WSR 16-15-080
[Filed July 19, 2016, 11:39 a.m.]
Original Notice.
Expedited Rule Making—Proposed notice was filed as WSR 16-07-013.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Adoption of a new rule in chapter 192-04 WAC, Practice and procedure for appeals related to unemployment benefits and taxes, the new rule allows the option for the commissioner's review office (CRO) to hold evidentiary hearings on whether a petition for review (PFR) was filed late with good cause.
Hearing Location(s): Employment Security Department (ESD), 212 Maple Park Avenue, Maple Leaf Conference Room, 2nd Floor, Olympia, WA, on August 23, 2016, at 9:00 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: August 26, 2016.
Submit Written Comments to: Juanita Myers, ESD, P.O. Box 9046, Olympia, WA 98507, e-mail, fax (360) 902-9605, by August 22, 2016.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Teresa Eckstein, state EO officer by August 22, 2016, TTY 711 or (360) 902-9354.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Currently, when a PFR is filed late, the CRO remands the matter to the office of administrative hearings (OAH) to conduct a short evidentiary hearing as to why the PFR was late. OAH does not take jurisdiction and does not determine whether the untimely filing was for good cause. OAH gathers the facts as to why the PFR was late and returns the hearing record to the CRO to determine good cause.
The proposed rule will eliminate the need for the CRO to remand the issue of good cause for the untimely filed PFR to OAH for an evidentiary hearing. Since the purpose of the evidentiary hearing is solely to gather the facts regarding why the petition was late, the CRO would have the ability to conduct the hearing. The determination of whether the petitioner had good cause for filing late is not changed; it remains with the CRO.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The current process requiring remand to OAH creates a significant delay in the review process. It takes OAH an average of fifty days to conduct the evidentiary hearing and return the hearing record to the CRO. The average time frame for the CRO to complete the review process is fifteen days. Petitioners will receive their decisions much more quickly and, if unemployment benefits are allowed, the hardship on the individual due to today's extensive turnaround time will be alleviated. In addition, PFRs that the CRO ordinarily dismisses could get a short evidentiary hearing, providing better access to justice for petitioners.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 50.12.010 and 50.12.040.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 50.32.075 and 50.32.080.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: ESD, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation, and Enforcement: Don Westfall, Olympia, (360) 570-6960.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. There is no impact to business, other than providing individuals appealing a decision of OAH a more efficient process.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The change is budget neutral for the department, and imposes no costs on the regulated community.
Lisa Marsh
Deputy Commissioner
WAC 192-04-095 Untimely petition for reviewCommissioner's hearing.
When a petition for review is untimely filed the commissioner may, upon the issuance of proper notice to all interested parties, conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine if the petition for review was filed late with good cause. If the evidence establishes that the petition for review was late filed with good cause as set out in RCW 50.32.075 and WAC 192-04-090, the commissioner has jurisdiction to review the matter under RCW 50.32.080. If good cause for the late filed petition for review is not established, the petition for review will be dismissed under RCW 50.32.070.