WSR 15-13-007
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed June 4, 2015, 12:04 p.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 15-08-088.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is amending WAC 388-310-1300 Community jobs, 388-310-1500 WorkFirstEmployment conditions, and 388-450-0050 How does your participation in the community jobs (CJ) program affect your cash assistance and Basic Food benefits?
Hearing Location(s): Office Building 2, DSHS Headquarters, 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504 (public parking at 11th and Jefferson. A map is available at, on July 21, 2015, at 10:00 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than July 22, 2015.
Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., July 21, 2015.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jeff Kildahl, DSHS rules consultant, phone (360) 664-6092 or TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed rules amend language to reflect local minimum wage ordinances for the purposes of WorkFirst subsidized and unpaid employment programs.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The department is proposing to amend these rules to address local minimum wage ordinances.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.057, 74.04.500, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 74.08A.120, and chapters 74.08A and 74.12 RCW.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Department of social and health services, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation, and Enforcement: Miranda Adams, P.O. Box 45470, Olympia, WA 98504-5470, (360) 725-4769.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The department has analyzed the proposed rule and concluded that no new costs will be imposed on small businesses affected by them. The preparation of a comprehensive small business economic impact statement is not required under RCW 19.85.030.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. These amendments are exempt as allowed under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii) which states in part, "[t]his section does not apply to … rules of the department of social and health services relating only to client medical or financial eligibility and rules concerning liability for care of dependents."
June 2, 2015
Katherine I. Vasquez
Rules Coordinator
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 10-22-062, filed 10/29/10, effective 12/1/10)
WAC 388-310-1300 Community jobs.
(1) What is the community jobs program?
Community jobs is a paid work experience that assists you to gain work skills and experience. You are placed in a community job (up to twenty hours per week) where your wages are paid by the community jobs program. If you participate in the program, you are eligible for support services that assist you in moving into a job where your employer pays all your wages.
(2) What is career jump?
Career jump offers job-ready community jobs participants an opportunity to gain paid work experience that leads to a permanent job. This program is a subset of community jobs and will be referred to as such. Career jump places you in a part time (up to twenty hours per week), community job where your earnings are paid by the community jobs program, for up to five months, at which time you will transition to the employer's payroll. You will be provided with support services to assist you in retaining your job through the ninth month of the program. At or before the fifth month, the employment opportunity will be above minimum wage, thirty-two or more hours per week and include wage progression and benefits comparable to other employees.
(3) Who administers the community jobs program?
The ((state department of community, trade, and economic development (DCTED))) department of commerce (commerce) administers the community jobs program. ((DCTED)) Commerce contracts with local agencies throughout the state, known as community jobs contractors who develop and manage the community jobs positions, pay the wages, provide support services and act as the "employer of record" while you are enrolled in a community job.
(4) What types of work sites are used to provide community jobs?
The following work sites may be used to provide community jobs:
(a) Federal, state or local governmental agencies and tribal governments;
(b) Private and tribal nonprofit businesses, organizations and educational institutions;
(c) Private for profit businesses for career jump placements.
(5) What are the requirements for the work sites?
Work sites for community jobs and career jump:
(a) Must assist in strengthening work ethics, improve workplace skills and help you gain skills to move into a job where the employer pays all your wages. If they do not meet this requirement, they will not be considered for additional community jobs/career jump placements.
(b) We will follow the employment rules described in WAC 388-310-1500. In any situation where training is inconsistent with the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, your community jobs contractor will obtain written approval from the labor organization concerned. Career jump employers will remain neutral with regard to neutralization in the worksite.
(c) You will not be required to do work related to religious, electoral or partisan political activities.
(6) What are the benefits of community jobs?
You benefit from community jobs by:
(a) Learning work skills;
(b) Getting work experience;
(c) Working twenty hours per week, while being paid federal, ((or)) state, or local minimum wage, whichever is higher; and
(d) Earning paid personal leave as determined by ((DCTED)) commerce.
(7) How do I get into community jobs?
You will be placed into community jobs after you and your DSHS case manager decide:
(a) You would benefit from community jobs after you have participated in job search without finding a job; and/or
(b) You need a supportive work environment to help you become more employable.
(8) What happens after I am placed in the community jobs program?
When you are placed in the community jobs program by DSHS:
(a) You will be assigned to a community job by the community jobs contractor for no more than nine months. You will work twenty hours a week and participate in any other unpaid activities for twelve to twenty additional hours per week as required in your individual responsibility plan;
(b) Your placement in community jobs will be reviewed by your DSHS case manager every three months during your nine-month placement for the following:
(i) To ensure you are TANF/SFA eligible; and
(ii) To verify any earned or unearned income received by you or another member of your assistance unit (that is, you and other people in your household who are included on your cash grant).
(c) Your community jobs contractor will review your case each month to ensure you are following your IRP and IDP, participating full time, and becoming more employable because of your community job;
(d) If you request a different community jobs placement, we do not consider your request a refusal to participate without good cause under WAC 388-310-1600. You may be asked to explain why you want a different placement;
(e) Grievance policies are in place for your protection. You will be required to sign an acknowledgment that you received a copy of this policy at the time of placement with the employer.
(9) How does community jobs affect my TANF benefits?
The amount of your TANF/SFA monthly grant will be determined by following the rules in WAC 388-450-0050 and 388-450-0215 (1), (3), (4), (5) and (6). WAC 388-450-0215(2), does not apply to your community jobs wages.
(10) What can I expect from my career jump placement?
(a) You cannot represent more than ten percent of the total labor force for an employer that has ten or more employees.
(b) No more than one community jobs participant shall be allowed per private for profit worksite supervisor.
(c) You will participate in developing a career progression plan that will include health care benefits comparable to other employees.
(d) You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you have participated in community jobs' career jump and have worked at least six hundred eighty hours in a base year. You will gain unemployment insurance credits for all hours worked under your career jump placement.
(e) Your employer and your community jobs contractor will be required to follow ((DCTED's)) commerce's contractual agreements for career jump.
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 08-07-046, filed 3/14/08, effective 5/1/08)
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, local, 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 local, whichever is higher, minimum wage.
(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.
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 10-22-012, filed 10/21/10, effective 2/1/11)
WAC 388-450-0050 How does your participation in the community jobs (CJ) program affect your cash assistance and Basic Food benefits?
(1) There are two different types of income in the community jobs program. They are:
(a) Subsidized, where your wages are paid from TANF or SFA funds; and
(b) Unsubsidized, where your wages are paid entirely by your employer.
(2) We figure your total monthly subsidized or unsubsidized income by:
(a) Estimating the number of hours you, your case manager, and the CJ contractor expect you to work for the month; and
(b) Multiplying the number of hours by the federal, ((or)) state, or local minimum wage, whichever is higher.
(3) Because you are expected to participate and meet the requirements of CJ, once we determine what your total monthly income is expected to be, we do not change your TANF grant if your actual hours are more or less than anticipated.
(4) We treat the total income we expect you to get each month from your CJ position as:
(a) Earned income for cash assistance, except we do not count any of the CJ income for the first month you receive your paycheck.
(b) Earned income for Basic Food for all months.
(5) If your anticipated subsidized income is more than your grant amount, your cash grant is suspended. This means that you are still considered a TANF/SFA recipient, but you do not get a grant.
(a) Your grant can be suspended up to a maximum of nine months.
(b) You can keep participating in CJ even though your grant is suspended, as long as you would be eligible for a grant if we did not count your subsidized income.
(c) The months your grant is suspended do not count toward your sixty-month lifetime limit.
(6) If your unsubsidized income, after we subtract half of what you have earned is greater than your grant, your TANF/SFA case will close. This happens because your income is over the maximum you are allowed. You will still be able to participate in the CJ program for up to a total of nine months.
(7) If your income from other sources alone, not counting CJ income makes you ineligible for a cash grant, we terminate your grant and end your participation in CJ.