UO Voluntary Summer Work Share Program - Participant Guide

Latest News & Updates:

February 1, 2021

OED tax document
The OED is issuing tax document 1099-G to 2020 Work Share participants. Those documents should be received via postal mail by February 15, 2021. If you don’t receive your 1099-G by February 15th, you can email workshare@uoregon.edu for assistance. Please provide your Cust ID, which can be found on the OED’s Form 196- Wage and Potential Benefit Report, if you have it available, as well as your current mailing address.

Many waiting week payments issued via Direct Deposit
If you feel that you are missing any of your Work Share payments, including the waiting week payment(s), please review your bank account to see if payments were directly deposited there. The OED started issuing many payments via direct deposit in late 2020, in addition to issuing paper checks and depositing funds onto ReliaCards. If you still feel that you are missing payments after reviewing your bank account, ReliaCard, and paper checks received, please email workshare@uoregon.edu for assistance.

View More News & Updates
UO Work Share News, claims, OED notices, use of leave, and more

 

The UO Voluntary Summer Work Share Program is an employee elected, unit approved, HR managed program that allows eligible employees to work fewer hours over the summer and receive unemployment insurance payments in addition to their UO paycheck.  

Human Resources provides oversight and management of the program by filing claim paperwork and submitting weekly certification on behalf of employees.
However, Work Share participants must submit required paperwork in order for HR to take action on their behalf.

Refer to the following sections of the Participant Guide for more information about the program, responsibilities, and engagement with the employment department.

Frequently Asked Questions

Info Session:

HR held an optional virtual information session for employees who were in the UO Work Share program at any time over the summer. Topics included updates on OED notices and communications, as well as what to expect related to claims and payment processes.

The recording of the session is available below. Please note that information may have changed since the session was conducted on August 20, 2020.


Oregon Employment Department Notices

Below is a listing of some letters and forms you may receive from OED and whether you should respond to them or not.

  • NEW: 'UI Adjudication Letter' [IGNORE]
    Some participants may receive a notification letter from OED that says, "You are currently in the process of having your Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim adjudicated." This letter was issued in error and can be disregarded. We have been notified by OED that the letters were likely generated unnecessarily in the process of issuing waiting week payments.
  • 'LWA Certification Notice'[NOTIFY HR]
    A number of Work Share participants recently received a notice from the OED that says: “You must act immediately. You were paid Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) on your unemployment insurance claim, but our records show you have NOT yet certified to be eligible for those funds. To qualify, you MUST certify that your employment was impacted by COVID-19.”
    This notice was sent by the OED in error, as HR certified on behalf of all Work Share participants earlier this fall. If you receive this notice, please email us at workshare@uoregon.edu to let us know, as we will compile a list to send to the OED to ensure they update their records.

  • 'Waiting Week Notice' [IGNORE]
    This letter designates a waiting period of one week for your claim as required by Oregon law. The Governor has announced that the OED waiting week will be waived, but OED has not yet completed the programming necessary to effect this change. OED has informed us that they will retroactively process the waiting week payments as soon as they are able.
    UO employees are receiving multiple waiting week notices. Many employees are getting notices designating different dates as their waiting week or waiting week notice for a week that is not their first week on the program. This is because the OED is not processing claims in date order, so their system generates the notice as if each week is a new claim. You can ignore these notices and you do not need to email us about them. Once the OED gets more caught up on payments, this issue will be resolved for most employees and a correct waiting week notice will be sent to participants. Refer to the waiting week section below for more information.
     
  • 'Form 1659 - Retirement Pay Questionnaire' [RESPOND]
    This letter will be sent to those who reported that they received additional income from a retirement pension or annuity. If received, it should be completed and returned to OED as instructed.
     
  • OED Phone Calls [RESPOND]
    OED is reaching out directly to employees if they have any questions about your initial claim form. Please assist them with their inquiry to the extent possible. Human Resources is working with OED to clarify information related to your UO employment; please email us at workshare@uoregon.edu if you need help responding to the OED.
     
  • ‘Form 196 - OED Wage and Potential Benefit Report’ [MAY CONTAIN SOME INACCURATE INFORMATION; REVIEW THIS LETTER, BUT THERE IS NO NEED TO RESPOND] 
    Please note that this letter is a standard unemployment insurance notice, not specific to the Work Share program
    • This letter will list the full unemployment benefit amount. You will be eligible for a percentage of that, depending on your weekly hours reduction.
      For example, if you reduced your hours by 20% while on the Work Share program, you would be eligible for 20% of the amount listed on this letter.
    • The gross wages in DuckWeb may be slightly different than the OED wages listed because not all wages are subject salary for OED payments. This is not unexpected.  
    • This letter may show a $0 or blank wage or weekly benefit information. This does not mean that your claim has been denied. You may initially disregard this information as most of these situations have to do with data discrepancies or missing information and are resolved internally by OED, but you may be required to subsequently provide additional information if OED is unable to rectify this issue in their records.
       
  • ‘Work Authorization request’ [RESPOND]
    Please respond to OED with the requested information if you receive this notice.
     
  • ‘Publication 125 - School Recess and Form 385-E’ [IGNORE] 
    We have verified with OED that this DOES NOT APPLY to Work Share participants and that you should disregard this letter and the request to complete a Form 385-E. This letter incorrectly states that you are not eligible for benefits due to a ‘School Recess’ rule. This is an automated letter for certain employees and employers and OED is working on a fix to prevent it from being sent out.
     
  • ‘Your employment was terminated at a former employer, which has made you ineligible.’ [IGNORE] 
    OED has confirmed that this is another standard letter that does not apply to Work Share participants. The Work Share program is based only on your employment with UO.
     
  • 'Publication 195C - Unemployment Insurance Eligibility Notice’ [IGNORE]
    This is a standard unemployment notice that doesn’t apply to Work Share; you can ignore it.
     
  • Other Letters: Other letters may be issued by OED as they move through their process. We will update this information as we become aware of them and have additional information. 

If you have any questions regarding other communications that you receive from OED, please send an email to workshare@uoregon.edu so we can investigate the cause. We have not been provided a list of questions or issues that OED is trying to resolve. 


Work Share Payments

OED will contact UO employees or UO HR if they have any questions about the paperwork that was submitted. Your initial OED payments may include multiple weeks of payments; this means that you will likely receive multiple communications and payments from OED in a short period of time.

It is possible that you will see multiple weeks of payments initially, then experience a delay in receiving the next set of payments; this has to do with how the OED is processing payments. If this happens, payments will begin again in the near future; no action will be required on your part.

OED Payment Letter

One of the first letters that you will receive from OED is the ‘OED Wage and Potential Benefit Report’. Please note that this letter is a standard unemployment insurance notice, not specific to the Work Share program. It will list the full weekly unemployment benefit amount. UO Work Share employees are eligible for a percentage of the full unemployment weekly benefit amount listed on this letter, depending on the hours reduction of each employee. For example, if you reduced your hours by 20% while on the Work Share program, you would be eligible for 20% of the amount listed on this letter.

If you receive a denial of benefits letter, denial of benefits due to the academic break/recess letter,or indication that benefits will not be issued for a week other than your waiting week or a week when you did not submit your Weekly Certification timely, please send an email to workshare@uoregon.edu so we can investigate the cause.

Work Share Payments

Payments will come directly from the Oregon Employment Department (OED).Employees should expect two separate payments for each benefit week (through July 25th) as follows:

We believe the first payment will be issued as a paper check that will be sent to your mailing address. If your mailing address has changed since you submitted your Initial Claim Form, please email your new address right away to workshare@uoregon.edu so it can be submitted to the OED on your behalf.

Subsequent payments may come in a variety of forms, including paper checks, via a payment card (ReliaCard from U.S. Bank), or Direct Deposit (if elected.) It is possible that you may receive paper checks or ReliaCard payments from the OED even if you elected for Direct Deposit, as we have heard that the OED is not consistently utilizing the Direct Deposit option.

If you receive a payment card, please keep it. You will need to use it like a debit card to access unemployment funds issued to you.

Lost Wages Assistance Program (LWA)

On August 8, 2020, the federal government made available up to $44 billion from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to people who have lost wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This temporary emergency program gives an additional $300 per week to claimants who certify they were out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and received at least $1 of unemployment benefits. This is retroactively effective from July 26, 2020 through September 5, 2020, representing up to 6 weeks of payments. LWA will be paid in the same manner as their weekly benefits but as a separate payment (similar to how the $600 CARES Act payments were paid out.) The OED’s goal is to issue these payments before the end of September.

LWA is available to employees who were eligible for benefits (for any week) between July 26 and September 5 under Work Share. UO HR has certified on behalf of all of our Work Share participants already; no action is required by you in order to request or receive these benefits. If you received an email from the Oregon Employment Department about the LWA program and you participated in the Work Share program, you can ignore that email, as UO HR has already certified on your behalf.

Tracking Payments

Due to the stop-and-go nature of receiving payments, you should track the number of weeks’ worth of payments that you receive. Comparing payments by specific dates will be difficult, as some forms of payment, such as ReliaCard, do not indicate to which claim week a payment is for. Instead, it is best to determine how many claim weeks you were eligible to receive payments and compare that to the number of weeks’ worth of payments you actually receive.

For example:

  • An employee participated in Work Share from June 14 through August 15, which is a total of 9 weeks.
  • Their waiting week is the week of June 14; they will be paid for this week eventually (both a CARES Act payment and a regular unemployment payment), but not initially.
  • Initially, they will receive eight weeks’ worth of payments – eight regular unemployment payments, five $600 CARES Act payments for claims through July 25, and three $300 Lost Wages Assistance payments for claims between July 26th and August 15th, for a total of 16 separate payments.

Keep in mind that if you did not submit your Weekly Certification timely for any weeks, you will not receive any payments for those weeks. In addition, if you took leave for vacation related purposes after August 2nd, you will likely not be eligible for payment for those weeks, either. Refer to the participant guide for more information about use of leave while on Work Share.

Refer to the FAQ for more information about tracking payments.

US Bank ReliaCard

U.S. Bank ReliaCard is a prepaid debit card used by OED to issue payments. Unfortunately, the use of the debit card for payment purposes is part of the OED system, and beyond our control. We encourage you to:

  • Watch for a card to arrive in the mail and don’t throw the card away. We have heard that it looks like “junk mail” to some as it is sent in a plain white envelope that looks like this:
    picture of the envelope used to mail ReliaCard
     
  • If you have not received a ReliaCard, use the U.S. Bank tracker to see if one has been mailed to you. If the tracker says it was mailed more than 2 weeks ago and you have not received it, you should contact U.S. Bank directly at 855-282-6161.
     
  • Review the information about the ReliaCard, which can be found on ReliaCard's website or in the ReliaCard FAQ.  You can learn more about:
    • Logging into your account.
    • How and when you can use the card.
    • How to transfer your balance to a bank account

Here is additional information you should know about the ReliaCard:

  • We understand that some people would rather not receive unemployment payments on the U.S. Bank ReliaCard. Unfortunately, the use of the debit card for payment purposes is part of the OED system, and beyond our control.
  • You can transfer funds from the card to your bank account without a fee. Please refer to the ReliaCard's website or in the ReliaCard FAQ for more information.

Waiting Week

Oregon law requires that a waiting period of one week be claimed before benefits are payable on any claim. Generally, the UO Summer Voluntary Work Share program waiting week is the week of June 14th through June 20th, 2020. If you started the program on a week other than the start of the Summer Voluntary program, your waiting week will be the first week in which a claim was submitted on your behalf.

No payments will initially be made for the waiting week.The Governor has announced that the OED waiting week will be waived, but OED has not yet completed the programming necessary to effect this change. OED has informed us that they will retroactively process the waiting week payments as soon as they are able.


Use of Leave—New Temporary Rule Effective August 2 through December 26, 2020

UO has been notified by the Oregon Employment Department (OED) that they are adopting a temporary rule regarding the use of leave while on Work Share that is effective August 2 through December 26, 2020.

The temporary rule applies to the use of leave in the following ways:

  • Allows Work Share participants to miss work when they are sick, when they are taking care of someone who is sick, when they are serving jury duty, or for other reasons related to COVID-19 without impacting their eligibility for unemployment compensation for that week.
  • Missing work for a vacation related purpose, such as for leisure, travel, or recreation, may cause employees to be ineligible for unemployment compensation for that week, effective August 2, as those hours will no longer count toward their reportable hours, according to the state’s new guidance.

The Weekly Certification survey has been modified to gather required information regarding the use of leave based on this new temporary rule.

Important Considerations

  • For vacation time previously scheduled between August 2 and August 15 and not already taken:
    You may want to consider delaying your vacation time until after August 15 in order to maintain your eligibility for unemployment compensation for the duration of the program. We have notified supervisors of this new guidance and encouraged them to be as flexible as possible if adjustments to vacation plans need to be made as a result of the temporary rule.
  • If you want to take vacation time off while you are on the Work Share program, or have already taken vacation time off since August 2:
    You will be allowed to use accrued vacation up to your regular scheduled hours (pre-Work Share) in order to remain whole for that week, if those vacation hours make you ineligible for unemployment compensation for that week. More information will be provided regarding the process of reporting leave time above your reduced weekly schedule.

If you are on the Work Share program mandatorily and have vacation time planned, please reach out to UO HR at workshare@uoregon.edu so we can work with you to determine next steps.

Use of Leave Prior to August 2, 2020

We have not received any indication that the use of leave for a vacation related purpose will not be allowed prior to August 2nd, so if you took vacation previously, you do not need to take any action at this time. We will notify you if the Employment Department determines that leave for vacation related purposes taken prior to August 2 impacts eligibility.

Currently, the Oregon Employment Department deems employees who take leave to be ineligible to receive unemployment benefits (including the $600 federal payment) for that week. However, UO is working with the Oregon Employment Department to obtain the flexibility for employees to take leave without impacting their unemployment benefits eligibility for that week. While this has not been finalized, UO has received indication that the Employment Department is willing to work with us on this issue and we are optimistic that we will be granted this additional flexibility. We don’t know when we will get a final response from the Employment Department on this subject. 

If UO is able to obtain this flexibility from the Employment Department:

  • Employees will be able to take up to their reduced weekly hours in leave time and still receive their unemployment benefits for that week.
  • Let's consider an example of an employee who normally works 40 hours per week and reduced their hours to 32 per week for the Work Share program.
    • In this scenario, this employee can take up to 32 hours of leave in a week and still get their unemployment benefits. 
    • If the employee takes a partial week of leave, their combined total of hours worked and leave hours taken cannot exceed their reduced hours- in this case, 32 hours.

If the Employment Department decides not to grant us this flexibility:

  • Employees can still take leave and UO would pay them up to their pre-Work Share hours for that week in lieu of them receiving unemployment benefits. 
  • Let's consider an example of an employee who normally works 40 hours per week and reduced their hours to 32 per week for the Work Share program.
    • In this scenario, this employee can get paid for up to 40 hours of vacation in a week by UO, but they will not receive any unemployment benefits for that week. 
    • They will continue to be eligible to participate in the program, as the Employment Department considers eligibility on a week-by-week basis.

Reporting hours worked and leave time

For Work Share/unemployment benefits: Employees will provide weekly certification information to HR on a weekly basis (by 5:00 PM every Monday) for the purpose of receiving weekly pay from the Oregon Employment Department. 

For UO paycheck: Employees will continue to submit their leave usage to payroll following their normal process and normal timeline for the purpose of receiving monthly pay from the UO. 

Failure to complete both processes timely will impact pay.


Expectations and Considerations

Employee Responsibilities

To continue participation in the UO Work Share program, employees will need to meet the following responsibilities:

Program

  • Complete and submit the required Initial Claim form timely.
  • Respond immediately to forms, questionnaires, emails or phone calls from the Oregon Employment Department. They may request information directly from you in order to process your claim and ensure proper payment of benefits. 
  • Respond immediately to forms, questionnaires, emails or phone calls from the University of Oregon Office of Human Resources. We may request information directly from you in order to submit your claim to the Employment Department for review and processing.
  • Provide weekly certification information by 5:00 PM each Monday regarding the prior week. Failure to submit the certification by 5:00 PM each Monday will result in the employee being ineligible to receive unemployment benefits for the previous week. No exceptions will be made to this requirement.

Work Arrangements

  • Follow meal and rest breaks rules and complete timesheets according to department/unit requirements. Note, some exempt/salaried participants may be required to track hours, and take meals and rest breaks as a result of working a reduced schedule under Work Share.
  • Work no more than the agreed upon reduced FTE, or work hours, each week or eligibility for unemployment benefits may be impacted. This includes exempt/salaried employees. For example, an employee currently working at 1.0 FTE would reduce to 0.8 FTE, and could then only work 32 hours every week.
  • Report any hours worked over the reduced FTE amount in the weekly certification form, so this information can be reported to the Employment Department. Note that this may impact the employee’s eligibility for payments for that week, or may decrease their benefit for that week.

Reporting hours worked and leave time

For Work Share/unemployment benefits: Employees will provide weekly certification information to HR on a weekly basis (by 5:00 PM every Monday) for the purpose of receiving weekly pay from the Oregon Employment Department. 

For UO paycheck: Employees will continue to submit their leave usage to payroll following their normal process and normal timeline for the purpose of receiving monthly pay from the UO. 

Failure to complete both processes timely will impact pay.

Refer to the Use of Leave section above for further guidance.

Address Changes

If your mailing address changes after submitting your initial claim form. please take action right away:

Employment Department

The Employment Department reviews each employee to determine eligibility and allowable benefits, and manages the distribution of payments:

  • Claims are reviewed according to standard processes, unemployment rules, and current timelines.
  • The university cannot guarantee eligibility or the amount of individual unemployment payments and is unable to intervene on an employee’s behalf regarding their individual claim. 
  • Due to the unusually high volume of unemployment claims currently being processed by the Oregon Employment Department, there will likely be a significant lag between the time the employee begins working a reduced schedule at reduced pay and receiving their first unemployment benefits payment from the State of Oregon. It could be 6 weeks or more until the employee receives an unemployment payment from the State of Oregon. The university is offering a Work Share Payroll Advance for employees while they wait for their unemployment benefits to begin.

Other Program Notices

  • The Oregon Employment Department officially approved the UO Voluntary Summer Work Share program in June and has begun reviewing UO Work Share claim documents. While it will take some time for them to work through the documents for our 1,100 participants, we are excited about this development.
    You may receive a phone call from the OED asking for additional information about your claim; please respond to them as soon as possible so that your claim may continue to be processed. You may also receive a letter mailed to your address on file from the OED. Some of those letters are generic, automated letters related to regular unemployment claims that do not apply to the Work Share program. Please refer to the Employment Department Notices section of the Participant Guide for information about letters from OED and whether or not action is needed.
  • Due to the unusually high volume of unemployment claims currently being processed by the Oregon Employment Department, there will likely be a significant lag between the time participants begin working a reduced schedule at reduced pay and receiving their first unemployment benefits payment from the State of Oregon. It could be 6 weeks or more until participants receive an unemployment payment from the State of Oregon. The university is offering a Work Share Payroll Advance for employees while they wait for their unemployment benefits to begin.
  • Supervisors and departments do not need to take action in order to reduce or reinstate FTE related to this program. Please do not submit a PRF to reduce or reinstate FTE related to this program; Human Resources and Payroll are collaborating to take care of this via a mass upload.
  • Employees must continue to report their hours worked and leave usage following their normal process and timeline for the purpose of receiving monthly pay from UO while they are on the program.
  • The university, or individual departments, may need to engage in other employment actions over the program period or after the program period. Participation in this program does not exclude employees from being subject to those actions. 

EVERY WEEK: Certification
Maintains unemployment benefits

One of the key benefits to the Work Share program is the university taking responsibility for weekly reporting required by the Employment Department. Human Resources will manage the weekly reporting requirement based on the information provided by participating employees.

It is the employee’s responsibility to submit their weekly certification report by 5:00 p.m. every Monday in order to be included in the university’s report that is required by the Employment Department.

  • The process is simple and should only take a few minutes to complete. Weekly Certification can be completed on a computer or on a mobile device.
  • Employees will get an email via Smartsheets every Friday and again on Monday morning as a reminder, which will contain the link to the Weekly Certification portal.
  • The first certification is due the Monday following the approved employee's program start date. For example, an employee who begins the UO Work Share program on June 14, would submit their first weekly certification report on Monday, June 22, no later than 5:00 p.m.

It is critical that participating employees understand that:

  • Failure to submit the weekly certification by the deadline will result in the employee being ineligible to receive unemployment benefits for the previous week.
  • There will be no exceptions for late or missed submissions. HR is unable to accept any certifications that are received after the deadline.

Weekly Certification Instructions


Enrollment
Initiates unemployment claim

Complete Enrollment Forms

The Work Share enrollment packet includes three documents:

Securely Submit Completed Forms

Forms contain confidential and sensitive information that must be protected, such as social security numbers and banking information. Care must be taken during the submission process to protect individual privacy. Please do not email completed forms to Human Resources.

Securely submit completed and signed enrollment forms by:

  • Uploading completed forms through the UO online process facilitated securely through the UO Work Share Form Submission Portal.
  • If an employee doesn’t have access to utilize the online process, they may fax forms to Human Resources at 541-346-2548; or
  • Mail forms through U.S. Mail to Human Resources, 5210 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403.

Temporary Rule Reference

Employment Department — Chapter 471-030-0036: Eligibility Factors

(3)(f)(A) For the weeks of August 02, 2020 through December 26, 2020, and notwithstanding OAR 471-030-0079(4), for purposes of determining whether an employee can receive Work Share benefits in a week, if the employee uses approved, accrued leave during a week, those leave hours count as hours worked during the week. This does not apply to leave taken for vacation purposes. It does apply to leave taken for other reasons, including because the employee is sick, is caring for someone else who is sick, is on jury duty, or because of COVID-19 related reasons.

View the complete list of Eligibility Factors on the Oregon Secretary of State website.