Michigan Gov. Whitmer wants $300 weekly bonus for returning laid-off workers, new hires

Whitmer requests expansion of Michigan’s back-to-work incentive

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants Michiganders who are returning to work after being laid off as well as new hires to be eligible for a $300 weekly bonus.

READ: Whitmer backs one-time bonus payment for employees who worked through pandemic

“Michigan’s back-to-work incentive is a win-win for workers and businesses,” Whitmer said. “It puts more money in the pockets of hardworking families and helps employers fill jobs by incentivizing people to re-enter the workforce.”

Whitmer wants to expand the incentive to give eligible laid-off employees a $300 weekly bonus for returning to work through Sept. 4, 2021. Businesses can enroll in the program, and then eligible workers would receive both their salary and the unemployment check.

Her administration is using the federal $300 weekly unemployment benefits to incentivize Michiganders to get back to work, maximize income and revitalize businesses that are understaffed.

“Legislative action to expand the incentive means more opportunities for workers and more ways for business to attract and retain new and returning employees,” Whitmer said. “As we continue putting Michigan back to work, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that Michigan families and small businesses emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever before.”

Whitmer is asking legislators to allow businesses to hire new employees through the incentive. That expansion was approved in the fall, but expired in March, the governor said.

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“Expanding the incentive would allow Michigan to take advantage of even more federal dollars flowing into our state to support local businesses and grow our economy,” said Susan Corbin, acting director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “The program offers employers of all shapes and sizes the flexibility to address their specific business needs and an expansion would provide even greater work schedule flexibility for everyone as we work to defeat COVID-19 together.”

Whitmer’s administration said the expansion would have no impact on the employer’s unemployment tax rate since the program is federally financed through Sept. 4.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer proposing $300 weekly back-to-work bonus
Michigan Gov. Whitmer proposing $300 weekly back-to-work bonus

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Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.