WSR 07-11-161

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT


[ Filed May 23, 2007, 9:50 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Adopting and amending unemployment insurance rules involving the transfer of an employer or business. Subjects of potential rule making including predecessor-successor relationships and "SUTA-dumping," as well as related unemployment insurance issues.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 50.12.010, 50.12.040, and 50.29.064.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: This is a continuation and expansion of the rule-making proceeding begun in 2006 following enactment of chapter 47, Laws of 2006 (SSB 6359). The purpose is to review and clarify rules about predecessor-successor business relationships, continue implementation of the 2006 legislation, consolidate related rules in a new chapter. "SUTA-dumping" is the process of unlawfully avoiding state unemployment taxes and is the subject of federal law in Public Law 108-295.

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.

In addition, proposed regulations will be shared with the state department of revenue, department of labor and industries, which relate to successor employers for purposes other than unemployment insurance.

Process for Developing New Rule: The department will hold public meetings to obtain and consider public and stakeholder input prior to filing the proposed rules. In addition, there will be a mailing to stakeholders identified in the rule-making process and written comments from stakeholders will be considered.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting 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 jmyers@esd.wa.gov. Please include your name, organization (if any), mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number.

May 22, 2007

Paul Trause

Deputy Commissioner

Washington State Code Reviser's Office