WSR 02-06-118

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT


[ Filed March 6, 2002, 9:47 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Adopt new rules (1) clarifying the availability and job search requirements of individuals who are members of referral unions (those unions that act as referral agents for their members) and receiving unemployment benefits; and (2) codifying the standards that unions must meet to be certified by the department as referral agents for their members and participants in the department's referral union program.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 50.12.010 Commissioner's duties and powers, 50.12.040 Rules and regulations, and 50.20.010 Benefit eligibility conditions.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: RCW 50.20.010(3) requires individuals receiving unemployment benefits to seek work "pursuant to customary trade practices." The department has had long-standing guidelines in place regarding the job search requirements of claimants who are members of referral unions, and the standards for unions participating in the referral union program. To improve predictability and stability in program administration, the department intends to establish regulations in place of the guidelines that will clarify the department's expectations of participating unions, and establish when a referral union member will be determined to meet the job search requirements and the conditions under which a cause for doubting an individual's availability for work may be established.

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

Process for Developing New Rule: The department will conduct informal public meetings with interested individuals and stakeholders to gather their input and comments during the development of these regulations.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Persons interested in attending meetings to discuss the proposed regulations should contact Juanita Myers, Rules Coordinator, Unemployment Insurance Division, Employment Security Department, P.O. Box 9046, Olympia, WA 98507-9046, phone (360) 902-9665, fax (360) 902-9799, e-mail jmyers@esd.wa.gov.

March 4, 2002

Dr. Sylvia P. Mundy

Commissioner

Washington State Code Reviser's Office