PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT
[Filed October 21, 1997, 12:10 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Repeal of WAC 192-16-070 Interpretive regulations--Voluntary quit--RCW 50.20.050.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 50.12.010 Commissioner's duties and powers and 50.12.040 Rule-making authority.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The rule authorizes the payment of unemployment benefits to individuals who voluntarily quit their jobs under certain prescribed circumstances. A precedential commissioner's decision (In re: Marinkovic) and a decision by the Court of Appeals (In re: Goewert) limit application of the rule to cases in which an employer is implementing involuntary reductions-in-force. Benefits are denied in cases where employees can volunteer to terminate their employment in exchange for financial incentives. Based on these rulings, the viability of the rule is so limited and subject to further potential litigation as to warrant its repeal.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Labor 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 action will be shared with USDOL Region X staff prior to repeal.
Process for Developing New Rule: The department intends to hold meetings with stakeholders, interested parties, and significantly affected persons to seek their input.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Persons interested in participating in public meetings to discuss the proposed regulatory changes may contact Juanita Myers, Employment Security Department, Unemployment Insurance Division Policy Unit, P.O. Box 9046, Olympia, WA 98507-9046, phone (360) 902-9665, or FAX (360) 902-9799.