WSR 02-20-095

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT


[ Filed October 1, 2002, 2:50 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Amend WAC 192-180-010 and 192-180-015 to clarify job search requirements for claimants who leave work because of domestic violence. Add a section to chapter 192-170 WAC clarifying suitable work and availability work requirements of individuals who leave work as a result of domestic violence. Add a section to chapter 192-150 WAC listing the factors the department will use to determine whether an individual left work with good cause as a result of domestic violence or stalking.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 50.12.010 and 50.12.040.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: During the 2002 legislative session, the legislature passed HB 1248, allowing victims of domestic violence or stalking to receive unemployment benefits. Such individuals are exempt from the job search monitoring program under RCW 50.20.240. A revision to RCW 50.20.100 requires the department to consider an individual's need to address issues related to domestic violence when determining if work is suitable. Individuals who leave work because of domestic violence or stalking remain subject to RCW 50.20.010, which requires claimants to actively seek work and be able to accept suitable work. Rules will clarify the job search and availability requirements for claimants who leave work due to domestic violence or stalking. The rules will also clarify the factors the department will consider in determining whether an individual has established good cause for leaving work under RCW 50.20.050 (2)(d).

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) 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 as long as conformity is maintained. The proposed regulations will be shared with USDOL prior to adoption.

Process for Developing New Rule: The department intends to hold informal meetings with stakeholders and interested parties to obtain input on the proposed rules.

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 rules should contact Karen Malo, Unemployment Insurance Division, Policy Unit, Employment Security Department, P.O. Box 9046, Olympia, WA 98507-9046, phone (360) 902-0918, fax (360) 902-9799, e-mail kmalo@esd.wa.gov.

September 19, 2002

Dr. Sylvia P. Mundy

Commissioner

Washington State Code Reviser's Office