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Alternatives to Layoffs


Thinking of laying off employees? Learn more about available alternatives before laying off your staff. CDLE also offers resources and assistance programs to help employers and their employees when layoffs are unavoidable.

Work Share Program


The Work Share Program offers Colorado Employers an alternative to laying off employees by allowing employees to keep working, but with fewer hours. While employees are working fewer hours they are eligible to receive part of their regular unemployment benefits.

Work share plans can include all employees, or employees from a certain unit. Employers figure out how many hours they can continue to pay and employees share those hours as part of the work share plan.

Learn more about the Work Share Program, qualifications, and how it can help prevent costly layoffs.

Rapid Response


Rapid Response offers workforce services, guidance, and information related to restructuring or downsizing a business. Services include:

Contact a local Workforce Center Rapid Response Representative or visit the Rapid Response website for more information and resources to help your business navigate staff layoffs or prevent them all together.

Resources from the USDOL


Visit the US Department of Labor (USDOL) website for more Rapid Response solutions for employers to minimize job loss and the effects it has on business owners and employees.

Review the USDOL’s Short-Time Compensation (STC) Fact Sheet for more information on available Work-Share Programs.

Learn more about the nationwide network of nonprofit centers offering help to small and medium-size manufacturers on the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships website.

Find more information and assistance for rural businesses from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Rural Business-Cooperative Service

More Alternatives


Furloughs are mandatory, temporary unpaid leave of absence. Consider allowing your staff the option to select or request certain furlough days, or structuring a furlough schedule when employees would normally ask for time off.

Reduce your use of outside contractors, temporary workers, and other out-sourced work. 

Let employees work remotely (if possible) to lower workspace leasing cost, or sublet extra workspace to recoup some costs.

  • Eliminate extra or unnecessary “perks” you currently offer. 
  • Lower marketing and advertising costs.
  • Liquidate non-critical vehicles, real estate and office equipment.

Do not ask or allow employees to work extra hours to lower overtime costs. By law, employers cannot allow or require employees to work extra hours without overtime pay.

Your business may qualify for local, state, and federal government assistance programs to help during economic downturns. For example, businesses impacted by natural disasters may qualify for special funding.

  • Ask for volunteers to go from full-time to part-time schedules.
  • Offer unpaid sabbatical leave.
  • Ask for their ideas.