WSR 02-03-074

EMERGENCY RULES

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT


[ Filed January 11, 2002, 3:01 p.m. ]

Date of Adoption: January 7, 2002.

Purpose: The proposed rules explain the requirements an individual must meet to be eligible for extended unemployment benefits. These include defining what work is considered suitable, the minimum job search requirements an individual must meet, and the penalties that an individual will incur for failing to accept or apply for suitable work.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 192-16-033, 192-16-036, 192-16-040, 192-16-042, 192-16-045, and 192-16-047.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 50.12.010 and 50.12.040.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.

Reasons for this Finding: On December 21, 2001, the United States Department of Labor notified the department that the state qualifies for extended unemployment benefits because of a rising unemployment rate. The extended benefit period began on January 6, 2002. There have been several changes in the law since the state was last in an extended benefit period (1994), and the existing regulations are out of date. It is necessary to update the rules to inform workers of the current requirements they must meet to be eligible for extended benefits, and the penalties for failure to do so. Due to the brief timeframe between notification and the start date of the extended benefit period, emergency rules are necessary to ensure consistency.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 7, Amended 0, Repealed 6.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.

January 9, 2002

Dr. Sylvia P. Mundy

Commissioner

CHAPTER 192-240

EXTENDED AND ADDITIONAL BENEFITS
NEW SECTION
WAC 192-240-010   Regular shareable benefits defined.   The term "regular shareable benefits" means regular benefits in excess of 26 times your weekly benefit amount that are paid during an extended benefit period.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 192-240-015   How to apply for extended benefits.   File your application for extended benefits in writing, using a form provided by the department. The commissioner can authorize other filing methods in unusual circumstances or for the convenience of the department.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 192-240-020   Suitable work provisions -- Regular shareable and extended benefits -- RCW 50.22.020 (3) and (4).   (1) An individual receiving regular shareable or extended benefits must be available for suitable work. Except as provided in subsection (2), any job is considered suitable unless:

(a) It is not within your capabilities;

(b) The position is vacant because of a labor dispute, working conditions are substantially less favorable than similar work in the area, or you would be required to join or resign from a union or labor organization (see RCW 50.20.110);

(c) The gross weekly pay is less than your weekly benefit amount, plus any supplemental unemployment benefits you receive from your former employer; or

(d) The job pays less than the higher of the federal or state minimum wage.

(2) If you can demonstrate that you have good prospects of returning to work in your customary occupation within a reasonably short period of time, suitable work is considered to be work in keeping with your prior work experience, education, or training. "Good prospects for work" means you have:

(a) A definite recall or hire date within four weeks; or

(b) A probably recall or hire date within four weeks, based on an extremely favorable position on a union out-of-work list, seasonal factors, or historical experience.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 192-240-025   Failure to apply for or accept suitable work -- RCW 50.22.020 (4)(b) -- Regular shareable and extended benefits.   (1) You will be denied regular shareable or extended benefits if you fail:

(a) To accept any offer of suitable work as defined in WAC 192-240-020; or

(b) To accept a referral, or to apply for suitable work, when referred by your local employment center, if the job was:

(i) Offered to you in writing, or

(ii) Listed with the department.

(2) The denial is for the week in which the refusal occurs and until you work in four weeks and earn four times your weekly benefit amount.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 192-240-030   Job search requirements to receive regular shareable or extended benefits -- RCW 50.22.020(5).   (1) To be eligible for regular shareable or extended benefits, you must show evidence of a systematic and sustained effort to find work. You efforts must be of a quality and frequency that clearly indicate you are making sincere efforts to immediately return to gainful employment. At a minimum, your efforts must include at least four job search contacts with employers during each week you claim benefits.

(2) If you are a member of a referral union, contact with your union during a week counts as one of the job search contacts.

(3) You must keep a record or log of your job search contacts which contains the information required by WAC 192-180-015.

(4) Every week you file a claim for regular shareable or extended benefits, you must certify that you meet the job search requirements of this section.

(5) The department may review your job search activities at any time. You must provide the department with a copy of your job search log upon request. Employer contacts will be verified by the department as needed.

(6) The department will consider you to have met the job search requirements of this section and of RCW 50.22.020(5) for any week in which you participate in a training program that is approved by the commissioner.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 192-240-035   How to qualify for regular shareable or extended benefits after leaving work for marital or domestic reasons -- RCW 50.22.020(7).   If you were denied benefits because you left work for family reasons as provided in RCW 50.20.050(4), you could qualify for regular benefits either through work and earnings or by reporting in person to your local employment center for each of ten weeks. However, you are not eligible for regular shareable or extended benefits unless, after leaving work, you obtained work and earned wages of seven times your weekly benefit amount. The wages earned must be in employment that is covered by Title 50 RCW or the comparable laws of another state or the federal government.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 192-240-040   Penalties.   (1) If you claim regular shareable or extended benefits during a week in which you failed to accept any offer of work, or failed to accept a referral or apply for any work as directed by the department:

(a) Benefits will be denied under RCW 50.20.080 if the work was suitable as defined by RCW 50.20.100 and RCW 50.20.110, and you did not have good cause for failing to apply for or accept work;

(b) If benefits are denied as provided in subsection (1)(a), you will also be denied benefits as provided in RCW 50.22.020;

(c) Benefits will be denied under only RCW 50.22.020 if the work was suitable as provided in that statute and WAC 192-240-020, but did not meet the provisions of RCW 50.20.100 and RCW 50.20.080.

(2) If you claim regular shareable or extended benefits during a week in which you failed to meet the job search requirements of WAC 192-240-030, benefits will be denied under RCW 50.22.020.

(3) A denial of benefits under RCW 50.22.020 starts the week in which the failure occurs, and continues indefinitely until you show that:

(a) You have worked in at least four weeks; and

(b) You have earned at least four times your weekly benefit amount. The employment does not need to be covered by Title 50 RCW.

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REPEALER


The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are hereby repealed:


WAC 192-16-033 Interpretive regulation -- Regular shareable benefits defined.
WAC 192-16-036 Interpretive regulation -- Requalification for regular shareable, extended, or additional benefits under RCW 50.20.050(4).
WAC 192-16-040 Interpretive regulation -- Good prospects of obtaining work within a reasonably short period of time under RCW 50.22.020(3) -- Shareable, extended, or additional benefits.
WAC 192-16-042 Interpretive regulation -- Failure to apply for accept work under RCW 50.22.020 (4)(b) -- Shareable, extended, or additional benefits.
WAC 192-16-045 Interpretive regulation -- Disqualification for failing to accept an offer of or to apply for suitable work -- Shareable, extended, or additional benefits.
WAC 192-16-047 Interpretive regulation -- Interpretation of requirements of RCW 50.22.020(5) -- Tangible evidence of a systematic and sustained effort to obtain work -- Shareable, extended, or additional benefits.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office