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Archive for Monday, October 4, 2004

State labor employees to have hours reduced

October 4, 2004

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— State employees who handle unemployment compensation claims over the telephone were told Monday that their hours will be reduced.

The "work share program" will affect 65 Kansas Department of Labor employees at call centers in Topeka, Kansas City, Kan. and Wichita, according to Beth Martino, a spokeswoman for the department. Martino said the reduced hours for those employees will be in addition to an undetermined number of layoffs at the department that will be announced either at the end of this week or start of next week.

"We'll have layoffs in addition to this," she said.

Labor Department officials say they have to cut spending because of a decrease in federal funding to handle the administration of jobless benefits. The reduced federal appropriation resulted from fewer people seeking unemployment claims, officials said.

The 65 call center workers will see their work weeks trimmed by a day or two, Martino said. The changes will take place Nov. 15.

The employees will be able to keep their state health insurance plans and apply for a portion of jobless benefits because of the reduced hours. But all benefits will expire after six months, she said.

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