WSR 05-19-018

PERMANENT RULES

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT


[ Filed September 9, 2005, 2:59 p.m. , effective October 10, 2005 ]


Purpose: The rules clarify those sections of 2ESB 6097 pertaining to unemployment benefits that took effect in 2005. New rules are adopted to define terms and clarify the job search requirements of partially unemployed and part-time workers. The rule on standby is amended to eliminate references to partially unemployed workers and to incorporate the department's longstanding policies related to workers on standby.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 192-110-015.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 50.12.010, 50.12.040, and 50.12.042.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 05-13-158 on June 21, 2005.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: WAC 192-180-013 (1)(d) was changed from six to four months in response to stakeholder concerns. A number of wording changes were made to comply with Executive Order 05-03, Plain talk.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 3, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 3, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: August 31, 2005.

Karen T. Lee

Commissioner


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-08-073, filed 4/5/99, effective 5/6/99)

WAC 192-110-015   Applications by ((partially unemployed or)) standby workers--RCW ((50.04.310,)) 50.20.010((, and 50.20.130)).   (1) ((Definitions:

(a) "Employer" means any person or business for which you work in exchange for wages.

(b) "Partially unemployed" means that during a week:

(i) You worked for your regular employer less than full time because of lack of work; and

(ii) You earned less than one and one-third times your weekly benefit amount plus five dollars.

(c))) What is "standby?" "Standby" means you are temporarily unemployed ((due to)) because of a lack of work but you expect to return to work with your regular employer. You do not have to register for work or look for other work while you are on standby. You must be available for all hours of work offered by your regular employer.

(2) ((Your rights when you are partially unemployed:

(a) You may file your application or claim for benefits as many as five weeks after your hours are reduced without it being considered late.

(b) You do not have to register for work, however, you must accept all hours offered by your regular employer.

(3) Your rights when you are on)) How long can I be on standby?((:))

(a) You can ask to be on standby for up to four weeks.

(b) ((You do not have to register for work.

(c))) We will ask your employer to verify that you are on standby and your expected return to work date:

(i) If your employer does not ((respond)) reply, you can be on standby for up to four weeks;

(ii) If your employer confirms you are on standby, you can be on standby for up to four weeks or until the return to work date given by your employer, whichever is earlier;

(iii) If your employer ((responds)) replies that you are not on standby or do not have a return to work date within eight weeks, we will require you ((will be required)) to immediately register for work and to look for work.

(((d))) (c) Your regular employer ((must)) may ask ((request)) to extend your standby status for more than four, but no more than eight, weeks (except as provided in (2)(d) below). This request ((is subject to approval)) must be approved by the department. We will consider the following before deciding whether to ((extend)) approve standby ((status)) for more than four weeks:

(i) How long you have been out of work;

(ii) Whether other suitable work is available;

(iii) The impact on you and your employer if you accept other work; and

(iv) Other factors that apply to your situation.

(d) At his or her discretion, the commissioner may grant standby for more than eight weeks in a benefit year. The employer must apply in writing and show there are conditions that apply to the business that are so unique or unusual compared to similar businesses that having their employees on standby for more than eight weeks is necessary.

(e) We can approve standby if you have obtained a bona fide job with a new employer that has a definite start date within four weeks. The job must be in employment covered by Title 50 RCW or the comparable laws of another state or the federal government.

(3) Are there conditions apply to a request for standby?

(a) You must have a definite date when you will return to work for your regular employer;

(b) We will not approve standby if you only have prospects of future work with the employer, a promise of more work at some unspecified date, or when the return to work date depends on conditions beyond the employer's control, such as weather;

(c) Except for claimants who qualify as part-time eligible workers under RCW 50.20.119, we will not approve standby if you regularly work fewer than forty hours each week for the employer; and

(d) Except as provided in subsection (2)(d), we will not approve standby for more than eight weeks in any benefit year. Any week(s) that you do not qualify for benefits because of your earnings will not be considered as part of the eight weeks. After eight consecutive weeks of unemployment, we will no longer consider you attached to that employer.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 50.20.010 and 50.12.040. 99-08-073, 192-110-015, filed 4/5/99, effective 5/6/99.]

Reviser's note: The typographical error in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.
NEW SECTION
WAC 192-110-017   When can a partially unemployed worker apply for benefits? -- RCW 50.04.310.   If you are a partially unemployed worker as defined in WAC 192-180-013, you may apply for unemployment benefits up to five weeks after your hours are reduced without the application being considered late.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 192-170-070   What are the availability requirements for part-time eligible workers? -- RCW 50.20.119.   (1) If you are a part-time eligible worker as defined in RCW 50.20.119, you may limit your availability for work to 17 or fewer hours per week. You may refuse any job of 18 or more hours per week.

(2) You must be available for work during the usual hours for your occupation. For example, if your occupation normally requires both day and evening hours of work, you must be available for work both day and evening hours.

(3) You must be available for work all days of the week that are usual for your occupation, even if you have not worked those days in the past. If you are not available for work on any day that is a usual day of work for your occupation, we will reduce your benefits under RCW 50.20.130. For example, if your occupation usually works Monday through Friday, you must be available for work Monday through Friday, even if you have only worked weekends in the past.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 192-180-013   What are the job search requirements for individuals who work less than full-time.   (1) "Partially unemployed" workers are those individuals:

(a) Who were hired to work full time,

(b) Whose weekly hours of work have been temporarily reduced to less than full time by their employer,

(c) Who earn less than one and one-third times their weekly benefit amount plus five dollars during a week, and

(d) Who are expected to return to full time work for their employer within four months.

These workers are considered to be employer attached and are not required to register for or seek work. They must be available for all work offered by their regular employer.

(2) "Part time" workers are individuals who normally work less than full time, or who take a job that is less than full time. To be eligible for benefits, these individuals must be available for and actively seeking full time work and the department may review their job search at any time. If they get a part time job, they must continue to look for full time work or we will deny their benefits under RCW 50.20.010 (1)(c). This definition of "part time" workers means individuals who work part time but do not meet the requirements of RCW 50.20.119.

(3) "Part time eligible" workers are individuals who have worked no more than 17 hours in any week of their base year. They are eligible for benefits under RCW 50.20.119. These individuals may look for work of 17 or fewer hours per week and the department may review their job search at any time. Once an individual gets a job for 17 or fewer hours per week, he or she is employer attached and no longer required to look for work.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office