MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Legislature has passed a bill creating a program that gives employers an alternative to laying off employees when work slows.
The bill passed the Republican-controlled Senate on a party line 18-15 vote Tuesday. It creates a work-share program to allow employers to reduce the hours for groups of employees instead of laying off any workers. Those affected could collect unemployment, paid for by the federal government.
Republicans rejected a Democratic-sponsored amendment supported by unions and business groups on the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council that would have provided a protection for labor agreements.
The measure previously passed the Assembly on a bipartisan vote and now heads to Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) for his consideration.
The program will be in effect by the end of the year.