Michigan announces 31,000 employees to take 2 unpaid days off every pay period until July 25

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is announcing more than 31,000 state employees will take two unpaid days off every pay period for the next three months as the state fights the COVID-19 crisis and a dramatic budget shortfall.

According to a press release from the state, Michigan will take two temporary layoff days per period starting on Sunday, May 17th and going until July 25th to address the state's budget shortfall as it responds to COVID-19.

According to the state, that will save Michigan $80 million. 

Michigan is participating in the federal Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) Work Share program. According to Gov. Whitmer, this will allow employees to keep working and keep their insurance.

“As we continue to combat COVID-19, it’s clear that we’re facing unprecedented challenges that will lead to serious budget implications for the state of Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer. “Utilizing this federal program keeps state employees working so they can continue to provide critical services to Michiganders and protects their paychecks so they can continue to support their families.”

Under the program, state employees can work reduced hours while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up a portion of the wages. 

Over 31,000 state employees will be impacted.

State managers at the 17 level and above will not participate in Work Share but will take one layoff day every other pay period resulting in an approximate 5 percent reduction in gross pay.

Employees will retain their health insurance and other benefits and will be automatically enrolled into the unemployment process to help ensure they have the support they need during this challenging time.

This is the second round of cuts coming to state employees. On April 22, Whitmer announced a series of layoffs among employees 

In mid-April, Gov. Whitmer said she was taking a 10% pay cut to help the state save money. 

Today’s layoffs do not impact anybody working on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. Law enforcement, the prison system, veterans’ homes, and other key health and human services all remain fully staffed with on-site employees.

Over one million Michiganders - a quarter of the state's entire workforce - applied for unemployment in the first month of the crisis.