PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Adopt rules to implement the changes contained in chapter 4, Laws of 2003 2nd sp.s. (2ESB 6097) to the unemployment compensation system. Interpretive rules will clarify requirements related to effective dates, voluntary contributions, benefit charging, employer penalties, and establishing reasonable audit expenses. Rules will be adopted to define terms. Existing rules related to successor employers, penalties, and benefit charging will be amended.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 50.12.010, 50.12.040, and section 34, chapter 4, Laws of 2003 2nd sp.s.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The legislation revises the unemployment compensation system through creation of forty rate classes for determining employer contribution rates. It also amends statutes related to benefit charging, the social cost factor rate, predecessor-successor employers, and employer penalties. Substantive and interpretive rules are needed to clarify tax rates, effective dates of various provisions, establish a table of employer penalties and audit expenses, and define terms. Existing rules must be amended to reflect the new statutes. The rules will clarify for employers how the department will implement those sections of the legislation that pertain to rate calculations, voluntary contributions, benefit charging, and penalties for employers who fail to comply with statute.
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 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 Juanita Myers, Unemployment Insurance Rules Coordinator, Employment Security Department, P.O. Box 9046, Olympia, WA 98507-9046, phone (360) 902-9665, fax (360) 902-9799, e-mail email@example.com.
June 30, 2003
Dr. Sylvia P. Mundy