In order to carry out the purposes of this chapter, the state shall take every reasonable step at its disposal to provide alternative employment and to minimize the economic loss of state employees affected by the closure of state facilities. Affected state employees shall be paid benefits as specified in this section.
(1) Relocation expenses covering the movement of household goods, incurred by the necessity of an employee moving his or her domicile to be within reasonable commuting distance of a new job site, shall be paid by the state to employees transferring to other state employment by reason of the closure of a facility.
(2) Relocation leave shall be allowed up to five working days' leave with pay for the purpose of locating new residence in the area of employment.
(3) The state shall reimburse the transferring employee to the extent of any unavoidable financial loss suffered by an employee who sells his or her home at a price less than the true and fair market value as determined by the county assessor not exceeding three thousand dollars: PROVIDED, That this right of reimbursement must be exercised, and sale of the property must be accomplished, within a period of two years from the date other state employment is accepted.
(4) For employees in facilities which have been terminated who do not choose to participate in the transfer program set forth in the preceding subsections, the following terminal pay plan shall be available:
(a) For qualifying employees, for each one year of continuous state service, one week (five working days) of regular compensation shall be provided.
(b) Regular compensation as used in subsection (a) hereof shall include salary compensation at the rate being paid to the employees at the time operation of the facility is terminated.
(c) Terminal pay as set forth in subsections (a) and (b) hereof shall be paid to the employee at the termination of the employees last month of employment or within thirty days after *the effective date of this 1973 act, whichever is later: PROVIDED, That from the total amount of terminal pay, the average sum of unemployment compensation that the qualifying employee is eligible to receive multiplied by the total number of weeks of terminal pay minus one week shall be deducted.
(d) Those employees electing the early retirement benefits as stated in subsection (5) of this section shall not be eligible for the terminal pay provisions as set forth in this subsection.
(e) Those employees who are reemployed by the state during the period they are receiving terminal pay pursuant to subsections (a), (b) and (c) of this section shall reimburse the state for that portion of the terminal pay covered by the period of new employment.
(5) As an option to transferring to other state employment an employee may elect early retirement under the following conditions:
(a) Notwithstanding the age requirements of RCW 41.40.180, any affected employee under this chapter who has attained the age of fifty-five years, with at least five years creditable service, shall be immediately eligible to retire, with no actuarial reduction in the amount of his or her pension benefit.
(b) Notwithstanding the age requirements of RCW 41.40.180, any affected employee under this chapter who has attained the age of forty-five years, with at least five years creditable service, shall be immediately eligible to retire with an actuarial reduction in the amount of his or her pension benefit of three percent for each complete year that such employee is under fifty-five years of age.
(c) Employees who elect to retire pursuant to RCW 41.40.180 shall be eligible to retire while on authorized leave of absence not in excess of one hundred and twenty days.
(d) Employees who elect to retire under the provisions of this section shall not be eligible for any retirement benefit in a year following a year in which their employment income was in excess of six thousand dollars. This six thousand dollars base shall be adjusted annually beginning in 1974 by such cost of living adjustments as are applied by the public employees' retirement system to membership retirement benefits. The public employees retirement system board shall adopt necessary rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this subsection.
[2009 c 549 § 5176; 1973 2nd ex.s. c 37 § 4.]
| *Reviser's note: The effective date of 1973 2nd ex.s. c 37 was September 26, 1973.|
Public employees' retirement system: Chapter 41.40 RCW.
Termination date of benefits under subsection (3) of this section: RCW 43.130.910.