WSR 06-11-179

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT


[ Filed May 24, 2006, 11:17 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department will be adopting and amending rules to ensure employers are paying the correct amount of unemployment insurance taxes as established in state and federal law. Subjects of potential rule making include the requirements of successor employers to notify the department of an ownership transfer, the tax rate that will be assigned a successor employer, and defining the terms employer fraud and misrepresentation, predecessor and successor employers, significant purpose, and simultaneous acquisition.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 50.12.010, 50.12.040, and section 4, chapter 47, Laws of 2006.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: SSB 6359 was passed by the 2006 legislature to conform to federal law, Public Law 108-295, regulating the transfer of ownership between employers. The law requires that an employer's unemployment experience be transferred from a predecessor employer to the successor employer. In addition, experience may not be transferred solely to give the employer a more favorable tax rate. The rules will specify the department's notification and reporting requirements for successor employers and clarify terms used in state law.

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 will hold informal meetings with stakeholders to obtain input on the proposed rule making.

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 jmyers@esd.wa.gov.

May 23, 2006

Karen T. Lee

Commissioner

Washington State Code Reviser's Office