EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT
[Filed March 31, 2020, 3:49 p.m.]
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 20-03-067.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Amending WAC 192-500-070 Claim year; and creating new WAC 192-500-190 Sibling.
Hearing Location(s): On May 6, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. Conference call: (360)407-3780 // PIN: 507997#. Hearing is being held remotely due to COVID-19.
Date of Intended Adoption: On or after May 13, 2020.
Submit Written Comments to: April Amundson, Employment Security Department, P.O. Box 9046, Olympia, WA 98507-9046, email firstname.lastname@example.org, online portal https://www.opentownhall.com/portals/289/forum_home?phase=open, by May 6, 2020.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Teresa Eckstein, state EO officer, phone 360-480-5708, TTY 711, email TEckstein@esd.wa.gov, by April 29, 2020.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The amendment to WAC 192-500-070 provides clarification on the definition of a claim year. The new section, WAC 192-500-190, provides a definition of sibling.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The rules will assist in clarifying the requirements to administer payment of benefits to eligible employees as mandated by Title 50A
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Employment security department (ESD), paid family and medical leave division, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation, and Enforcement: April Amundson, Lacey, Washington, 360-485-2816.
A school district fiscal impact statement is not required under RCW 28A.305.135
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328
Explanation of exemptions: While ESD is required to follow rule-making requirements outlined in RCW 34.05.328
(5)(a)(i), the amendments to WAC 192-500-070 are procedural as defined in RCW 34.05.328
(5)(c)(i) that adopt a policy pertaining to the consistent internal operations of the agency. In addition, revisions to this rule and the addition of WAC 192-500-190 are interpretive under RCW 34.05.328
(5)(c)(ii). The rules clarify and further define the department's interpretation of a "claim year" as referenced in RCW 50A.15.065
and define "sibling" in order to further clarify the definition of a qualifying family member. Procedural and interpretive rules are not considered significant legislative rules under RCW 34.05.328
The proposed rule does not impose more-than-minor costs on businesses. Following is a summary of the agency's analysis showing how costs were calculated. The amended rule and new rule do not impose any additional requirements, reporting or otherwise, on businesses. The revisions are procedural and interpretive. The rules clarify and further define the department's interpretation of a "claim year" as referenced in RCW 50A.15.065
and define "sibling" in order to further clarify the definition of a qualifying family member.
March 31, 2020
Policy and Rules Manager
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 19-08-016, filed 3/22/19, effective 4/22/19)
WAC 192-500-070Claim year.
(1) A "claim year" is the ((fifty-two week)) period beginning Sunday of the week of((:
(a) The date of the birth or placement of a child; or
(b) The date of the filing of a complete and timely application for all other qualifying events.
(2)))the date an eligible employee files a complete initial application for benefits and ending the Saturday fifty-two weeks later.
(2) The entitlement to family leave benefits for the birth or placement of a child expires at the end of the twelve-month period beginning on the date of such birth or placement.
(3) For applications that are backdated, the claim year is the fifty-two week period beginning Sunday of the week to which the application was backdated.
(((3)))(4) An employee may only have one valid claim year at a time.
Example 1: An employee experiences an injury that qualifies as a serious health condition. Three days later, on Thursday, March 4, 2021, the employee files a complete initial application for medical leave benefits. The employee's claim year will run from Sunday, February 28, 2021, to Saturday, February 26, 2022.
Example 2: An employee filed an application for medical leave in March 2021. The employee took four weeks of medical leave and returned to work. The employee's spouse gives birth to a child in September 2021. The employee elects not to take family leave until April 2022. Because the employee's first claim year has already expired, the employee must file a new application and begin a new claim year in order to take family leave beginning in April 2022.
Example 3: An employee gives birth on Thursday, March 4, 2021. The employee elects not to submit an application for paid family leave until Monday, April 5, 2021. Though the employee's claim year will run from Sunday, April 4, 2021, to Saturday, April 2, 2022, the employee will not be able to claim family leave after March 3, 2022, for the birth of the child. The employee can claim leave for other qualifying reasons for the period March 4, 2022, through April 2, 2022, subject to the maximum duration limits.
"Sibling" means an individual who shares at least one parent, as defined by RCW 50A.05.010
(15), with another individual.