State employment officials have resources to help during the pandemic freeze.

To avoid laying off their workforce, employers are encouraged to use Work Share. The program allows employers to keep skilled employees by reducing hours, and supplements employee wages with regular unemployment insurance benefits. Eligible staff whose hours are reduced get a portion of their regular unemployment insurance benefits to make up for the lost wages. If employee hours are reduced by 20 to 40 percent for the week, they will potentially receive regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for the reduced hours. 

The Work Share program has been in high demand since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Department staffing levels have increased to help people quickly receive benefits. The Employment Department has also developed a new tool to make reporting easier for employers participating in the program. 

Many Oregonians who have been laid off or had their hours reduced may need to restart their claim. Claimants can restart their regular UI claims here: secure.emp.state.or.us/ocs4/index.cfm