WSR 08-07-046

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed March 14, 2008, 8:49 a.m. , effective May 1, 2008 ]


Effective Date of Rule: May 1, 2008.

Purpose: The department is proposing the amendment of chapter 388-310 WAC, WorkFirst, to comply with the federal law changes under [the] Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), Public Law 109-171. The changes focus on verifying and reporting hours of participation for our WorkFirst clients.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-310-0400, 388-310-0500, 388-310-0600, 388-310-0900, 388-310-1000, 388-310-1050, 388-310-1100, 388-310-1400, 388-310-1500, and 388-310-1700.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.08.090.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 07-24-034 on November 30, 2007.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 10, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 10, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: March 10, 2008.

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

3921.3
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-08-044, filed 3/30/06, effective 6/1/06)

WAC 388-310-0400   WorkFirst--Entering the WorkFirst program as a mandatory participant.   (1) What happens when I enter the WorkFirst program as a mandatory participant?

If you are a mandatory participant, you must follow instructions as written in your individual responsibility plan (see WAC 388-310-0500), which is written after you have participated in a comprehensive evaluation of elements related to your employability. If you have been identified as someone who needs necessary supplemental accommodation (NSA) services (defined in chapter 388-472 WAC) your case manager will first develop an accommodation plan to help you access WorkFirst services. The case manager will use the accommodation plan to help develop your IRP with you. If you have been identified as a victim of family violence (defined in WAC 388-61-001), you and your case manager will develop an IRP to help you with your situation, including referrals to appropriate services.

If you are a mandatory participant, your case manager will refer you to WorkFirst activities unless any of the following applies to you:

(a) You work thirty-two or more hours a week. "Work" means to engage in any legal, income generating activity which is taxable under the United States tax code or which would be taxable with or without a treaty between an Indian Nation and the United States;

(b) You work sixteen or more hours a week in the federal or state work study program and you attend a Washington state community or technical college at least half time;

(c) You work twenty or more hours a week in unsubsidized employment and attend a Washington state community or technical college at least half time;

(d) You are under the age of eighteen, have not completed high school, GED or its equivalent and are in school full time;

(e) You are eighteen or nineteen years of age and are attending high school or an equivalent full time;

(f) You are pregnant or have a child under the age of twelve months, and are participating in other pregnancy to employment activities. See WAC 388-310-1450;

(g) Your situation prevents you from looking for a job and you are conducting activities identified on your IRP to help you with your situation. (For example, you may be unable to look for a job while you have health problems or you are homeless); or

(h) Your situation prevents you from looking for work because you are a victim of family violence and you are conducting activities on your IRP to help you with your situation.

(2) How will I know what my participation requirements are?

(a) Your individual responsibility plan will describe what you need to do to be able to enter job search or other WorkFirst activities and then find a job (see WAC 388-310-0500 and 388-310-0700).

(b) If you enter the pregnancy to employment pathway (described in WAC ((388-310-1450(2))) 388-310-1450(3)), you must take part in an assessment.

(3) What happens if I do not follow my WorkFirst requirements?

If you do not participate in creating an individual responsibility plan, job search, or in the activities listed in your individual responsibility plan, and you do not have a good reason, the department will follow the sanction rules in WAC 388-310-1600.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 06-08-044, 388-310-0400, filed 3/30/06, effective 6/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-0400, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 00-06-062, 388-310-0400, filed 3/1/00, effective 3/1/00; 99-10-027, 388-310-0400, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 98-23-037, 388-310-0400, filed 11/10/98, effective 12/11/98; 97-20-129, 388-310-0400, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-08-044, filed 3/30/06, effective 6/1/06)

WAC 388-310-0500   WorkFirst--Individual responsibility plan.   (1) What is the purpose of my individual responsibility plan?

The purpose of your individual responsibility plan is to give you a written statement that describes:

(a) What your responsibilities are; and

(b) Which WorkFirst activities you are required to participate in; and

(c) What services you will receive so you are able to participate.

(2) What is included in my individual responsibility plan?

Your individual responsibility plan includes the following:

(a) What WorkFirst activities you must do and the participation requirements for those activities including the amount of time you will spend doing the activities, a start and end date for each activity and the requirement to participate fully.

(b) Any other specific requirements that are tied to the WorkFirst work activity. For example, you might be required to learn English as part of your work experience activity or to provide proof of your employment hours.

(c) What services we will provide to help you participate in the activity. For example, you may require support services (such as help with paying for transportation) or help with paying childcare.

(d) Your statement that you recognize the need to become and remain employed as quickly as possible.

(3) How is my individual responsibility plan developed?

You and your case manager will work together and use information gathered from your comprehensive evaluation (see WAC 388-310-0700) to develop your individual responsibility plan and decide what activities will be included in it. Then, your case manager will assign you to specific WorkFirst activities that will help you find employment.

(4) What happens after my individual responsibility plan is completed?

Once your individual responsibility plan is completed:

(a) You will sign and get a copy of your individual responsibility plan.

(b) You and your case manager will review your plan as necessary over the coming months to make sure your plan continues to meet your employment needs. You will sign and get a copy of your individual responsibility plan every time it is reviewed and changed.

(5) What should I do if I cannot go to a required WorkFirst appointment or activity because of a temporary situation outside of my control?

If you cannot participate because of a temporary situation outside of your control, you must call the telephone number shown on your individual responsibility plan on the same day you were to report to explain your situation. You will be given an excused absence. Some examples of excused absences include:

(a) You, your children or other family members are ill;

(b) Your transportation or child care arrangements break down and you cannot make new arrangements in time to comply;

(c) A significant person in your life died; or

(d) A family violence situation arose or worsened.

(6) What happens if I don't call in on the same day I am unable to attend to get an excused absence?

If you do not call in on the same day you are unable to attend to get an excused absence, it will be considered an unexcused absence.

If you exceed the number of unexcused absences allowed on your individual responsibility plan, without good cause, your case manager will begin the sanction process. (See WAC 388-310-1600 for more details.)

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 06-08-044, 388-310-0500, filed 3/30/06, effective 6/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-0500, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-0500, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 98-23-037, 388-310-0500, filed 11/10/98, effective 12/11/98; 97-20-129, 388-310-0500, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-08-044, filed 3/30/06, effective 6/1/06)

WAC 388-310-0600   WorkFirst--Job search.   (1) What is job search?

Job search is an opportunity to learn and use skills you need to find and keep a job. Job search may include:

(a) Classroom instruction; and/or

(b) Structured job search that helps you find job openings, complete applications, practice interviews and apply other skills and abilities with a job search specialist or a group of fellow job-seekers((; and/or

(c) Preemployment training; and/or

(d) High-wage/high-demand training.

(2) What is preemployment training?

Preemployment training helps you learn skills you need for an identified entry level job that pays more than average entry level wages.

(a) Preemployment training is an acceptable job search activity when an employer or industry commits to hiring or giving hiring preference to WorkFirst participants who successfully complete preemployment training.

(b) You can find out about current preemployment training opportunities by asking your job service specialist, your case manager or staff at your local community and technical college.

(3) What is high-wage/high-demand training?

(a) There are two types of high-wage/high-demand (HWHD) full-time training options for TANF recipients to complete a certificate or degree that will lead to employment in a high-wage/high-demand occupation:

(i) Information technology, health care or other professional-technical programs: This option allows you to start and finish a one-year or shorter state community or technical college training program in the information technology, health care fields or other professional-technical programs that meet high-wage high-demand criteria; and/or

(ii) Certificate/degree completion: This option allows you to finish up the last year of any certificate or degree program in a high-wage/high-demand field on an exception basis. The high-wage/high-demand criteria for this option is based on median income and high-demand occupations within the local labor market as determined by employment security department.

(b) For both types of HWHD training, the training can be approved one-time only (barring an approved exception to policy). There is no work requirement with either option for the twelve months of training time.

(c) To qualify for HWHD training, you must also:

(i) Meet all of the prerequisites for the course;

(ii) Obtain the certificate or degree within twelve calendar months;

(iii) Participate full time in the training program and make satisfactory progress;

(iv) Work with colocated ESD staff during the last quarter of training for job placement; and

(v) Return to job search once you complete the educational program if still unemployed)).

(((4))) (2) Who provides me with job search?

You get job search from the employment security department or another organization under contract with WorkFirst to provide these services.

(((5))) (3) How long do I stay in job search?

Periods of job search will start with a review of the work skills assessment portion of your comprehensive evaluation and may last up to twelve continuous weeks. Job search specialists will monitor your progress. By the end of the first four weeks, a job search specialist will determine whether you should continue in job search. Job search will end when:

(a) You find a full-time job; or

(b) You become exempt from WorkFirst requirements (see WAC 388-310-0300); or

(c) Your situation changes and the case manager changes the activities on your IRP to fit your new circumstances (see WAC 388-310-0400); or

(d) After fully participating in job search, and based on your experience in looking for work in the local labor market, it is determined that you need additional skills and/or experience to find a job; or

(e) You have not found a job at the end of the job search period.

(((6))) (4) What happens at the end of job search if I have not found a job?

At the end of each job search period, you will be referred back to your case manager who will, at a minimum, review and update the DSHS portion of your comprehensive evaluation if you have not found a job. You and your case manager will also modify your individual responsibility plan.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 06-08-044, 388-310-0600, filed 3/30/06, effective 6/1/06; 05-16-107, 388-310-0600, filed 8/2/05, effective 9/2/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-0600, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-04-058, 388-310-0600, filed 1/30/02, effective 3/2/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.340(2), 45 C.F.R. 260.31, RCW 74.08.090, and chapter 74.04 RCW. 00-16-055, 388-310-0600, filed 7/26/00, effective 8/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-0600, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-0600, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-08-048, filed 3/30/06, effective 5/1/06)

WAC 388-310-0900   WorkFirst--Basic education.   (1) What is basic education?

Basic education is high school completion, classes to prepare for general equivalency diploma (GED), testing to acquire GED certification, adult basic education (ABE) or English as a second language (ESL) training. Basic education also includes supervised homework and study activities associated with the educational activity.

(2) When do I participate in basic education as part of WorkFirst?

You may participate in basic education as part of WorkFirst under any of the following circumstances:

(a) You are twenty years of age or older and your comprehensive evaluation shows you need this education to become employed or get a better job and:

(i) You are ((enrolled in an approved WorkFirst work activity for at least)) participating the equivalent of twenty hours or more per week in job search, vocational education, issue resolution, paid work or unpaid work that meets the federal definition of core activities; or

(ii) You have ((fully participated in job search without finding a job)) limited-English proficiency and you lack language skills that are needed to qualify for entry level jobs.

(b) You may be required to participate if you are a mandatory participant, a parent eighteen or nineteen years of age, you do not have a high school diploma or GED certificate and you need this education in order to find employment.

(c) You will be required to be in high school or a GED certification program if you are a mandatory participant, sixteen or seventeen years old and you do not have a high school diploma or GED certificate.

(d) ((Employment security department (ESD) has determined that you are a seasonal worker (that is, your usual pattern of employment is based on recurring cycle of seasonal employment). Under WorkFirst, seasonal workers qualify for full-time education and training during the off season.

(e))) You are enrolled in the pregnancy to employment pathway and your comprehensive evaluation shows basic education would help you find and keep employment. (See WAC 388-310-1450.)

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 06-08-048, 388-310-0900, filed 3/30/06, effective 5/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-0900, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 01-15-009, 388-310-0900, filed 7/6/01, effective 8/6/01; 99-10-027, 388-310-0900, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-0900, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-08-048, filed 3/30/06, effective 5/1/06)

WAC 388-310-1000   WorkFirst--Vocational education.   (1) What is vocational education?

Vocational education is training that leads to a degree or certificate in a specific occupation, not to result in a baccalaureate or advanced degree unless otherwise indicated below, and is offered by an accredited:

(a) Public and private technical college or school;

(b) Community college; ((or))

(c) Tribal college; or

(d) For customized job skills training (formerly known as pre-employment training), community based organizations.

(2) Vocational education may include:

(a) Customized job skills training;

(b) High-wage/high-demand training;

(c) Supervised homework and study activities associated with the educational activity; and/or

(d) Remedial/developmental education, prerequisites, basic education and/or English-as-a-Second Language training deemed a necessary part of the vocational education program.

(3) What is customized job skills training?

Customized job skills training helps you learn skills you need for an identified entry level job that pays more than average entry level wages.

(a) Customized job skills training is an acceptable activity when an employer or industry commits to hiring or giving hiring preference to WorkFirst participants who successfully complete customized job skills training.

(b) You can find out about current customized job skills training opportunities by asking your employment services counselor, your case manager or staff at your local community and technical college.

(4) What is high-wage/high-demand training?

(a) There are two types of high-wage/high-demand (HWHD) full-time training options for TANF recipients to complete a certificate or degree that will lead to employment in a high-wage/high-demand occupation:

(i) Information technology, health care or other professional-technical programs: This option allows you to start and finish a one-year or shorter state community or technical college training program in the information technology, health care fields or other professional-technical programs that meet high-wage/high-demand criteria; and/or

(ii) Certificate/degree completion: This option allows you to finish up the last year of any certificate or degree program, not to exceed a baccalaureate degree, in a high-wage/high-demand field on an exception basis. The high-wage/high-demand criteria for this option is based on median income and high-demand occupations within the local labor market as determined by employment security department.

(b) For both types of HWHD training, the training can be approved one-time only (barring an approved exception to policy).

(c) To qualify for HWHD training, you must also:

(i) Meet all of the prerequisites for the course;

(ii) Obtain the certificate or degree within twelve calendar months;

(iii) Participate full time in the training program and make satisfactory progress;

(iv) Work with WorkFirst staff during the last quarter of training for job placement; and

(v) Return to job search once you complete the educational program if still unemployed.

(((2))) (5) When can vocational education be included in my individual responsibility plan?

We may add vocational education to your individual responsibility plan for up to twelve months if:

(a) Your comprehensive evaluation shows you need this education to become employed or get a better job and you participate full time in vocational education or ((by combining)) combine vocational education with any approved WorkFirst work activity; or

(b) ((Employment security department (ESD) has determined that you are a seasonal worker (that is, your usual pattern of employment is based on a recurring cycle of seasonal employment). Under WorkFirst, seasonal workers qualify for full-time education and training during the off season; or

(c))) You are in an internship or practicum for up to twelve months that is paid or unpaid and required to complete a course of vocational training or to obtain a license or certificate in a high demand ((field, as determined by the employment security department)) program; or

(((d))) (c) You have limited English proficiency and you lack job skills that are in demand for entry level jobs in your area; and the vocational education program is the only way that you can acquire ((the job)) these skills ((you need to qualify for entry level jobs in your area)) (because there is no available work experience, ((preemployment training)) community service or on-the-job training that can teach you these skills); or

(((e))) (d) You are in the pregnancy to employment pathway and your comprehensive evaluation shows vocational education would help you find and keep employment. (See WAC 388-310-1450.)

(((3))) (6) Can I get help with paying the costs of vocational education?

WorkFirst may pay for the costs of your vocational education, such as tuition or books, for up to twelve months, if vocational education is in your individual responsibility plan and there is no other way to pay them. You may also get help with paying your child care costs through the working connections child care program. (See chapter 388-290 WAC for the working connections child care program rules.)

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 06-08-048, 388-310-1000, filed 3/30/06, effective 5/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-1000, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 01-15-009, 388-310-1000, filed 7/6/01, effective 8/6/01; 99-10-027, 388-310-1000, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 98-23-037, 388-310-1000, filed 11/10/98, effective 12/11/98; 97-20-129, 388-310-1000, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-15-067, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02)

WAC 388-310-1050   WorkFirst--((Job skills)) Skills Enhancement training.   (1) What is ((job)) skills enhancement training?

((Job skills)) Skills enhancement training (formerly known as job skills training) is training ((in specific skills directly related to employment, but not tied to a specific occupation. Job skills training programs are generally short term, but differ in what skills are taught and who provides the training.)) or education for job skills required by an employer to provide a person with the ability to obtain employment or to advance or adapt to the changing demands of the workplace. Skills enhancement training may include:

(a) Customized training programs to meet the needs of a specific employer;

(b) General education and training that prepares a person for employment to include vocational education and courses explicitly required for program entry;

(c) Basic education and English as a second language training when such instruction is focused on skills needed for employment, combined in a unified whole with job training or needed to enable the person to perform a specific job or engage in a specific job training program;

(d) Four-year bachelor degree programs at any state-certified college or university; and

(e) Supervised homework and study activities.

(2) Who may provide skills enhancement training?

The training may be offered by the following types of organizations that meet the WorkFirst program's standards for service providers:

(a) Community based organizations;

(b) Businesses;

(c) Tribal governments; or

(d) Public and private community and technical colleges.

(((2))) (3) When can ((job)) skills enhancement training be included in my individual responsibility plan?

We may add ((job)) skills enhancement training in your individual responsibility plan if((:

(a))) you are ((working)) participating the equivalent of twenty or more hours a week in job search, vocational education, issue resolution, paid ((unsubsidized)) work or unpaid work((; or

(b) You are working sixteen or more hours per week in a federal or state work-study position; or

(c) You are working in a subsidized job, like a community jobs position, at least twenty hours per week; or

(d) Employment security department (ESD) has determined that you are a seasonal worker (that is, your usual pattern of employment is based on a recurring cycle of seasonal employment). Under WorkFirst, seasonal workers qualify for full-time education and training during the off season; or

(e) You lack job skills that are in demand for entry level jobs in your area, and the job skills training is short term and is combined with job search)) that meets the federal definition of core activities.

(((3))) (4) Can I get help with paying the costs of ((job)) skills enhancement training?

WorkFirst may pay your costs, such as tuition or books, if ((job)) skills enhancement training is in your individual responsibility plan and there is no other way to pay them. You may also get help with paying your child care costs through the working connections child care program. (See chapter 388-290 WAC for the working connections child care program rules.)

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-1050, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 01-15-009, 388-310-1050, filed 7/6/01, effective 8/6/01; 99-10-027, 388-310-1050, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 98-23-037, 388-310-1050, filed 11/10/98, effective 12/11/98.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-10-027, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99)

WAC 388-310-1100   WorkFirst--Work experience.   (1) What is work experience?

Work experience (sometimes called WEX) is an activity for mandatory participants that will teach you the basics of holding down a job and give you a chance to practice or expand your work skills. Work experience teaches you these skills by assigning you to unpaid work with:

(a) A private, nonprofit organization;

(b) A community or technical college; ((or))

(c) A federal, state, local or tribal government or district; or

(d) Any entity providing an internship or practicum as described in WAC 388-310-1000 (2)(b).

(2) What happens when I am enrolled in a work experience activity?

When you are enrolled in a work experience activity:

(a) The organization, government or district that is supervising your work experience position must comply with all applicable state and federal health and safety standards while you are working there.

(b) You may be required to look for work on your own and must accept any paid employment you find that meets the criteria in WAC 388-310-1500.

(3) How long does a work experience assignment last?

Your case manager must review your work experience assignment if it lasts longer than six months. This review will determine whether you need more time to learn the skills and abilities that the work experience assignment was set up to teach you.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-1100, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-1100, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-13-030, filed 6/3/05, effective 7/4/05)

WAC 388-310-1400   WorkFirst--Community service.   (1) What is community service?

Community service ((includes two types of activities for mandatory participants:

(a))) is unpaid work (such as the work performed by volunteer workers) that you perform for a charitable nonprofit organization, federal, state, local or tribal government or district((; or

(b) An activity approved by your case manager which benefits you, your family, your community or your tribe. These activities may include)), including traditional activities that perpetuate tribal culture and customs.

(2) What ((type of community service[s])) other activities may be approved, even though they are not considered community service, because they benefit me, my family, my community or my tribe and might be included in my individual responsibility plan?

The following types ((of community service)) activities may be approved, even though they are not considered community service, because they benefit you, your family, your community or your tribe and might be included in your individual responsibility plan:

(a) Caring for a disabled family member;

(b) Caring for a child, if you are fifty-five years old or older and receiving TANF or SFA assistance for the child as a relative (instead of as the child's parent);

(c) Providing childcare for another WorkFirst participant who is doing community service;

(d) Actively participating in a drug or alcohol assessment or treatment program which is certified or contracted by the state under chapter 70.96A RCW;

(e) Participating in family violence counseling or drug or alcohol treatment that will help you become employable or keep your job (this is called "specialized services" in state law);

(f) Participating in the pregnancy to employment pathway; and/or

(g) Job preparation.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090. 05-13-030, 388-310-1400, filed 6/3/05, effective 7/4/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 00-06-062, 388-310-1400, filed 3/1/00, effective 3/1/00; 99-10-027, 388-310-1400, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-1400, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 04-05-010, filed 2/6/04, effective 3/8/04)

WAC 388-310-1500   WorkFirst--Employment conditions.   (1) If I am a mandatory participant, are there any limitations on the type of paid or unpaid employment I must accept?

If you are a mandatory participant, you must accept paid or unpaid employment (including any activity in which an employer-employee relationship exists) unless the employment:

(a) Is not covered by industrial insurance (described in state law under Title 51 RCW) unless you are employed by a tribal government or a tribal private for-profit business;

(b) Is available because of a labor dispute;

(c) Has working hours or conditions that interfere with your religious beliefs or practices (and a reasonable accommodation cannot be made);

(d) Does not meet federal, state or tribal health and safety standards; or

(e) Has unreasonable work demands or conditions, such as working for an employer who does not pay you on schedule.

(2) Are there any additional limitations on when I can be required to accept paid employment?

You must accept paid employment unless the job or the employer:

(a) Pays less than the federal, state, or tribe minimum wage, whichever is higher;

(b) Does not provide unemployment compensation coverage (described in state law under Title 50 RCW) unless you:

(i) Work for a tribal government or tribal for-profit business; or

(ii) Are a treaty fishing rights related worker (and exempt under section 7873 of the Internal Revenue code);

(c) Requires you to resign or refrain from joining a legitimate labor organization; or

(d) Does not provide you benefits that are equal to those provided to other workers employed in similar jobs.

(3) How many hours of unpaid employment can I be required to perform?

You can be required to work a set number of hours of unpaid employment each month. The number of hours required will not be more than your TANF, SFA or GA-S cash grant plus Basic Food benefits, divided by the state ((or federal)) minimum wage((, whichever is higher)).

(4) What safeguards are in place to make sure I am not used to displace currently employed workers?

The following safeguards are in place to make sure you are not used to displace currently employed workers:

(a) You cannot be required to accept paid or unpaid employment which:

(i) Results in another employee's job loss, reduced wages, reduced hours of employment or overtime or lost employment benefits;

(ii) Impairs existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements;

(iii) Puts you in a job or assignment, or uses you to fill a vacancy, when:

(A) Any other person is on lay off from the same (or very similar) job within the same organizational unit; or

(B) An employer ends the job of a regular employee (or otherwise reduces its workforce) so you can be hired.

(iv) Reduces current employees' opportunities for promotions.

(b) If a regular employee believes your subsidized or unpaid work activity (such as a community jobs or work experience position) violates any of the rules described above, this employee (or his or her representative) has the right to:

(i) A grievance procedure (described in WAC 388-426-0005); and

(ii) A fair hearing (described in chapter 388-02 WAC).

(5) What other rules apply specifically to subsidized or on-the-job training positions?

If you are in a subsidized or on-the-job training position:

(a) WorkFirst state agencies must stop paying your wage or on-the-job training subsidy to your employer if your employer's worksite or operation becomes involved in a strike, lockout or bona fide labor dispute.

(b) If your wage subsidy or on-the-job training agreement is ended (and we stop paying any subsidies to your employer) because you were used to displace another employee, it will be up to you and the employer to decide whether you can (or want to) keep working there.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057. 04-05-010, 388-310-1500, filed 2/6/04, effective 3/8/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-1500, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-1500, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-15-067, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02)

WAC 388-310-1700   WorkFirst--Self-employment.   (1) What is self-employment?

When you work for yourself and do not have an employer, you are self-employed.

(2) When can I be deferred from job search to pursue self-employment?

(a) To be deferred from job search for self-employment, you must meet all the conditions below:

(i) You must be working at least thirty-two hours a week at your business;

(ii) Your business must generate income for you that is equal to the federal minimum wage (((state or federal, whichever is higher))) times thirty-two hours per week after your business expenses are subtracted.

(iii) Your case manager will refer you to a local business resource center, and they must approve your self-employment plan;

(b) If you do not meet all these conditions, you can still be self-employed, but you will also need to participate in job search or other WorkFirst activities.

(3) What self-employment services can I get?

If you are a mandatory participant and have an approved self-employment plan in your individual responsibility plan, you may get the following self-employment services:

(a) A referral to community resources for technical assistance with your business plan.

(b) Small business training courses through local community organizations or technical and community colleges.

(c) Information on affordable credit, business training and ongoing technical support.

(4) What support services may I receive?

If you have an approved self-employment plan in your individual responsibility plan all support services are available.

(5) Can I get childcare?

Childcare is available if you have an approved self-employment plan in your individual responsibility plan. (See chapter 388-290 WAC for working connections child care rules.)

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.010(4), 74.08A.340, 74.08.090, 74.04.050. 02-15-067, 388-310-1700, filed 7/11/02, effective 8/1/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-1700, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-1700, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office