workers’ Compensation Student Learner Agreements (HB0239). This program allows employers, educational institutions and the workers’ compensation division at DWS to collectively train students 16 to 18 years of age to safely work in hazardous jobs. The program will go into effect July 1, 2021.
DWS Director Robin Sessions Cooley said the agency is hard at work implementing the new programs. “We are excited to provide even more options to employers and jobseekers moving forward,” she said. “Giving businesses additional flexibility with programs like Short-time Compensation will benefit both employers and employees as we continue to strengthen our economy.” Cooley added that DWS will continue to monitor, track and report on upcoming interim topics with legislative committees.