WSR 99-01-160

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT

[Filed December 23, 1998, 10:28 a.m.]



Subject of Possible Rule Making: Amending WAC 192-16-070 Interpretive regulations--Voluntary quit--RCW 50.20.050.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 50.12.010 Commissioner's duties and powers and 50.12.040 Rule-making authority.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The rule authorizes the payment of unemployment benefits to individuals who voluntarily quit their jobs under certain prescribed circumstances. Recent published decisions by Division I (Employment Security Department v. Ortega) and Division III (Nielsen v. Employment Security Department) of the court of appeals have resulted in contradictory interpretations of the rule. Based on these decisions, the department intends to amend the rule to clarify the circumstances under which benefits will be awarded to individuals who are subject to an employer-instituted layoff or reduction in force.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Labor reviews the state's administration of the unemployment insurance program to ensure conformity to federal statutes and regulations. The state has broad flexibility in the implementation of unemployment insurance laws and rules as long as conformity is maintained. The proposed action will be shared with USDOL Region X staff prior to implementation.

Process for Developing New Rule: The department intends to hold meetings with stakeholders, interested parties, and significantly affected persons to seek their input in the development of the amended rule.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Persons interested in participating in public meetings to discuss the proposed amendment may contact Juanita Myers, Program Coordinator, Unemployment Insurance Division Policy Unit, P.O. Box 9046, Olympia, WA 98507-9046, phone (360) 902-9665, fax (360) 902-9799, e-mail jmyers@esd.wa.gov.

December 22, 1998

Dale Ziegler

Assistant Commissioner

Legislature Code Reviser 

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office