U.S. DOL Announces Grant Funds Available Under CARES Act

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued guidance announcing the availability of grant funds provided under Section 2110 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. 

Section 2110 provides up to $100 million for grants to states with short-time compensation (STC) programs in their laws that conform to the requirements of section 3306(v) Federal Unemployment Tax Act. Grant funds are available for the implementation or improved administration of an STC program, and for the promotion of the program and enrollment of employers in an STC program. The guidance issued provides instructions about the process to apply for these grants, and encourages eligible states to submit STC grant applications. The deadline to apply for these grants is Dec. 31, 2023.

An STC program is a layoff aversion program in which an employer, under a state-approved plan, reduces the hours for a group of workers and, in turn, these workers receive a reduced unemployment benefit payment. This program preserves employees’ jobs and employers’ trained workforces during a disruption to the firm’s regular business activity by reducing hours of work for an entire group of affected employees. In the context of re-opening businesses closed temporarily by a pandemic, STC can also serve as a means of bringing most or all of a temporarily laid-off workforce back to the job. States may make this benefit available to individuals returning to work with reduced hours who worked for the employer prior to the temporary layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The short-time compensation programs are a vital resource for states in phased reopening,” says Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John P. Pallasch. “By facilitating the expansion of an important tool states can utilize to help bring Americans back to work, we hope that states leverage these funds when developing their re-opening plans.”

The department encourages states to contact its Employment and Training Administration for technical assistance on coronavirus-related issues, and please copy your Regional ETA Office on the email. For further information about the coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The mission of the Department is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the U.S.; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

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