Worker and community right to know fund — Employer assessments — Audits — Appeal of assessment.
(1) The worker and community right to know fund is hereby established in the custody of the state treasurer. The department shall deposit all moneys received under this chapter in the fund. Moneys in the fund may be spent only for the purposes of this chapter following legislative appropriation. Disbursements from the fund shall be on authorization of the director or the director's designee. During the 2003-2005 fiscal biennium, moneys in the fund may also be used by the military department for the purpose of assisting the state emergency response commission and coordinating local emergency planning activities. The fund is subject to the allotment procedure provided under chapter 43.88 RCW.
(2) The department shall assess each employer who reported ten thousand four hundred or more worker hours in the prior calendar year an annual fee to provide for the implementation of this chapter. The department shall promulgate rules establishing a fee schedule for all employers who reported ten thousand four hundred or more worker hours in the prior calendar year and are engaged in business operations having a standard industrial classification, as designated in the standard industrial classification manual prepared by the federal office of management and budget, within major group numbers 01 through 08 (agriculture and forestry industries), numbers 10 through 14 (mining industries), numbers 15 through 17 (construction industries), numbers 20 through 39 (manufacturing industries), numbers 41, 42, and 44 through 49 (transportation, communications, electric, gas, and sanitary services), number 75 (automotive repair, services, and garages), number 76 (miscellaneous repair services), number 80 (health services), and number 82 (educational services). The department shall establish the annual fee for each employer who reported ten thousand four hundred or more worker hours in the prior calendar year in industries identified by this section, provided that fees assessed shall not be more than two dollars and fifty cents per full time equivalent employee. The annual fee shall not exceed fifty thousand dollars. The fees shall be collected solely from employers whose industries have been identified by rule under this chapter. The department shall promulgate rules allowing employers who do not have hazardous substances at their workplace to request an exemption from the assessment and shall establish penalties for fraudulent exemption requests. All fees collected by the department pursuant to this section shall be collected in a cost-efficient manner and shall be deposited in the fund.
(3) Records required by this chapter shall at all times be open to the inspection of the director, or his or her designee including, the traveling auditors, agents, or assistants of the department provided for in RCW 51.16.070 and 51.48.040. The information obtained from employer records under the provisions of this section shall be subject to the same confidentiality requirements as set forth in RCW 51.16.070.
(4) An employer may appeal the assessment of the fee or penalties pursuant to the procedures set forth in Title 51 RCW and accompanying rules except that the employer shall not have the right of appeal to superior court as provided in Title 51 RCW. The employer from whom the fee or penalty is demanded or enforced, may however, within thirty days of the board of industrial insurance appeal's final order, pay the fee or penalty under written protest setting forth all the grounds upon which such fee or penalty is claimed to be unlawful, excessive, or otherwise improper and thereafter bring an action in superior court against the department to recover such fee or penalty or any portion of the fee or penalty which was paid under protest.
(5) Repayment shall be made to the general fund of any moneys appropriated by law in order to implement this chapter.
[2010 c 8 § 12068; 2004 c 276 § 911; 2001 2nd sp.s. c 7 § 913; 1999 c 309 § 917; 1986 c 310 § 1; 1984 c 289 § 24.]
| Severability -- Effective date -- 2004 c 276: See notes following RCW 43.330.167.|
Severability -- Effective date -- 2001 2nd sp.s. c 7: See notes following RCW 43.320.110.
Severability -- Effective date -- 1999 c 309: See notes following RCW 41.06.152.