(1) A person aggrieved by a decision of the department under this chapter must file a notice of appeal with the director, by mail or personally, within thirty days after the date on which a copy of the department's decision was communicated to the person. Upon receipt of the notice of appeal, the director shall request the assignment of an administrative law judge in accordance with chapter 34.05 RCW to conduct a hearing and issue a proposed decision and order. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with chapter 34.05 RCW.
(2) The administrative law judge's proposed decision and order shall be final and not subject to further appeal unless, within thirty days after the decision is communicated to the interested parties, a party petitions for review by the director. If the director's review is timely requested, the director may order additional evidence by the administrative law judge. On the basis of the evidence before the administrative law judge and such additional evidence as the director may order to be taken, the director shall render a decision affirming, modifying, or setting aside the administrative law judge's decision. The director's decision becomes final and not subject to further appeal unless, within thirty days after the decision is communicated to the interested parties, a party files a petition for judicial review as provided in chapter 34.05 RCW. The director is a party to any judicial action involving the director's decision and shall be represented in the action by the attorney general.
(3) If, upon administrative or judicial review, the final decision of the department is reversed or modified, the administrative law judge or the court in its discretion may award reasonable attorneys' fees and costs to the prevailing party. Attorneys' fees and costs owed by the department, if any, are payable from the family leave insurance account.
[2007 c 357 § 14.]