WSR 02-07-065

EMERGENCY RULES

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT


[ Filed March 15, 2002, 3:55 p.m. ]

Date of Adoption: February 15, 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, and the department filed emergency regulations to inform workers of the requirements they must meet to be eligible for extended benefits. Changes to these emergency rules are necessary to ensure payments to claimants are consistent with the requirements of federal and state law.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 3, Amended 0, Repealed 6.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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

March 6, 2002

Dr. Sylvia P. Mundy

Commissioner


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. Your efforts must be of a quality and frequency that clearly indicate you are making sincere efforts to immediately return to gainful employment.

(a) At a minimum, your efforts must include at least four job search contacts with employers during each week you claim benefits.

(b) If you are a member in good standing of a referral union, you must make three employer contacts each week in addition to contacting your union and complying with the union's requirements. You do not have to look for work that would jeopardize your union membership, but must look for other work you are capable of doing. However, if you have been identified by the department as having good prospects of returning to work within four weeks because you have an extremely favorable position on the union out-of-work list, contact with your union each week fulfills the job search requirements of this section.

(2) Every week you file a claim for regular shareable or extended benefits, you must report your job search contacts to the department. For each job search contact you must report the date of the contact, the employer or union involved and its place of business, the method of contact, the type of work sought, and the results of the contact.

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

(4) 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.

(5) 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.

(6) The job search requirements under this section and RCW 50.20.020(5) are waived for any week in which you are unable to conduct a job search because you are serving on jury duty. See RCW 50.20.117.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 192-240-045   Moving to a state in an extended benefit period.   RCW 50.22.030(2) provides that you are only eligible for two weeks of extended benefit payments if you live in a state that is not in an extended benefit period. If you subsequently move to a state that is in an extended benefit period, you may be eligible for further extended benefit payments under RCW 50.22.020 beginning with the first full week in which you reside in that state.

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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, except as provided in subsection (4).

(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.

(4) If you fail to meet the job search requirements of WAC 192-240-030 because you are hospitalized for treatment of an emergency or life-threatening condition, benefits will be denied under RCW 50.20.010(3). The denial period is only for the week or weeks in which the hospitalization occurred.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office