SharedWork Program Information

Seattle Colleges has been approved for the state’s SharedWork Program for funding through the CARES Act. This will allow employees to be compensated by unemployment benefits for their furlough time, whether a full or partial week.

The SharedWork program is a voluntary plan and employees are not required to participate during furloughs. 

Through July 25, employees who are classified or exempt who are furloughed or experience a reduction in hours can get unemployment for their reduced hours plus an extra $600 weekly payment paid by the federal government. After July 25, employees may still file weekly unemployment filings to receive the partial unemployment benefit, although the additional $600 per week will not be available. 

Filing for SharedWork

The Employment Security Department (ESD) is working hard to help you apply for unemployment benefits using our SharedWork Program.

You must complete three steps to get unemployment benefits: 

  1. Create a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account in order to access ESD’s eServices. You start the application process by creating a SAW account to access ESD’s eServices. Here's a PDF with instructions. This step is not covered in the webinars described below. Note: some of you already might have a SAW account if you’ve used government services before (for example: renewing your driver’s license online). If you already have a SAW account, this step is done.
  2. Apply for unemployment benefits.
  3. Submit weekly claims each week you want to receive a payment. The usual “waiting week” will not apply to you. Furloughs start the week of July 12; July 19 is the first day you can submit a weekly claim.

Get help completing the application and your weekly claims 

I am locked out of my ESD account due to fraud.

HR wants to know quickly if—despite ESD’s efforts—your eServices account is still locked because of fraud. If you try to apply and can’t, please send an email your HR Director ASAP. 

ESD will notify you when your account is unlocked so you don’t have to keep checking. It will come from an address. The message should come to your Seattle Colleges email address.

Additional information about SharedWork is available on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.

You still have to take both days off. When an exempt employee takes a partial week of furlough, they become hourly, overtime-eligible employees, due to FLSA rules. If you are overtime-exempt, in weeks in which you are on furlough, you are paid as an hourly employee. This means that if you work more than 32 hours in a 4-day work week, you are not meeting the eight-hour furlough requirement, the College will need to pay you for the hours worked, and your unemployment or SharedWork compensation will be impacted. 

To put it simply: you must furlough at least eight hours each week and work (or use paid leave) no more than 32 hours. For many of us, this will be the most challenging part, but it’s essential that you must adhere to this limit. 

You must work between fifty percent and ninety percent of your usual weekly hours to receive SharedWork benefits. Eligible employees receive partial unemployment insurance benefits based on the percentage of hours that they work each week.   

For weeks you are not eligible for SharedWork benefit payments, you could be entitled to a regular unemployment benefit, based on the law requirements. In any week you work less than fifty percent or more than ninety percent of your usual weekly hours, your claim will be processed as a regular unemployment claim. Although work search is required for regular unemployment insurance, employees on SharedWork are not required to perform a work search.