Chapter 50.44 RCW

SPECIAL COVERAGE PROVISIONS

Sections

50.44.010Religious, charitable, educational, or other nonprofit organizationsExemptionPayments.
50.44.020Instrumentalities of this state, other states, political subdivisions.
50.44.030Political subdivisions, instrumentalities of this state and other state.
50.44.035Local government tax.
50.44.037"Institution of higher education" defined.
50.44.040Services excluded under "employment" for certain purposes.
50.44.045Religious organizationsExemptionNotification to employee.
50.44.050Benefits payable, terms and conditions"Academic year" defined.
50.44.053Education employeesDetermination of "contract" or "reasonable assurance."
50.44.055FindingIntentReasonable assurance, application to employees of educational institutions.
50.44.060Nonprofit organization employeesFinancing of benefitsElection of payments in lieu of contributions.
50.44.070Election to make payments in lieu of contributionsBond or deposit.
50.44.080ConstructionCompliance with federal unemployment tax act, department of labor guidelines.
50.44.090ConstructionMandatory coverage of employees of political subdivision under 1977 ex.s. c 292.

NOTES:

Coverage of corporate officers: RCW 50.04.165.


Religious, charitable, educational, or other nonprofit organizationsExemptionPayments.

Services performed subsequent to December 31, 1971, by an individual in the employ of a religious, charitable, educational or other organization which is excluded from the term "employment" as defined in the federal unemployment tax act solely by reason of section 3306(c)(8) of that act shall be deemed services performed in employment unless such service is exempted under RCW 50.44.040.
Such organization shall make payments to the unemployment compensation fund based on such services in accordance with the provisions of RCW 50.44.060.



Instrumentalities of this state, other states, political subdivisions.

Commencing with benefit years beginning on or after January 28, 1971, services performed subsequent to September 30, 1969 in the employ of this state or any of its wholly owned instrumentalities or jointly owned instrumentalities of this state and another state or this state and one or more of its political subdivisions shall be deemed services in employment unless such services are excluded from the term employment by RCW 50.44.040.
The state shall make payments in lieu of contributions with respect to benefits attributable to such employment as provided with respect to nonprofit organizations in subsections (2) and (3) of RCW 50.44.060: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That for weeks of unemployment beginning after January 1, 1979, the state shall pay in addition to the full amount of regular and additional benefits so attributable the full amount of extended benefits so attributable: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That no payment will be required from the state until the expiration of the twelve-month period following the end of the biennium in which the benefits attributable to such employment were paid. The amount of this payment shall include an amount equal to the amount of interest that would have been realized for the benefit of the unemployment compensation trust fund had such payments been received within thirty days after the day of the quarterly billing provided for in RCW 50.44.060(2)(a).

NOTES:

Effective dates1977 ex.s. c 292: See note following RCW 50.04.116.



Political subdivisions, instrumentalities of this state and other state.

(1) All services performed for any political subdivision or instrumentality of one or more political subdivisions of this state or one or more political subdivisions of this state and any other state after December 31, 1977, will be deemed to be services in employment to the extent coverage is not exempted under RCW 50.44.040.
(2) All such units of government shall file, before December 15, 1977, a written registration with the commissioner of the employment security department. Such registration shall specify the manner in which the unit of government will finance the payment of benefits. The elections available to counties, cities and towns are the local government tax, provided for in RCW 50.44.035, or payment in lieu of contributions, as described in RCW 50.44.060. The elections available to other units of government are the contributions plan in chapters 50.24 and 50.29 RCW, or payments in lieu of contributions, described in RCW 50.44.060. Under any election the governmental unit will be charged the full amount of regular, additional, and extended benefits attributable to its account.
(3) A unit of government may switch from its current method of financing the payment of benefits by electing any other method which it would be authorized to select pursuant to the terms of subsection (2) of this section. Notification of such election must be filed with the commissioner no less than thirty days prior to the taxable year for which the new method of financing the payment of benefits is to be effective. An election under this section shall remain in effect for no less than two taxable years.
(4) Any political subdivision or instrumentality of more than one political subdivision of this state is hereby authorized to enter into agreements with other political subdivisions or instrumentalities of more than one political subdivision of this state to form pool accounts for the purpose of making payments in lieu of contributions. These accounts shall be formed and administered in accordance with applicable regulations. The formation of such accounts shall not relieve the governmental unit of the responsibility for making required payments in the event that the pool account does not make the payments.

NOTES:

Severability1981 c 35: See note following RCW 50.22.030.
Effective dates1977 ex.s. c 292: See note following RCW 50.04.116.



Local government tax.

(1) Any county, city, or town not electing to make payments in lieu of contributions shall pay a "local government tax." Taxes paid under this section shall be paid into an administratively identifiable account in the unemployment compensation fund. This account shall be self-sustaining. For calendar years 1978 and 1979 all such employers shall pay local government tax at the rate of one and one-quarter percent of all remuneration paid by the governmental unit for services in its employment. For each year after 1979 each such employer's rate of tax shall be determined in accordance with this section: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That whenever it appears to the commissioner that the anticipated benefit payments from the account would jeopardize reasonable reserves in this identifiable account the commissioner may at the commencement of any calendar quarter, impose an emergency excess tax of not more than one percent of remuneration paid by the participating governmental units which "excess tax" shall be paid in addition to the applicable rate computed pursuant to this section until the calendar year following the next September 1st.
(2) A reserve account shall be established for each such employer.
(a) The "reserve account" of each such employer shall be credited with tax amounts paid and shall be charged with benefit amounts charged in accordance with the formula set forth in RCW 50.44.060 as now or hereafter amended except that such employer's account shall be charged for the full amount of extended benefits so attributable for weeks of unemployment commencing after January 1, 1979. Such credits and charges shall be cumulative from January 1, 1978.
(b) After the cutoff date, the "reserve ratio" of each such employer shall be computed by dividing its reserve account balance as of the computation date by the total remuneration paid during the preceding calendar year for services in its employment. This division shall be carried to four decimal places, with the remaining fraction, if any, disregarded.
(3) A "benefit cost ratio" for each such employer shall be computed by dividing its total benefit charges during the thirty-six months ending on June 30th by its total remuneration during the three preceding calendar years: PROVIDED, That after August 31st in 1979 each employer's total benefit charges for the twelve months ending on June 30th shall be divided by its total remuneration paid in the last three quarters of calendar year 1978; and after August 31st in 1980 each employer's total benefit charges for the twenty-four months ending June 30th shall be divided by its total remuneration paid in the last three calendar quarters of 1978 and the four calendar quarters of 1979. Such computations shall be carried to four decimal places, with the remaining fraction, if any, disregarded.
(4) For each such employer its benefit cost ratio shall be subtracted from its reserve ratio. One-third of the resulting amount shall be subtracted from its benefit cost ratio. The resulting figure, expressed as a percentage and rounded to the nearest tenth of one percent, shall become its local government tax rate for the following rate year. For the rate year 1980 no tax rate shall be less than 0.6 percent nor more than 2.2 percent. For 1981 no tax rate shall be less than 0.4 percent nor more than 2.6 percent. For years after 1981 no tax rate shall be less than 0.2 percent or more than 3.0 percent. No individual rate shall be increased any more than 1.0 percent from one rate year to the next.
(5) Any county, city, or town electing participation under this section at any time after December 15, 1977, shall be assigned a tax rate of one and one-quarter percent of total remuneration for the first eight quarters of the participation.
(6) "Local government tax" shall be deemed to be "contributions" to the extent that such usage is consistent with the purposes of this title. Such construction shall include but not be limited to those portions of this title and the rules enacted pursuant thereto dealing with assessments, interest, penalties, liens, collection procedures and remedies, administrative and judicial review, and the imposition of administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsEffective datesConstruction1983 1st ex.s. c 23: See notes following RCW 50.04.073.
Effective dates1977 ex.s. c 292: See note following RCW 50.04.116.



"Institution of higher education" defined.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term "institution of higher education" means an educational institution in this state which:
(1) Admits as regular students only individuals having a certificate of graduation from a high school, or the recognized equivalent of such a certificate;
(2) Is legally authorized within this state to provide a program of education beyond high school;
(3) Provides an educational program for which it awards a bachelor's or higher degree, or provides a program which is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree, or offers a program of training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation; and
(4) Is a public or other nonprofit institution.
Notwithstanding any of the foregoing subsections, all colleges and universities in this state are "institutions of higher education".

NOTES:

Effective dates1977 ex.s. c 292: See note following RCW 50.04.116.



Services excluded under "employment" for certain purposes.

The term "employment" as used in RCW 50.44.010, 50.44.020, and 50.44.030 shall not include service performed:
(1) In the employ of (a) a church or convention or association of churches, or (b) an organization which is operated primarily for religious purposes and which is operated, supervised, controlled, or principally supported by a church or convention or association of churches; however, the employer shall notify its employees as required by RCW 50.44.045; or
(2) By a duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church in the exercise of his or her ministry or by a member of a religious order in the exercise of duties required by such order; or
(3) In a facility conducted for the purpose of carrying out a program of (a) rehabilitation for individuals whose earning capacity is impaired by age or physical or mental deficiency or injury, or (b) providing remunerative work for individuals who because of their impaired physical or mental capacity cannot be readily absorbed in the competitive labor market, by an individual receiving such rehabilitation or remunerative work; or
(4) As part of an unemployment work-relief or work-training program assisted or financed in whole or in part by a federal agency or an agency of a state or political subdivision thereof, by an individual receiving such work-relief or work-training; or
(5) For a custodial or penal institution by an inmate of the custodial or penal institution; or
(6) In the employ of a hospital, if such service is performed by a patient of such hospital; or
(7) In the employ of a school, college, or university, if such service is performed (a) by a student who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes at such school, college, or university, or (b) by the spouse of such a student, if such spouse is advised, at the time such spouse commences to perform such service, that (i) the employment of such spouse to perform such service is provided under a program to provide financial assistance to such student by such school, college, or university, and (ii) such employment will not be covered by any program of unemployment insurance; or
(8) By an individual under the age of twenty-two who is enrolled at a nonprofit or public educational institution which normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly organized body of students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are carried on as a student in a full time program, taken for credit at such institution, which combines academic instruction with work experience, if such service is an integral part of such program, and such institution has so certified to the employee, except that this subsection shall not apply to service performed in a program established for or on behalf of an employer or group of employers; or
(9) In the employ of a nongovernmental preschool which is devoted exclusively to the area of child development training of preschool age children through an established curriculum of formal classroom or laboratory instruction which did not employ four or more individuals on each of some twenty days during the calendar year or the preceding calendar year, each day being in a different calendar week; or
(10) In the employ of the state or any of its instrumentalities or political subdivisions of this state in any of its instrumentalities by an individual in the exercise of duties:
(a) As an elected official;
(b) As a member of the national guard or air national guard; or
(c) In a policymaking position the performance of the duties of which ordinarily do not require more than eight hours per week.

NOTES:

Effective dates1977 ex.s. c 292: See note following RCW 50.04.116.
Effective dates1973 c 73: See note following RCW 50.04.030.
Exemption from unemployment compensation coverage
conservation corps members: RCW 43.220.170.
Washington service corps enrollees: RCW 50.65.120.



Religious organizationsExemptionNotification to employee.

A church or convention or association of churches, or an organization which is operated primarily for religious purposes and which is operated, supervised, controlled, or principally supported by a church or convention or association of churches shall inform each individual performing services exempt from "employment" under RCW 50.44.040(1) that the individual may not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits based on such services. The employer shall provide a written notice of this exclusion to the individual at the time of hire. The employer shall display a poster giving notice of this exclusion in a conspicuous place. The employer's compliance with these notice requirements shall not affect an individual's eligibility for benefits. The employment security department shall make posters available to employers without charge.



Benefits payable, terms and conditions"Academic year" defined.

Except as otherwise provided in subsections (1) through (5) of this section, benefits based on services in employment covered by or pursuant to this chapter shall be payable on the same terms and subject to the same conditions as compensation payable on the basis of other service subject to this title.
(1) Benefits based on service in an instructional, research, or principal administrative capacity for an educational institution shall not be paid to an individual for any week of unemployment which commences during the period between two successive academic years or between two successive academic terms within an academic year (or, when an agreement provides instead for a similar period between two regular but not successive terms within an academic year, during such period) if such individual performs such services in the first of such academic years or terms and if there is a contract or reasonable assurance that such individual will perform services in any such capacity for an educational institution in the second of such academic years or terms.
(2) Benefits shall not be paid based on services in any other capacity for an educational institution for any week of unemployment which commences during the period between two successive academic years or between two successive academic terms within an academic year, if such individual performs such services in the first of such academic years or terms and there is a reasonable assurance that such individual will perform such services in the second of such academic years or terms: PROVIDED, That if benefits are denied to any individual under this subsection and that individual was not offered an opportunity to perform such services for the educational institution for the second of such academic years or terms, the individual is entitled to a retroactive payment of benefits for each week for which the individual filed a timely claim for benefits and for which benefits were denied solely by reason of this subsection.
(3) Benefits shall not be paid based on any services described in subsections (1) and (2) of this section for any week of unemployment which commences during an established and customary vacation period or holiday recess if such individual performs such services for an educational institution in the period immediately before such vacation period or holiday recess, and there is a reasonable assurance that such individual will perform such services for an educational institution in the period immediately following such vacation period or holiday recess.
(4) Benefits shall not be paid (as specified in subsections (1), (2), or (3) of this section) based on any services described in subsections (1) or (2) of this section to any individual who performed such services in any educational institution while in the employ of an educational service district which is established pursuant to chapter 28A.310 RCW and exists to provide services to local school districts.
(5) When an individual performs services for more than one educational institution in an academic year or term, wages earned by the individual from those educational institutions that do not provide a contract or reasonable assurance of employment in the subsequent academic year or term may be used to establish a claim for benefits, even if a contract or reasonable assurance exists for another educational institution.
(6) As used in this section, "academic year" means: Fall, winter, spring, and summer quarters or comparable semesters unless, based upon objective criteria including enrollment and staffing, the quarter or comparable semester is not in fact a part of the academic year for the particular institution.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirements2018 c 97: "If any part of this act is found to be in conflict with federal requirements that are a prescribed condition to the allocation of federal funds to the state or the eligibility of employers in this state for federal unemployment tax credits, the conflicting part of this act is inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict, and this finding or determination does not affect the operation of the remainder of this act. Rules adopted under this act must meet federal requirements that are a necessary condition to the receipt of federal funds by the state or the granting of federal unemployment tax credits to employers in this state." [ 2018 c 97 § 4.]
Application2018 c 97: "This act applies to claimed weeks of unemployment on or after October 1, 2018." [ 2018 c 97 § 6.]
IntentFindings2001 c 100: "It is the intent of the legislature to clarify requirements related to the use of base year hours and wages for certain employees at educational institutions, for the purpose of determining eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits.
The legislature finds that, unless clarified, Washington's unemployment compensation law may be out of conformity with the federal unemployment tax act, which poses a significant economic risk to the state's private employers, the state's general fund, and to the administration of the state's unemployment insurance system. It is the intent of the legislature to change Washington's unemployment law only to the extent necessary to ensure it conforms with federal law governing the use of base year hours and wages earned at educational institutions.
The legislature finds that the United States department of labor will rely on state law and its application as interpreted in state court decisions, especially Pechman v. Employment Security, to determine if Washington state law conforms to federal guidelines in this area. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to clearly communicate to the courts that the purpose for the section 2, chapter 100, Laws of 2001 amendment to RCW 50.44.050 is to interpret state law in a manner that conforms to federal guidelines.
The legislature finds that federal law requires that school hours and wages in the base year must be restricted from use to establish eligibility for an unemployment compensation claim for employees of educational institutions during specified times. Further, federal law specifies that when required to restrict base year school hours and wages, it must be any and all hours and wages from any and all educational institutions, not just the hours and wages from institutions where there is a reasonable assurance of returning to work following a customary nonwork period. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to restrict hours worked and wages earned as required by federal law.
Customary nonwork periods for educational institutions include:
(1) The period between two successive academic years;
(2) The period between two successive academic terms within an academic year;
(3) A similar period between two regular but not successive terms within an academic year; or
(4) An established and customary vacation period or holiday recess.
Restricted use of base year hours and wages from educational institutions shall occur only in the circumstances described in RCW 50.44.050 (as amended by chapter 100, Laws of 2001) and in RCW 50.44.053, and as further defined in rules promulgated by the employment security department." [ 2001 c 100 § 1.]
Conflict with federal requirements2001 c 100: "If any part of this act is found to be in conflict with federal requirements that are a prescribed condition to the allocation of federal funds to the state or the eligibility of employers in this state for federal unemployment tax credits, the conflicting part of this act is inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict, and the finding or determination does not affect the operation of the remainder of this act. Rules adopted under this act must meet federal requirements that are a necessary condition to the receipt of federal funds by the state or the granting of federal unemployment tax credits to employers in this state." [ 2001 c 100 § 3.]
Effective date2001 c 100: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [April 19, 2001]." [ 2001 c 100 § 4.]
IntentFindings1998 c 233: "It is the intent of the legislature to clarify requirements related to unemployment compensation for employees at educational institutions.
The legislature finds that, unless clarified, Washington's unemployment compensation law may be out of conformity with the federal unemployment tax act, which finding poses a significant economic risk to the state's private employers and to the administration of the state's unemployment insurance system. It is the intent of the legislature, by the 1998, chapter 233 amendments to RCW 50.44.050 and 50.44.053, to bring Washington's unemployment compensation law into conformity with federal law in these areas of concern.
The legislature finds that some instructional staff at the state's educational institutions receive an appointment of employment for an indefinite period while others may face circumstances that do not provide a reasonable expectation of employment during an ensuing academic year or term.
Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature that the employment security department continue to make determinations of educational employees' eligibility for unemployment compensation for the period between academic years or terms based on a finding of reasonable assurance that the employee will have employment for the ensuing academic year or term and that the determination in each employee's case is made on an individual basis, consistent with federal guidelines. This determination must take into consideration contingencies that may exist in fact in an individual case. The 1998, chapter 233 amendment to RCW 50.44.053 is not intended to change the practice used by the employment security department when determining reasonable assurance. If, during fact-finding, there is a disagreement about whether an individual has reasonable assurance, the educational institution must provide documentation that reasonable assurance exists for that individual." [ 1998 c 233 § 1.]
Conflict with federal requirements1998 c 233: "If any part of this act is found to be in conflict with federal requirements that are a prescribed condition to the allocation of federal funds to the state or the eligibility of employers in this state for federal unemployment tax credits, the conflicting part of this act is inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict, and the finding or determination does not affect the operation of the remainder of this act. Rules adopted under this act must meet federal requirements that are a necessary condition to the receipt of federal funds by the state or the granting of federal unemployment tax credits to employers in this state." [ 1998 c 233 § 5.]
Effective date1998 c 233: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [March 30, 1998]." [ 1998 c 233 § 6.]
SeverabilityConflict with federal requirementsEffective date1995 c 296: See notes following RCW 50.04.320.
PurposeStatutory referencesSeverability1990 c 33: See RCW 28A.900.100 through 28A.900.102.
Effective dateApplicability1984 c 140: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately [March 7, 1984]. This act shall apply to weeks of unemployment beginning on or after April 1, 1984." [ 1984 c 140 § 3.]
Conflict with federal requirementsEffective datesConstruction1983 1st ex.s. c 23: See notes following RCW 50.04.073.
Effective datesSeverability1981 c 35: See notes following RCW 50.22.030.
SeverabilityEffective dates1980 c 74: See notes following RCW 50.04.323.
Effective dates1977 ex.s. c 292: See note following RCW 50.04.116.
Effective date1975 1st ex.s. c 228: See note following RCW 50.04.355.
Effective dates1973 c 73: See note following RCW 50.04.030.



Education employeesDetermination of "contract" or "reasonable assurance."

(1) The following prerequisite requirements must be met before making a determination about whether there is a "contract," under RCW 50.44.050, or "reasonable assurance," under RCW 50.44.050 and 50.44.055:
(a) The offer of employment may be written, verbal, or implied, and must be made by an individual with actual authority to offer employment;
(b) The offer of employment provides that the employee will perform services in the same capacity during the ensuing academic year or term (or remainder of the current academic year or term) as in the first academic year or term; and
(c) The economic conditions of the offer of employment may not be considerably less in the following academic year or term (or portion thereof) than in the first academic year or term (or portion thereof). "Considerably less" includes the condition that the individual will not earn at least ninety percent of the wages earned in the prior academic year or term.
(2) If all prerequisite requirements in subsection (1) of this section are satisfied, the department must determine if a contract exists. If any prerequisite in subsection (1) of this section is not satisfied, the department may not deny the claimant unemployment compensation based on the between and within term denial provisions. The term "contract," as that term is used in this section and RCW 50.44.050, means an enforceable, noncontingent agreement that provides for compensation for an entire academic year or on an annual basis. If a contract exists, the claimant may be subject to a denial of benefits.
(3) If no contract exists, the department must determine if the claimant has "reasonable assurance." The following factors will be considered in determining if an individual has "reasonable assurance," as that term is used in this section, RCW 50.44.050, and 50.44.055. For reasonable assurance to exist, each factor must be satisfied.
(a) If any contingencies in the employment offer are within the employer's control the claimant will not be considered to have reasonable assurance of employment. Contingencies within the employer's control include, but are not limited to:
(i) Course programming;
(ii) Funding allocation decisions;
(iii) Final course offerings; and
(iv) Facility availability.
(b) If contingencies are not within the employer's control, the department must determine whether it is highly probable the contingencies contained within the offer will be satisfied. Primary weight will be given to the contingent nature of an offer of employment.
(c) Reasonable assurance must be determined on a case-by-case basis considering the totality of circumstances rather than on the existence of any one factor. For an individual to have reasonable assurance of employment, the totality of the circumstances must show that it is highly probable that employment will be available in the next academic year or term, and that the contingencies of that employment will be satisfied.
(4) An individual who is tenured or holds tenure track status is considered to have reasonable assurance, unless advised otherwise by the college. For the purposes of this section, tenure track status means a probationary faculty employee having an opportunity to be reviewed for tenure.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsApplication2018 c 97: See notes following RCW 50.44.050.
Conflict with federal requirements2001 c 99: "If any part of this act is found to be in conflict with federal requirements that are a prescribed condition to the allocation of federal funds to the state or the eligibility of employers in this state for federal unemployment tax credits, the conflicting part of this act is inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict, and the finding or determination does not affect the operation of the remainder of this act. Rules adopted under this act must meet federal requirements that are a necessary condition to the receipt of federal funds by the state or the granting of federal unemployment tax credits to employers in this state." [ 2001 c 99 § 4.]
Severability2001 c 99: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 2001 c 99 § 5.]
Applicability2001 c 99: "This act applies to weeks that begin after March 31, 2001." [ 2001 c 99 § 6.]
Effective date2001 c 99: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [April 19, 2001]." [ 2001 c 99 § 7.]
IntentFindingsConflict with federal requirementsEffective date1998 c 233: See notes following RCW 50.44.050.
SeverabilityConflict with federal requirementsEffective date1995 c 296: See notes following RCW 50.04.320.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverability1985 ex.s. c 5: See notes following RCW 50.62.010.



FindingIntentReasonable assurance, application to employees of educational institutions.

The legislature finds the interests of the state and its citizens are best served by a strong education system. Paramount to that system's success is the attraction and retention of qualified instructors. In order to attract and retain instructors, those who are subject to uncertainties of employment must be provided assurance that their economic needs are addressed. Contingent assurances of future employment are often speculative and do not rise to the level of other forms of assurance. As such, the factors presented in RCW 50.44.053 must be used to determine if reasonable assurance of employment exists.
It is the intent of the legislature that reasonable assurance continue to apply to all employees of educational institutions as required by federal provisions and RCW 50.44.080.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsApplication2018 c 97: See notes following RCW 50.44.050.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityApplicabilityEffective date2001 c 99: See notes following RCW 50.44.053.



Nonprofit organization employeesFinancing of benefitsElection of payments in lieu of contributions.

Benefits paid to employees of "nonprofit organizations" shall be financed in accordance with the provisions of this section. For the purpose of this section and RCW 50.44.070, the term "nonprofit organization" is limited to those organizations described in RCW 50.44.010, and joint accounts composed exclusively of such organizations.
(1) Any nonprofit organization which is, or becomes subject to this title on or after January 1, 1972, shall pay contributions under the provisions of RCW 50.24.010 and chapter 50.29 RCW, unless it elects, in accordance with this subsection, to pay to the commissioner for the unemployment compensation fund an amount equal to the full amount of regular and additional benefits and one-half of the amount of extended benefits paid to individuals for weeks of unemployment that are based upon wages paid or payable during the effective period of such election to the extent that such payments are attributable to service in the employ of such nonprofit organization.
(a) Any nonprofit organization which becomes subject to this title after January 1, 1972, may elect to become liable for payments in lieu of contributions for a period of not less than twelve months beginning with the date on which such subjectivity begins by filing a written notice of its election with the commissioner not later than thirty days immediately following the date of the determination of such subjectivity.
(b) Any nonprofit organization which makes an election in accordance with (a) of this subsection will continue to be liable for payments in lieu of contributions until it files with the commissioner a written notice terminating its election not later than thirty days prior to the beginning of the taxable year for which such termination shall first be effective.
(c) Any nonprofit organization which has been paying contributions under this title for a period subsequent to January 1, 1972, may change to a reimbursable basis by filing with the commissioner not later than thirty days prior to the beginning of any taxable year a written notice of election to become liable for payments in lieu of contributions. Such election shall not be terminable by the organization for that and the next year.
(d) The commissioner may for good cause extend the period within which a notice of election, or a notice of termination, must be filed and may permit an election to be retroactive but not any earlier than with respect to benefits paid after December 31, 1969.
(e) The commissioner, in accordance with such regulations as the commissioner may prescribe, shall notify each nonprofit organization of any determination which the commissioner may make of its status as an employer and of the effective date of any election which it makes and of any termination of such election. Any nonprofit organization subject to such determination and dissatisfied with such determination may file a request for review and redetermination with the commissioner within thirty days of the mailing of the determination to the organization. Should such request for review and redetermination be denied, the organization may, within ten days of the mailing of such notice of denial, file with the appeal tribunal a petition for hearing which shall be heard in the same manner as a petition for denial of refund. The appellate procedure prescribed by this title for further appeal shall apply to all denials of review and redetermination under this paragraph.
(2) Payments in lieu of contributions shall be made in accordance with the provisions of this section including either (a) or (b) of this subsection.
(a) At the end of each calendar quarter, the commissioner shall bill each nonprofit organization or group of such organizations which has elected to make payments in lieu of contributions for an amount equal to the full amount of regular and additional benefits plus one-half of the amount of extended benefits paid during such quarter that is attributable to service in the employ of such organization.
(b)(i) Each nonprofit organization that has elected payments in lieu of contributions may request permission to make such payments as provided in this paragraph. Such method of payment shall become effective upon approval by the commissioner.
(ii) At the end of each calendar quarter, or at the end of such other period as determined by the commissioner, the commissioner shall bill each nonprofit organization for an amount representing one of the following:
(A) The percentage of its total payroll for the immediately preceding calendar year as the commissioner shall determine. Such determination shall be based each year on the average benefit costs attributable to service in the employ of nonprofit organizations during the preceding calendar year.
(B) For any organization which did not pay wages throughout the four calendar quarters of the preceding calendar year, such percentage of its payroll during such year as the commissioner shall determine.
(iii) At the end of each taxable year, the commissioner may modify the quarterly percentage of payroll thereafter payable by the nonprofit organization in order to minimize excess or insufficient payments.
(iv) At the end of each taxable year, the commissioner shall determine whether the total of payments for such year made by a nonprofit organization is less than, or in excess of, the total amount of regular and additional benefits plus one-half of the amount of extended benefits paid to individuals during such taxable year based on wages attributable to service in the employ of such organization. Each nonprofit organization whose total payments for such year are less than the amount so determined shall be liable for payment of the unpaid balance to the fund in accordance with (c) of this subsection. If the total payments exceed the amount so determined for the taxable year, all of the excess payments will be retained in the fund as part of the payments which may be required for the next taxable year, or a part of the excess may, at the discretion of the commissioner, be refunded from the fund or retained in the fund as part of the payments which may be required for the next taxable year.
(c) Payment of any bill rendered under (a) or (b) of this subsection shall be made not later than thirty days after such bill was mailed to the last known address of the nonprofit organization or was otherwise delivered to it, and if not paid within such thirty days, the reimbursement payments itemized in the bill shall be deemed to be delinquent and the whole or part thereof remaining unpaid shall bear interest and penalties from and after the end of such thirty days at the rate and in the manner set forth in RCW 50.12.220 and 50.24.040.
(d) Payments made by any nonprofit organization under the provisions of this section shall not be deducted or deductible, in whole or in part, from the remuneration of individuals in the employ of the organization. Any deduction in violation of the provisions of this paragraph shall be unlawful.
(3) Each employer that is liable for payments in lieu of contributions shall pay to the commissioner for the fund the total amount of regular and additional benefits plus the amount of one-half of extended benefits paid that are attributable to service in the employ of such employer. If benefits paid to an individual are based on wages paid by more than one employer and one or more of such employers are liable for payments in lieu of contributions, the amount payable to the fund by each employer that is liable for such payments shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of (a) and (b) of this subsection.
(a) If benefits paid to an individual are based on wages paid by one or more employers that are liable for payments in lieu of contributions and on wages paid by one or more employers who are liable for contributions, the amount of benefits payable by each employer that is liable for payments in lieu of contributions shall be an amount which bears the same ratio to the total benefits paid to the individual as the total base-period wages paid to the individual by such employer bear to the total base-period wages paid to the individual by all of his or her base-period employers.
(b) If benefits paid to an individual are based on wages paid by two or more employers that are liable for payments in lieu of contributions, the amount of benefits payable by each such employer shall be an amount which bears the same ratio to the total benefits paid to the individual as the total base-period wages paid to the individual by such employer bear to the total base-period wages paid to the individual by all of his or her base-period employers.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsEffective dates1990 c 245: See notes following RCW 50.04.030.
Conflict with federal requirementsEffective datesConstruction1983 1st ex.s. c 23: See notes following RCW 50.04.073.
Effective dates1977 ex.s. c 292: See note following RCW 50.04.116.



Election to make payments in lieu of contributionsBond or deposit.

In the discretion of the commissioner, any nonprofit organization that elects to become liable for payments in lieu of contributions shall be required within thirty days after the effective date of its election, to execute and file with the commissioner a surety bond approved by the commissioner or it may elect instead to deposit with the commissioner money or securities. The amount of such bond or deposit shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(1) The amount of the bond or deposit required by this subsection shall be an amount deemed by the commissioner to be sufficient to cover any reimbursement payments which may be required from the employer attributable to employment during any year for which the election is in effect but in no event shall such amount be in excess of the amount which said employer would pay for such year if he or she were subject to the contribution provisions of this title. The determination made pursuant to this subsection shall be based on payroll information, employment experience, and such other factors as the commissioner deems pertinent.
(2) Any bond deposited under this section shall be in force for a period of not less than two taxable years and shall be renewed with the approval of the commissioner, at such times as the commissioner may prescribe, but not less frequently than at two-year intervals as long as the organization continues to be liable for payments in lieu of contributions. The commissioner shall require adjustments to be made in a previously filed bond as he or she deems appropriate. If the bond is to be increased, the adjusted bond shall be filed by the organization within thirty days of the date notice of the required adjustment was mailed or otherwise delivered to it. Failure by any organization covered by such bond to pay the full amount of payments in lieu of contributions when due, together with any applicable interest and penalties provided for in this title, shall render the surety liable on said bond to the extent of the bond, as though the surety was such organization.
(3) Any deposit of money or securities in accordance with this section shall be retained by the commissioner in an escrow account until liability under the election is terminated, at which time it shall be returned to the organization, less any deductions as hereinafter provided. The commissioner may deduct from the money deposited under this section by a nonprofit organization or sell the securities it has so deposited to the extent necessary to satisfy any due and unpaid payments in lieu of contributions and any applicable interest and penalties provided for in this act. The commissioner shall require the organization within thirty days following any deduction from a money deposit or sale of deposited securities under the provisions of this subsection to deposit sufficient additional money or securities to make whole the organization's deposit at the prior level. Any cash remaining from the sale of such securities shall be a part of the organization's escrow account. The commissioner may, at any time review the adequacy of the deposit made by any organization. If, as a result of such review, he or she determines that an adjustment is necessary he or she shall require the organization to make an additional deposit within thirty days of written notice of his or her determination or shall return to it such portion of the deposit as he or she no longer considers necessary, whichever action is appropriate. Disposition of income from securities held in escrow shall be governed by the applicable provisions of the state law.
(4) If any nonprofit organization fails to file a bond or make a deposit, or to file a bond in an increased amount or to increase or make whole the amount of a previously made deposit, as provided under this section, the commissioner may terminate such organization's election to make payments in lieu of contributions and such termination shall continue for not less than the four-consecutive-calendar-quarter period beginning with the quarter in which termination becomes effective: PROVIDED, That the commissioner may extend for good cause the applicable filing, deposit, or adjustment period by not more than thirty days.

NOTES:

Effective dates1973 c 73: See note following RCW 50.04.030.



ConstructionCompliance with federal unemployment tax act, department of labor guidelines.

In view of the importance of compliance of this chapter with the federal unemployment tax act, any ambiguities contained herein should be resolved in a manner consistent with the provisions of that act. Department of labor guidelines implementing chapter 99, Laws of 2001 should be referred to when interpreting the provisions of this chapter.
Language in this chapter concerning the extension of coverage to employers entitled to make payments in lieu of contributions should, in a manner consistent with the foregoing paragraph, be construed so as to have a minimum financial impact on the employers subject to the experience rating provisions of this title.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityApplicabilityEffective date2001 c 99: See notes following RCW 50.44.053.



ConstructionMandatory coverage of employees of political subdivision under 1977 ex.s. c 292.

(1) The provisions of chapter 292, Laws of 1977 ex. sess. mandating coverage of employees of political subdivisions have been enacted to comply with the provisions of Public Law 94-566. Therefore, as provided in subsection (2), this mandatory feature shall be contingent on the existence of valid and constitutional federal law requiring the Secretary of Labor to refuse to certify as approved the employment security laws of this state if such laws did not continue such mandatory coverage.
(2) In the event the mandatory coverage feature for political subdivisions ceases to be necessary for compliance with valid and constitutional federal law, then the mandatory feature of chapter 292, Laws of 1977 ex. sess. shall cease to be effective as of the end of the next quarter following the quarter in which the mandatory feature contained in chapter 292, Laws of 1977 ex. sess. is not necessary for such compliance.
(3) In the event mandatory coverage ceases to be effective pursuant to subsection (2), then the sections, or subsections as the case may be, of chapter 292, Laws of 1977 ex. sess. shall to the extent that they apply to coverage of employees of political subdivisions be deemed nullified and the language of the sections being amended shall be deemed reinstated as the laws of this state.
(4) Benefits paid based on the services covered during the effective life of the mandatory coverage feature shall be financed as follows:
(a) If the political subdivision was financing payment of benefits on a reimbursable basis, benefits attributable to employment with the political subdivision shall be assessed to and paid by the political subdivision;
(b) If the political subdivision is a county, city, or town which elected financing pursuant to RCW 50.44.035, such political subdivision will pay "the local government tax" for all earnings by employees through the end of the calendar quarter in which the mandatory coverage is no longer effective pursuant to subsection (2);
(c) If the political subdivision was financing benefits by the contribution method it will pay contributions on wages earned by its employees through the end of the calendar quarter in which mandatory coverage is no longer effective pursuant to subsection (2).

NOTES:

Effective dates1977 ex.s. c 292: See note following RCW 50.04.116.