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Reducing Layoffs by Shortening the Workweek


The tragedy in our workplace seems to have limitless impact upon all of us. We seem not to know what to do. Not our economic advisors, not our legislators, not even our business people. It is as though the crisis in our workplace goes on unabated.

It is exciting, therefore, to find that some people have now provided some encouraging possibilities which might at least dilute, to some extent, the crisis that exists in our workplace across the country. A recent New York Times article discussed the possibility of addressing mass layoffs by reducing the workweek for employees rather than terminating positions. The idea of reducing an employee's workweek rather than terminating the employee might remedy, to some extent, the need for an employer to terminate the employee entirely. At least it appears to be worth the effort to consider this option as an initial step, before the employee's position is eliminated entirely. It might well be that the savings to the company will, as a first step, be adequate to temporarily prevent mass layoffs in some circumstances.

We would like to confirm our support of any employers who pursue, in a meaningful fashion, part-time reductions in employees' workweeks as a first step. Hopefully, in some cases, it may be adequate financial relief for an employer, thereby eliminating the need for the mass layoffs that have recently been taking place. It seems to us, that taking a first step is always the way to begin.

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