(1) If I am a mandatory participant, are there any limitations on the type of paid or unpaid employment I must accept?
If you are a mandatory participant, you must accept paid or unpaid employment (including any activity in which an employer-employee relationship exists) unless the employment:
(a) Is not covered by industrial insurance (described in state law under Title 51
RCW) unless you are employed by a tribal government or a tribal private for-profit business;
(b) Is available because of a labor dispute;
(c) Has working hours or conditions that interfere with your religious beliefs or practices (and a reasonable accommodation cannot be made);
(d) Does not meet federal, state or tribal health and safety standards; or
(e) Has unreasonable work demands or conditions, such as working for an employer who does not pay you on schedule.
(2) Are there any additional limitations on when I can be required to accept paid employment?
You must accept paid employment unless the job or the employer:
(a) Pays less than the federal, state, or tribe minimum wage, whichever is higher;
(b) Does not provide unemployment compensation coverage (described in state law under Title 50
RCW) unless you:
(i) Work for a tribal government or tribal for-profit business; or
(ii) Are a treaty fishing rights related worker (and exempt under section 7873 of the Internal Revenue code);
(c) Requires you to resign or refrain from joining a legitimate labor organization; or
(d) Does not provide you benefits that are equal to those provided to other workers employed in similar jobs.
(3) How many hours of unpaid employment can I be required to perform?
You can be required to work a set number of hours of unpaid employment each month. The number of hours required will not be more than your TANF, SFA or GA-S cash grant plus Basic Food benefits, divided by the state minimum wage.
(4) What safeguards are in place to make sure I am not used to displace currently employed workers?
The following safeguards are in place to make sure you are not used to displace currently employed workers:
(a) You cannot be required to accept paid or unpaid employment which:
(i) Results in another employee's job loss, reduced wages, reduced hours of employment or overtime or lost employment benefits;
(ii) Impairs existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements;
(iii) Puts you in a job or assignment, or uses you to fill a vacancy, when:
(A) Any other person is on lay off from the same (or very similar) job within the same organizational unit; or
(B) An employer ends the job of a regular employee (or otherwise reduces its workforce) so you can be hired.
(iv) Reduces current employees' opportunities for promotions.
(b) If a regular employee believes your subsidized or unpaid work activity (such as a community jobs or work experience position) violates any of the rules described above, this employee (or his or her representative) has the right to:
(i) A grievance procedure (described in WAC 388-426-0005
(ii) A fair hearing (described in chapter 388-02
(5) What other rules apply specifically to subsidized or on-the-job training positions?
If you are in a subsidized or on-the-job training position:
(a) WorkFirst state agencies must stop paying your wage or on-the-job training subsidy to your employer if your employer's worksite or operation becomes involved in a strike, lockout or bona fide labor dispute.
(b) If your wage subsidy or on-the-job training agreement is ended (and we stop paying any subsidies to your employer) because you were used to displace another employee, it will be up to you and the employer to decide whether you can (or want to) keep working there.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.08.090. 08-07-046, § 388-310-1500, filed 3/14/08, effective 5/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057. 04-05-010, § 388-310-1500, filed 2/6/04, effective 3/8/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, § 388-310-1500, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, § 388-310-1500, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]