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                         SENATE BILL 6421



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1998 Regular Session


By Senators Schow, Heavey and Winsley; by request of Employment Security Department


Read first time 01/19/98.  Referred to Committee on Commerce & Labor.

Revising unemployment compensation for persons with public employment contracts.

    AN ACT Relating to unemployment compensation for persons with public employment contracts; amending RCW 50.04.320; and creating a new section.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 50.04.320 and 1995 c 296 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) For the purpose of payment of contributions, "wages" means the remuneration paid by one employer during any calendar year to an individual in its employment under this title or the unemployment compensation law of any other state in the amount specified in RCW 50.24.010.  If an employer (hereinafter referred to as a successor employer) during any calendar year acquires substantially all the operating assets of another employer (hereinafter referred to as a predecessor employer) or assets used in a separate unit of a trade or business of a predecessor employer, and immediately after the acquisition employs in the individual's trade or business an individual who immediately before the acquisition was employed in the trade or business of the predecessor employer, then, for the purposes of determining the amount of remuneration paid by the successor employer to the individual during the calendar year which is subject to contributions, any remuneration paid to the individual by the predecessor employer during that calendar year and before the acquisition shall be considered as having been paid by the successor employer.

    (2) For the purpose of payment of benefits, "wages" means the remuneration paid by one or more employers to an individual for employment under this title during his base year:  PROVIDED, That at the request of a claimant, wages may be calculated on the basis of remuneration payable.  The department shall notify each claimant that wages are calculated on the basis of remuneration paid, but at the claimant's request a redetermination may be performed and based on remuneration payable.

    (3) For the purpose of payment of benefits and payment of contributions, the term "wages" includes tips which are received after January 1, 1987, while performing services which constitute employment, and which are reported to the employer for federal income tax purposes.

    (4)(a) "Remuneration" means all compensation paid for personal services including commissions and bonuses and the cash value of all compensation paid in any medium other than cash.  The reasonable cash value of compensation paid in any medium other than cash and the reasonable value of gratuities shall be estimated and determined in accordance with rules prescribed by the commissioner.  Remuneration does not include payments to members of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, including the organized militia of the state of Washington, for the performance of duty for periods not exceeding seventy-two hours at a time.

    (b) Previously accrued compensation, other than severance pay or payments received pursuant to plant closure agreements, when assigned to a specific period of time by virtue of a collective bargaining agreement, individual employment contract, customary trade practice, or request of the individual compensated, shall be considered remuneration for the period to which it is assigned.  Assignment clearly occurs when the compensation serves to make the individual eligible for all regular fringe benefits for the period to which the compensation is assigned.

    (((c) Settlements or other proceeds received by an individual as a result of a negotiated settlement for termination of an employment contract with a public agency prior to its expiration date shall be considered remuneration.  The proceeds shall be deemed assigned in the same intervals and in the same amount for each interval as compensation was allocated under the contract.

    (d) Except as provided in (c) of this subsection, the provisions of this subsection (4) pertaining to the assignment of previously accrued compensation shall not apply to individuals subject to RCW 50.44.050.))


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  If any part of this act is found to be in conflict with federal requirements that are a prescribed condition to the allocation of federal funds to the state or the eligibility of employers in this state for federal unemployment tax credits, the conflicting part of this act is inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict, and the finding or determination does not affect the operation of the remainder of this act.  Rules adopted under this act must meet federal requirements that are a necessary condition to the receipt of federal funds by the state or the granting of federal unemployment tax credits to employers in this state.


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