Chapter 50.20 RCW

BENEFITS AND CLAIMS

Sections

50.20.010Benefit eligibility conditions.
50.20.011Profiling system to identify individuals likely to exhaust benefitsConfidentiality of informationPenalty.
50.20.012Rules1995 c 381.
50.20.020Waiting period credit limitation.
50.20.041Health care professionals who have contracted hepatitis CTraining.
50.20.042Unemployed aerospace workersTraining.
50.20.043Training provision.
50.20.044Ineligibility for benefits for failure to attend job search workshop or training course.
50.20.050Disqualification for leaving work voluntarily without good cause (as amended by 2009 c 247).
50.20.050Disqualification for leaving work voluntarily without good cause (as amended by 2009 c 493).
50.20.060Disqualification from benefits due to misconduct.
50.20.065Cancellation of hourly wage credits due to felony or gross misdemeanor.
50.20.066Disqualification from benefits due to misconductCancellation of hourly wage credits due to gross misconduct.
50.20.070Disqualification for misrepresentationPenalties.
50.20.080Disqualification for refusal to work.
50.20.085Disqualification for receipt of industrial insurance disability benefits.
50.20.090Strike or lockout disqualificationWhen inapplicable.
50.20.095Disqualification for attending school or institution of higher education.
50.20.098Services performed by alien.
50.20.099Training benefitsEligibility to work in the United States.
50.20.100Suitable work factors.
50.20.110Suitable work exceptions.
50.20.113Unemployment of sport or athletic event participant during period between sport seasons.
50.20.115Unemployment due to vacation.
50.20.117Jury service.
50.20.118Unemployment while in approved training.
50.20.119Part-time workers.
50.20.120Amount of benefits.
50.20.1201Amount of benefitsApplicable May 3, 2009, for claims effective before, on, or after May 3, 2009, through January 2, 2010.
50.20.1202Additional temporary benefit increase.
50.20.130Deduction from weekly benefit amount.
50.20.140Filing applications and claimsDefinitions.
50.20.150Notice of application or claim.
50.20.160Redetermination.
50.20.170Payment of benefits.
50.20.180Denial of benefits.
50.20.190Recovery of benefit payments.
50.20.191Authority to compromise benefit overpayments.
50.20.192Collection of benefit overpayments, limitation of actions.
50.20.193Chargeoff of uncollectible benefit overpayments.
50.20.195Assessed interestUse.
50.20.200Nonliability of state.
50.20.210Notification of availability of basic health plan.
50.20.220Federal income tax deduction and withholdingNoticeRules.
50.20.230Electronic labor exchange system.
50.20.240Job search monitoring.
50.20.250Self-employment assistance programFindingDepartment provides information to eligible individualsRules.

NOTES:

Environmental restoration job training: RCW 43.21J.060 and 43.21J.070.


Benefit eligibility conditions.

(1) An unemployed individual shall be eligible to receive waiting period credits or benefits with respect to any week in his or her eligibility period only if the commissioner finds that:
(a) He or she has registered for work at, and thereafter has continued to report at, an employment office in accordance with such regulation as the commissioner may prescribe, except that the commissioner may by regulation waive or alter either or both of the requirements of this subdivision as to individuals attached to regular jobs and as to such other types of cases or situations with respect to which the commissioner finds that the compliance with such requirements would be oppressive, or would be inconsistent with the purposes of this title;
(b) He or she has filed an application for an initial determination and made a claim for waiting period credit or for benefits in accordance with the provisions of this title;
(c) He or she is able to work, and is available for work in any trade, occupation, profession, or business for which he or she is reasonably fitted.
(i) To be available for work, an individual must be ready, able, and willing, immediately to accept any suitable work which may be offered to him or her and must be actively seeking work pursuant to customary trade practices and through other methods when so directed by the commissioner or the commissioner's agents. If a labor agreement or dispatch rules apply, customary trade practices must be in accordance with the applicable agreement or rules.
(ii) Until June 30, 2021, an individual under quarantine or isolation, as defined by the department of health, as directed by a public health official during the novel coronavirus outbreak pursuant to the gubernatorial declaration of emergency of February 29, 2020, will meet the requirements of this subsection (1)(c) if the individual is able to perform, available to perform, and actively seeking work which can be performed while under quarantine or isolation.
(iii) For the purposes of this subsection, "customary trade practices" includes compliance with an electrical apprenticeship training program that includes a recognized referral system under apprenticeship program standards approved by the Washington state apprenticeship and training council;
(d) He or she has been unemployed for a waiting period of one week;
(e) He or she participates in reemployment services if the individual has been referred to reemployment services pursuant to the profiling system established by the commissioner under RCW 50.20.011, unless the commissioner determines that:
(i) The individual has completed such services; or
(ii) There is justifiable cause for the claimant's failure to participate in such services; and
(f) As to weeks beginning after March 31, 1981, which fall within an extended benefit period as defined in RCW 50.22.010, the individual meets the terms and conditions of RCW 50.22.020 with respect to benefits claimed in excess of twenty-six times the individual's weekly benefit amount.
(2) An individual's eligibility period for regular benefits shall be coincident to his or her established benefit year. An individual's eligibility period for additional or extended benefits shall be the periods prescribed elsewhere in this title for such benefits.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsEffective date2020 c 7: See notes following RCW 50.16.100.
Applicability2019 c 50 §§ 1-3: "Sections 1 through 3 of this act apply to claimed weeks of unemployment on or after July 5, 2020." [ 2019 c 50 § 4.]
Retroactive application2006 c 13 §§ 8-22: See note following RCW 50.04.293.
Conflict with federal requirementsPart headings not lawSeverability2006 c 13: See notes following RCW 50.20.120.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2003 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 50.01.010.
Conflict with federal requirements1995 c 381: "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 hereby declared to be inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict, and such finding or determination shall not affect the operation of the remainder of this act. The rules under this act shall 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." [ 1995 c 381 § 5.]
Effective date1995 c 381: "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 shall take effect immediately [May 16, 1995]." [ 1995 c 381 § 6.]
ConstructionEffective datesSeverability1981 c 35: See notes following RCW 50.22.030.
Effective dates1973 c 73: See note following RCW 50.04.030.
Effective date1970 ex.s. c 2: See note following RCW 50.04.020.
Severability1951 c 265: See note following RCW 50.98.070.
Government or retirement pension plan payments as remuneration or wagesRecovery of excess over benefits allowable, limitations: RCW 50.04.323.



Profiling system to identify individuals likely to exhaust benefitsConfidentiality of informationPenalty.

(1) The commissioner shall establish and use a profiling system for new claimants for regular compensation under this title that identifies permanently separated workers who are likely to exhaust regular compensation and will need job search assistance services to make a successful transition to new employment. The profiling system shall use a combination of individual characteristics and labor market information to assign each individual a unique probability of benefit exhaustion. Individuals identified as likely to exhaust benefits shall be referred to reemployment services, such as job search assistance services, to the extent such services are available at public expense.
(2) The profiling system shall include collection and review of follow-up information relating to the services received by individuals under this section and the employment outcomes for the individuals following receipt of the services. The information shall be used in making profiling identifications.
(3) In carrying out reviews of individuals receiving services, the department may contract with public or private entities and may disclose information or records necessary to permit contracting entities to assist in the operation and management of department functions. Any information or records disclosed to public or private entities shall be used solely for the purposes for which the information was disclosed and the entity shall be bound by the same rules of privacy and confidentiality as department employees. The misuse or unauthorized disclosure of information or records deemed private and confidential under chapter 50.13 RCW by any person or organization to which access is permitted by this section shall subject the person or organization to a civil penalty of five thousand dollars and other applicable sanctions under state and federal law. Suit to enforce this section shall be brought by the attorney general and the amount of any penalties collected shall be paid into the employment security department administrative contingency fund. The attorney general may recover reasonable attorneys' fees for any action brought to enforce this section.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsEffective date1995 c 381: See notes following RCW 50.20.010.



Rules1995 c 381.

The commissioner may adopt rules as necessary to implement the 1995 c 381 §§ 1 and *3 amendments to RCW 50.20.010 and 50.20.043 and 50.20.011, including but not limited to definitions, eligibility standards, program review criteria and procedures, and provisions necessary to comply with applicable federal laws and regulations that are a condition to receipt of federal funds by the state or the granting of federal unemployment tax credits to employers in this state.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: Section 3 of this act (amendment to RCW 50.20.043) was vetoed by the governor.
Conflict with federal requirementsEffective date1995 c 381: See notes following RCW 50.20.010.



Waiting period credit limitation.

No week shall be counted as a waiting period week,
(1) if benefits have been paid with respect thereto, and
(2) unless the individual was otherwise eligible for benefits with respect thereto, and
(3) unless it occurs within the benefit year which includes the week with respect to which he or she claims payment of benefits.
[ 2010 c 8 § 13021; 1949 c 214 § 10; 1945 c 35 § 69; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 9998-207.]



Health care professionals who have contracted hepatitis CTraining.

(1) Credentialed health care professionals listed in RCW 18.130.040 shall be deemed to be dislocated workers for the purpose of commissioner approval of training under RCW 50.20.043 if they are unemployed as a result of contracting hepatitis C in the course of employment and are unable to continue to work in their profession because of a significant risk that such work would pose to other persons and that risk cannot be eliminated.
(2) For purposes of subsection (1) of this section, a health care professional who was employed on a full-time basis in their profession shall be presumed to have contracted hepatitis C in the course of employment. This presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence that demonstrates that the health care professional contracted hepatitis C as a result of activities or circumstances not related to employment.



Unemployed aerospace workersTraining.

Aerospace workers unemployed as the result of downsizing and restructuring of the aerospace industry will be deemed to be dislocated workers for the purpose of commissioner approval of training under RCW 50.20.043.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityApplication1993 c 226: See notes following RCW 50.16.010.



Training provision.

No otherwise eligible individual shall be denied benefits for any week because the individual is in training with the approval of the commissioner, nor shall such individual be denied benefits with respect to any week in which the individual is satisfactorily progressing in a training program with the approval of the commissioner by reason of the application of RCW 50.20.010(1)(c), 50.20.080, or 50.22.020(1) relating to availability for work and active search for work, or failure to apply for or refusal to accept suitable work.
An individual who the commissioner determines to be a dislocated worker as defined by RCW 50.04.075 and who is satisfactorily progressing in a training program approved by the commissioner shall be considered to be in training with the approval of the commissioner.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2003 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 50.01.010.
Conflict with federal requirements1985 c 40: "If any part of this act is found to be in conflict with federal requirements which 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 hereby declared to be inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict, and such finding or determination shall not affect the operation of the remainder of this act. The rules under this act shall meet federal requirements which 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." [ 1985 c 40 § 2.]
Severability1985 c 40: "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." [ 1985 c 40 § 3.]
Effective date1985 c 40: "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 July 1, 1985." [ 1985 c 40 § 4.]
ConstructionCompliance with federal act1971 c 3: See RCW 50.44.080.



Ineligibility for benefits for failure to attend job search workshop or training course.

If an otherwise eligible individual fails without good cause, as determined by the commissioner under rules prescribed by the commissioner, to attend a job search workshop or a training or retraining course when directed by the department and such workshop or course is available at public expense, such individual shall not be eligible for benefits with respect to any week in which such failure occurred.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective dates1984 c 205: See notes following RCW 50.20.120.



Disqualification for leaving work voluntarily without good cause (as amended by 2009 c 247).

(1) With respect to claims that have an effective date before January 4, 2004:
(a) An individual shall be disqualified from benefits beginning with the first day of the calendar week in which he or she has left work voluntarily without good cause and thereafter for seven calendar weeks and until he or she has obtained bona fide work in employment covered by this title and earned wages in that employment equal to seven times his or her weekly benefit amount.
The disqualification shall continue if the work obtained is a mere sham to qualify for benefits and is not bona fide work. In determining whether work is of a bona fide nature, the commissioner shall consider factors including but not limited to the following:
(i) The duration of the work;
(ii) The extent of direction and control by the employer over the work; and
(iii) The level of skill required for the work in light of the individual's training and experience.
(b) An individual shall not be considered to have left work voluntarily without good cause when:
(i) He or she has left work to accept a bona fide offer of bona fide work as described in (a) of this subsection;
(ii) The separation was because of the illness or disability of the claimant or the death, illness, or disability of a member of the claimant's immediate family if the claimant took all reasonable precautions, in accordance with any regulations that the commissioner may prescribe, to protect his or her employment status by having promptly notified the employer of the reason for the absence and by having promptly requested reemployment when again able to assume employment: PROVIDED, That these precautions need not have been taken when they would have been a futile act, including those instances when the futility of the act was a result of a recognized labor/management dispatch system;
(iii) He or she has left work to relocate for the spouse's employment that is due to an employer-initiated mandatory transfer that is outside the existing labor market area if the claimant remained employed as long as was reasonable prior to the move; or
(iv) The separation was necessary to protect the claimant or the claimant's immediate family members from domestic violence, as defined in RCW 26.50.010, or stalking, as defined in RCW 9A.46.110.
(c) In determining under this subsection whether an individual has left work voluntarily without good cause, the commissioner shall only consider work-connected factors such as the degree of risk involved to the individual's health, safety, and morals, the individual's physical fitness for the work, the individual's ability to perform the work, and such other work connected factors as the commissioner may deem pertinent, including state and national emergencies. Good cause shall not be established for voluntarily leaving work because of its distance from an individual's residence where the distance was known to the individual at the time he or she accepted the employment and where, in the judgment of the department, the distance is customarily traveled by workers in the individual's job classification and labor market, nor because of any other significant work factor which was generally known and present at the time he or she accepted employment, unless the related circumstances have so changed as to amount to a substantial involuntary deterioration of the work factor or unless the commissioner determines that other related circumstances would work an unreasonable hardship on the individual were he or she required to continue in the employment.
(d) Subsection (1)(a) and (c) of this section shall not apply to an individual whose marital status or domestic responsibilities cause him or her to leave employment. Such an individual shall not be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits beginning with the first day of the calendar week in which he or she left work and thereafter for seven calendar weeks and until he or she has requalified, either by obtaining bona fide work in employment covered by this title and earning wages in that employment equal to seven times his or her weekly benefit amount or by reporting in person to the department during ten different calendar weeks and certifying on each occasion that he or she is ready, able, and willing to immediately accept any suitable work which may be offered, is actively seeking work pursuant to customary trade practices, and is utilizing such employment counseling and placement services as are available through the department. This subsection does not apply to individuals covered by (b)(ii) or (iii) of this subsection.
(2) With respect to claims that have an effective date on or after January 4, 2004:
(a) An individual shall be disqualified from benefits beginning with the first day of the calendar week in which he or she has left work voluntarily without good cause and thereafter for seven calendar weeks and until he or she has obtained bona fide work in employment covered by this title and earned wages in that employment equal to seven times his or her weekly benefit amount.
The disqualification shall continue if the work obtained is a mere sham to qualify for benefits and is not bona fide work. In determining whether work is of a bona fide nature, the commissioner shall consider factors including but not limited to the following:
(i) The duration of the work;
(ii) The extent of direction and control by the employer over the work; and
(iii) The level of skill required for the work in light of the individual's training and experience.
(b) An individual is not disqualified from benefits under (a) of this subsection when:
(i) He or she has left work to accept a bona fide offer of bona fide work as described in (a) of this subsection;
(ii) The separation was necessary because of the illness or disability of the claimant or the death, illness, or disability of a member of the claimant's immediate family if:
(A) The claimant pursued all reasonable alternatives to preserve his or her employment status by requesting a leave of absence, by having promptly notified the employer of the reason for the absence, and by having promptly requested reemployment when again able to assume employment. These alternatives need not be pursued, however, when they would have been a futile act, including those instances when the futility of the act was a result of a recognized labor/management dispatch system; and
(B) The claimant terminated his or her employment status, and is not entitled to be reinstated to the same position or a comparable or similar position;
(iii)(A) With respect to claims that have an effective date before July 2, 2006, he or she: (I) Left work to relocate for the spouse's employment that, due to a mandatory military transfer: (1) Is outside the existing labor market area; and (2) is in Washington or another state that, pursuant to statute, does not consider such an individual to have left work voluntarily without good cause; and (II) remained employed as long as was reasonable prior to the move;
(B) With respect to claims that have an effective date on or after July 2, 2006, he or she: (I) Left work to relocate for the spouse's employment that, due to a mandatory military transfer, is outside the existing labor market area; and (II) remained employed as long as was reasonable prior to the move;
(iv) The separation was necessary to protect the claimant or the claimant's immediate family members from domestic violence, as defined in RCW 26.50.010, or stalking, as defined in RCW 9A.46.110;
(v) The individual's usual compensation was reduced by twenty-five percent or more;
(vi) The individual's usual hours were reduced by twenty-five percent or more;
(vii) The individual's worksite changed, such change caused a material increase in distance or difficulty of travel, and, after the change, the commute was greater than is customary for workers in the individual's job classification and labor market;
(viii) The individual's worksite safety deteriorated, the individual reported such safety deterioration to the employer, and the employer failed to correct the hazards within a reasonable period of time;
(ix) The individual left work because of illegal activities in the individual's worksite, the individual reported such activities to the employer, and the employer failed to end such activities within a reasonable period of time;
(x) The individual's usual work was changed to work that violates the individual's religious convictions or sincere moral beliefs; or
(xi) The individual left work to enter an apprenticeship program approved by the Washington state apprenticeship training council. Benefits are payable beginning Sunday of the week prior to the week in which the individual begins active participation in the apprenticeship program.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2) of this section, for separations occurring on or after July 26, 2009, an individual who was simultaneously employed in full-time employment and part-time employment and is otherwise eligible for benefits from the loss of the full-time employment shall not be disqualified from benefits because the individual:
(a) Voluntarily quit the part-time employment before the loss of the full-time employment; and
(b) Did not have prior knowledge that he or she would be separated from full-time employment.

Disqualification for leaving work voluntarily without good cause (as amended by 2009 c 493).

(1) ((With respect to claims that have an effective date before January 4, 2004:
(a) An individual shall be disqualified from benefits beginning with the first day of the calendar week in which he or she has left work voluntarily without good cause and thereafter for seven calendar weeks and until he or she has obtained bona fide work in employment covered by this title and earned wages in that employment equal to seven times his or her weekly benefit amount.
The disqualification shall continue if the work obtained is a mere sham to qualify for benefits and is not bona fide work. In determining whether work is of a bona fide nature, the commissioner shall consider factors including but not limited to the following:
(i) The duration of the work;
(ii) The extent of direction and control by the employer over the work; and
(iii) The level of skill required for the work in light of the individual's training and experience.
(b) An individual shall not be considered to have left work voluntarily without good cause when:
(i) He or she has left work to accept a bona fide offer of bona fide work as described in (a) of this subsection;
(ii) The separation was because of the illness or disability of the claimant or the death, illness, or disability of a member of the claimant's immediate family if the claimant took all reasonable precautions, in accordance with any regulations that the commissioner may prescribe, to protect his or her employment status by having promptly notified the employer of the reason for the absence and by having promptly requested reemployment when again able to assume employment: PROVIDED, That these precautions need not have been taken when they would have been a futile act, including those instances when the futility of the act was a result of a recognized labor/management dispatch system;
(iii) He or she has left work to relocate for the spouse's employment that is due to an employer-initiated mandatory transfer that is outside the existing labor market area if the claimant remained employed as long as was reasonable prior to the move; or
(iv) The separation was necessary to protect the claimant or the claimant's immediate family members from domestic violence, as defined in RCW 26.50.010, or stalking, as defined in RCW 9A.46.110.
(c) In determining under this subsection whether an individual has left work voluntarily without good cause, the commissioner shall only consider work-connected factors such as the degree of risk involved to the individual's health, safety, and morals, the individual's physical fitness for the work, the individual's ability to perform the work, and such other work connected factors as the commissioner may deem pertinent, including state and national emergencies. Good cause shall not be established for voluntarily leaving work because of its distance from an individual's residence where the distance was known to the individual at the time he or she accepted the employment and where, in the judgment of the department, the distance is customarily traveled by workers in the individual's job classification and labor market, nor because of any other significant work factor which was generally known and present at the time he or she accepted employment, unless the related circumstances have so changed as to amount to a substantial involuntary deterioration of the work factor or unless the commissioner determines that other related circumstances would work an unreasonable hardship on the individual were he or she required to continue in the employment.
(d) Subsection (1)(a) and (c) of this section shall not apply to an individual whose marital status or domestic responsibilities cause him or her to leave employment. Such an individual shall not be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits beginning with the first day of the calendar week in which he or she left work and thereafter for seven calendar weeks and until he or she has requalified, either by obtaining bona fide work in employment covered by this title and earning wages in that employment equal to seven times his or her weekly benefit amount or by reporting in person to the department during ten different calendar weeks and certifying on each occasion that he or she is ready, able, and willing to immediately accept any suitable work which may be offered, is actively seeking work pursuant to customary trade practices, and is utilizing such employment counseling and placement services as are available through the department. This subsection does not apply to individuals covered by (b)(ii) or (iii) of this subsection.
(2))) With respect to claims that have an effective date on or after January 4, 2004, and for separations that occur before September 6, 2009:
(a) An individual shall be disqualified from benefits beginning with the first day of the calendar week in which he or she has left work voluntarily without good cause and thereafter for seven calendar weeks and until he or she has obtained bona fide work in employment covered by this title and earned wages in that employment equal to seven times his or her weekly benefit amount.
The disqualification shall continue if the work obtained is a mere sham to qualify for benefits and is not bona fide work. In determining whether work is of a bona fide nature, the commissioner shall consider factors including but not limited to the following:
(i) The duration of the work;
(ii) The extent of direction and control by the employer over the work; and
(iii) The level of skill required for the work in light of the individual's training and experience.
(b) An individual is not disqualified from benefits under (a) of this subsection when:
(i) He or she has left work to accept a bona fide offer of bona fide work as described in (a) of this subsection;
(ii) The separation was necessary because of the illness or disability of the claimant or the death, illness, or disability of a member of the claimant's immediate family if:
(A) The claimant pursued all reasonable alternatives to preserve his or her employment status by requesting a leave of absence, by having promptly notified the employer of the reason for the absence, and by having promptly requested reemployment when again able to assume employment. These alternatives need not be pursued, however, when they would have been a futile act, including those instances when the futility of the act was a result of a recognized labor/management dispatch system; and
(B) The claimant terminated his or her employment status, and is not entitled to be reinstated to the same position or a comparable or similar position;
(iii)(A) With respect to claims that have an effective date before July 2, 2006, he or she: (I) Left work to relocate for the spouse's employment that, due to a mandatory military transfer: (1) Is outside the existing labor market area; and (2) is in Washington or another state that, pursuant to statute, does not consider such an individual to have left work voluntarily without good cause; and (II) remained employed as long as was reasonable prior to the move;
(B) With respect to claims that have an effective date on or after July 2, 2006, he or she: (I) Left work to relocate for the spouse's employment that, due to a mandatory military transfer, is outside the existing labor market area; and (II) remained employed as long as was reasonable prior to the move;
(iv) The separation was necessary to protect the claimant or the claimant's immediate family members from domestic violence, as defined in RCW 26.50.010, or stalking, as defined in RCW 9A.46.110;
(v) The individual's usual compensation was reduced by twenty-five percent or more;
(vi) The individual's usual hours were reduced by twenty-five percent or more;
(vii) The individual's worksite changed, such change caused a material increase in distance or difficulty of travel, and, after the change, the commute was greater than is customary for workers in the individual's job classification and labor market;
(viii) The individual's worksite safety deteriorated, the individual reported such safety deterioration to the employer, and the employer failed to correct the hazards within a reasonable period of time;
(ix) The individual left work because of illegal activities in the individual's worksite, the individual reported such activities to the employer, and the employer failed to end such activities within a reasonable period of time;
(x) The individual's usual work was changed to work that violates the individual's religious convictions or sincere moral beliefs; or
(xi) The individual left work to enter an apprenticeship program approved by the Washington state apprenticeship training council. Benefits are payable beginning Sunday of the week prior to the week in which the individual begins active participation in the apprenticeship program.
(2) With respect to separations that occur on or after September 6, 2009:
(a) An individual shall be disqualified from benefits beginning with the first day of the calendar week in which he or she has left work voluntarily without good cause and thereafter for seven calendar weeks and until he or she has obtained bona fide work in employment covered by this title and earned wages in that employment equal to seven times his or her weekly benefit amount. Good cause reasons to leave work are limited to reasons listed in (b) of this subsection.
The disqualification shall continue if the work obtained is a mere sham to qualify for benefits and is not bona fide work. In determining whether work is of a bona fide nature, the commissioner shall consider factors including but not limited to the following:
(i) The duration of the work;
(ii) The extent of direction and control by the employer over the work; and
(iii) The level of skill required for the work in light of the individual's training and experience.
(b) An individual has good cause and is not disqualified from benefits under (a) of this subsection only under the following circumstances:
(i) He or she has left work to accept a bona fide offer of bona fide work as described in (a) of this subsection;
(ii) The separation was necessary because of the illness or disability of the claimant or the death, illness, or disability of a member of the claimant's immediate family if:
(A) The claimant pursued all reasonable alternatives to preserve his or her employment status by requesting a leave of absence, by having promptly notified the employer of the reason for the absence, and by having promptly requested reemployment when again able to assume employment. These alternatives need not be pursued, however, when they would have been a futile act, including those instances when the futility of the act was a result of a recognized labor/management dispatch system; and
(B) The claimant terminated his or her employment status, and is not entitled to be reinstated to the same position or a comparable or similar position;
(iii) The claimant: (A) Left work to relocate for the employment of a spouse or domestic partner that is outside the existing labor market area; and (B) remained employed as long as was reasonable prior to the move;
(iv) The separation was necessary to protect the claimant or the claimant's immediate family members from domestic violence, as defined in RCW 26.50.010, or stalking, as defined in RCW 9A.46.110;
(v) The individual's usual compensation was reduced by twenty-five percent or more;
(vi) The individual's usual hours were reduced by twenty-five percent or more;
(vii) The individual's worksite changed, such change caused a material increase in distance or difficulty of travel, and, after the change, the commute was greater than is customary for workers in the individual's job classification and labor market;
(viii) The individual's worksite safety deteriorated, the individual reported such safety deterioration to the employer, and the employer failed to correct the hazards within a reasonable period of time;
(ix) The individual left work because of illegal activities in the individual's worksite, the individual reported such activities to the employer, and the employer failed to end such activities within a reasonable period of time;
(x) The individual's usual work was changed to work that violates the individual's religious convictions or sincere moral beliefs; or
(xi) The individual left work to enter an apprenticeship program approved by the Washington state apprenticeship training council. Benefits are payable beginning Sunday of the week prior to the week in which the individual begins active participation in the apprenticeship program.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: RCW 50.20.050 was amended twice during the 2009 legislative session, each without reference to the other. For rule of construction concerning sections amended more than once during the same legislative session, see RCW 1.12.025.
Conflict with federal requirements2009 c 493: See note following RCW 50.29.021.
Conflict with federal requirements2008 c 323: "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." [ 2008 c 323 § 3.]
Conflict with federal requirementsPart headings not lawSeverability2006 c 13: See notes following RCW 50.20.120.
Retroactive application2006 c 12 § 1: "Section 1 of this act applies retroactively to claims that have an effective date on or after January 4, 2004." [ 2006 c 12 § 2.]
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2003 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 50.01.010.
Application2000 c 2 §§ 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 12-15: See note following RCW 50.22.150.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2000 c 2: See notes following RCW 50.04.355.
Effective dates, applicabilityConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1993 c 483: See notes following RCW 50.04.293.
SeverabilityConflict with federal requirements1982 1st ex.s. c 18: See notes following RCW 50.12.200.
Severability1981 c 35: See note following RCW 50.22.030.
Severability1980 c 74: See note following RCW 50.04.323.
Effective datesConstruction1977 ex.s. c 33: See notes following RCW 50.04.030.
Effective date1970 ex.s. c 2: See note following RCW 50.04.020.



Disqualification from benefits due to misconduct.

With respect to claims that have an effective date before January 4, 2004, an individual shall be disqualified from benefits beginning with the first day of the calendar week in which he or she has been discharged or suspended for misconduct connected with his or her work and thereafter for seven calendar weeks and until he or she has obtained bona fide work in employment covered by this title and earned wages in that employment equal to seven times his or her weekly benefit amount. Alcoholism shall not constitute a defense to disqualification from benefits due to misconduct.

NOTES:

Retroactive application2006 c 13 §§ 8-22: See note following RCW 50.04.293.
Conflict with federal requirementsPart headings not lawSeverability2006 c 13: See notes following RCW 50.20.120.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2003 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 50.01.010.
Application2000 c 2 §§ 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 12-15: See note following RCW 50.22.150.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2000 c 2: See notes following RCW 50.04.355.
Effective dates, applicabilityConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1993 c 483: See notes following RCW 50.04.293.
SeverabilityConflict with federal requirements1982 1st ex.s. c 18: See notes following RCW 50.12.200.
Effective datesConstruction1977 ex.s. c 33: See notes following RCW 50.04.030.
Effective date1970 ex.s. c 2: See note following RCW 50.04.020.



Cancellation of hourly wage credits due to felony or gross misdemeanor.

With respect to claims that have an effective date before January 4, 2004:
(1) An individual who has been discharged from his or her work because of a felony or gross misdemeanor of which he or she has been convicted, or has admitted committing to a competent authority, and that is connected with his or her work shall have all hourly wage credits based on that employment canceled.
(2) The employer shall notify the department of such an admission or conviction, not later than six months following the admission or conviction.
(3) The claimant shall disclose any conviction of the claimant of a work-connected felony or gross misdemeanor occurring in the previous two years to the department at the time of application for benefits.
(4) All benefits that are paid in error based on wage/hour credits that should have been removed from the claimant's base year are recoverable, notwithstanding RCW 50.20.190 or 50.24.020 or any other provisions of this title.

NOTES:

Retroactive application2006 c 13 §§ 8-22: See note following RCW 50.04.293.
Conflict with federal requirementsPart headings not lawSeverability2006 c 13: See notes following RCW 50.20.120.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2003 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 50.01.010.
Effective dates, applicabilityConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1993 c 483: See notes following RCW 50.04.293.



Disqualification from benefits due to misconductCancellation of hourly wage credits due to gross misconduct.

With respect to claims that have an effective date on or after January 4, 2004:
(1) An individual shall be disqualified from benefits beginning with the first day of the calendar week in which he or she has been discharged or suspended for misconduct connected with his or her work and thereafter for ten calendar weeks and until he or she has obtained bona fide work in employment covered by this title and earned wages in that employment equal to ten times his or her weekly benefit amount. Alcoholism shall not constitute a defense to disqualification from benefits due to misconduct.
(2) An individual who has been discharged from his or her work because of gross misconduct shall have all hourly wage credits based on that employment or six hundred eighty hours of wage credits, whichever is greater, canceled.
(3) The employer shall notify the department of a felony or gross misdemeanor of which an individual has been convicted, or has admitted committing to a competent authority, not later than six months following the admission or conviction.
(4) The claimant shall disclose any conviction of the claimant of a work-connected felony or gross misdemeanor occurring in the previous two years to the department at the time of application for benefits.
(5) All benefits that are paid in error based on this section are recoverable, notwithstanding RCW 50.20.190 or 50.24.020 or any other provisions of this title.

NOTES:

Retroactive application2006 c 13 §§ 8-22: See note following RCW 50.04.293.
Conflict with federal requirementsPart headings not lawSeverability2006 c 13: See notes following RCW 50.20.120.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2003 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 50.01.010.



Disqualification for misrepresentationPenalties.

(1) With respect to determinations delivered or mailed before January 1, 2008, an individual is disqualified for benefits for any week he or she has knowingly made a false statement or representation involving a material fact or knowingly failed to report a material fact and, as a result, has obtained or attempted to obtain any benefits under the provisions of this title, and for an additional twenty-six weeks beginning with the first week for which he or she completes an otherwise compensable claim for waiting period credit or benefits following the date of the delivery or mailing of the determination of disqualification under this section. However, such disqualification shall not be applied after two years have elapsed from the date of the delivery or mailing of the determination of disqualification under this section.
(2) With respect to determinations delivered or mailed on or after January 1, 2008:
(a) An individual is disqualified for benefits for any week he or she has knowingly made a false statement or representation involving a material fact or knowingly failed to report a material fact and, as a result, has obtained or attempted to obtain any benefits under the provisions of this title;
(b) An individual disqualified for benefits under this subsection for the first time is also:
(i) Disqualified for an additional twenty-six weeks beginning with the Sunday of the week in which the determination is mailed or delivered; and
(ii) With respect to determinations delivered or mailed on or after October 20, 2013, subject to an additional penalty of fifteen percent of the amount of benefits overpaid or deemed overpaid;
(c) An individual disqualified for benefits under this subsection for the second time is also disqualified for an additional fifty-two weeks beginning with the Sunday of the week in which the determination is mailed or delivered, and is subject to an additional penalty of twenty-five percent of the amount of benefits overpaid or deemed overpaid;
(d) An individual disqualified for benefits under this subsection a third time and any time thereafter is also disqualified for an additional one hundred four weeks beginning with the Sunday of the week in which the determination is mailed or delivered, and is subject to an additional penalty of fifty percent of the amount of benefits overpaid or deemed overpaid.
(3) All penalties collected under this section must be expended for the proper administration of this title as authorized under RCW 50.16.010 and for no other purposes.
(4) All overpayments and penalties established by such determination of disqualification must be collected as otherwise provided by this title.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsEffective date2013 c 189: See notes following RCW 50.16.010.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverability2007 c 146: See notes following RCW 50.04.080.
Effective date1973 1st ex.s. c 158: See note following RCW 50.08.020.
Severability1951 c 265: See note following RCW 50.98.070.



Disqualification for refusal to work.

An individual is disqualified for benefits, if the commissioner finds that the individual has failed without good cause, either to apply for available, suitable work when so directed by the employment office or the commissioner, or to accept suitable work when offered the individual, or to return to his or her customary self-employment (if any) when so directed by the commissioner. Such disqualification shall begin with the week of the refusal and thereafter for seven calendar weeks and continue until the individual has obtained bona fide work in employment covered by this title and earned wages in that employment of not less than seven times his or her suspended weekly benefit amount.

NOTES:

Application2000 c 2 §§ 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 12-15: See note following RCW 50.22.150.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2000 c 2: See notes following RCW 50.04.355.
Effective dates, applicabilityConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1993 c 483: See notes following RCW 50.04.293.
Effective date1959 c 321: "This act shall take effect on July 5, 1959." [ 1959 c 321 § 4.]



Disqualification for receipt of industrial insurance disability benefits.

An individual is disqualified from benefits with respect to any day or days for which he or she is receiving, has received, or will receive compensation under RCW 51.32.060 or 51.32.090.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective dates1991 c 117: See notes following RCW 50.04.030.



Strike or lockout disqualificationWhen inapplicable.

(1) An individual shall be disqualified for benefits for any week with respect to which the commissioner finds that the individual's unemployment is:
(a) Due to a strike at the factory, establishment, or other premises at which the individual is or was last employed; or
(b) Due to a lockout by his or her employer who is a member of a multi-employer bargaining unit and who has locked out the employees at the factory, establishment, or other premises at which the individual is or was last employed after one member of the multi-employer bargaining unit has been struck by its employees as a result of the multi-employer bargaining process.
(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply if it is shown to the satisfaction of the commissioner that:
(a) The individual is not participating in or financing or directly interested in the strike or lockout that caused the individual's unemployment; and
(b) The individual does not belong to a grade or class of workers of which, immediately before the commencement of the strike or lockout, there were members employed at the premises at which the strike or lockout occurs, any of whom are participating in or financing or directly interested in the strike or lockout: PROVIDED, That if in any case separate branches of work which are commonly conducted as separate businesses in separate premises are conducted in separate departments of the same premises, each such department shall, for the purpose of this subdivision, be deemed to be a separate factory, establishment, or other premises.
(3) Any disqualification imposed under this section shall end when the strike or lockout is terminated.

NOTES:

Labor dispute study1988 c 83: "(1) The department of employment security shall study and analyze the impact of section 1 of this act on the number of claimants receiving unemployment insurance benefits and the total amount of benefits paid, and on the type, frequency, duration, and outcome of labor disputes. In performing the study the department shall specifically address the impact of section 1(1)(b) of this act on the above subjects.
(2) In performing its duties under this section the department shall periodically convene meetings with representatives of labor and management, including but not limited to representatives of the following: A general business association; an organization broadly representing organized labor; the construction industry; construction industry organized labor; the trade industry; trade industry organized labor; the manufacturing industry; manufacturing industry organized labor; the service industry; service industry organized labor; the transportation industry; transportation industry organized labor; the communication industry; and communication industry organized labor.
(3) For the purpose of studying and analyzing the impact of section 1(1)(b) of this act the department shall periodically convene, in addition to those meetings specified in subsection (2) of this section, meetings with representatives of labor and management from industries with multi-employer bargaining units, including but not limited to representatives from a general business association; an organization broadly representing organized labor; the retail trade industry; and retail trade industry organized labor.
(4) The department shall report its findings to the governor, the senate economic development and labor committee, and the house of representatives commerce and labor committee, or the appropriate successor committees, by the commencement of the 1990 regular session of the legislature." [ 1988 c 83 § 2.]
Effective date1988 c 83: "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 on the Sunday following the day on which the governor signs this act [March 20, 1988]." [ 1988 c 83 § 3.]
ApplicabilityEffective date1987 c 2: "(1) This act shall apply retrospectively to all applicable employers and employees as of November 16, 1986.
(2) 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 [February 20, 1987]." [ 1987 c 2 § 4.]
Severability1987 c 2: "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." [ 1987 c 2 § 5.]



Disqualification for attending school or institution of higher education.

Any individual registered at an established school in a course of study providing scholastic instruction of twelve or more hours per week, or the equivalent thereof, shall be disqualified from receiving benefits or waiting period credit for any week during the school term commencing with the first week of such scholastic instruction or the week of leaving employment to return to school, whichever is the earlier, and ending with the week immediately before the first full week in which the individual is no longer registered for twelve or more hours of scholastic instruction per week: PROVIDED, That registration for less than twelve hours will be for a period of sixty days or longer. The term "school" includes primary schools, secondary schools, and "institutions of higher education" as that phrase is defined in RCW 50.44.037.
This disqualification shall not apply to any individual who:
(1) Is in approved training within the meaning of RCW 50.20.043;
(2) Is in an approved self-employment assistance program under RCW 50.20.250; or
(3) Demonstrates to the commissioner by a preponderance of the evidence his or her actual availability for work, and in arriving at this determination the commissioner shall consider the following factors:
(a) Prior work history;
(b) Scholastic history;
(c) Past and current labor market attachment; and
(d) Past and present efforts to seek work.

NOTES:

Report to legislatureEffective dateImplementation2007 c 248: See notes following RCW 50.20.250.
Severability1980 c 74: See note following RCW 50.04.323.
Effective datesConstruction1977 ex.s. c 33: See notes following RCW 50.04.030.



Services performed by alien.

(1) Benefits shall not be paid on the basis of services performed by an alien unless the alien is an individual who was lawfully admitted for permanent residence, was lawfully present for purposes of performing such services, or otherwise was permanently residing in the United States under color of law at the time such services were performed, including an alien who was lawfully present in the United States as a result of the application of the provisions of 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1182(d)(5): PROVIDED, That any modifications to 26 U.S.C. Sec. 3304(a)(14) as provided by PL 94-566 which specify other conditions or other effective date than stated herein for the denial of benefits based on services performed by aliens and which modifications are required to be implemented under state law as a condition for full tax credit against the tax imposed by 26 U.S.C. Sec. 3301 shall be deemed applicable under this section.
(2) Any data or information required of individuals applying for benefits to determine whether benefits are not payable to them because of their alien status shall be uniformly required from all applicants for benefits.
(3) In the case of an individual whose application for benefits would otherwise be approved, no determination that benefits to the individual are not payable because of his or her alien status shall be made except upon a preponderance of the evidence.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date1993 c 58: See notes following RCW 50.04.165.
Effective dates1977 ex.s. c 292: See note following RCW 50.04.116.



Training benefitsEligibility to work in the United States.

(1) To ensure that unemployment insurance benefits are paid in accordance with RCW 50.20.098, the employment security department shall verify that an individual is eligible to work in the United States before the individual receives training benefits under RCW 50.22.150 or 50.22.155.
(2) By July 1, 2002, the employment security department shall:
(a) Develop and implement an effective method for determining, where appropriate, eligibility to work in the United States for individuals applying for unemployment benefits under this title;
(b) Review verification systems developed by federal agencies for verifying a person's eligibility to receive unemployment benefits under this title and evaluate the effectiveness of these systems for use in this state; and
(c) Report its initial findings to the legislature by September 1, 2000, and its final report by July 1, 2002.
(3) Where federal law prohibits the conditioning of unemployment benefits on a verification of an individual's status as a qualified or authorized alien, the requirements of this section shall not apply.

NOTES:

Contingent effective date2011 c 4 §§ 7-15: "Sections 7 through 15 of this act take effect July 1, 2012, unless the United States department of labor determines by October 1, 2011, that this act does not meet the requirements of section 2003 of the federal American recovery and reinvestment act of 2009 for unemployment insurance modernization incentive funding." [ 2011 c 4 § 24.] The United States department of labor determined that this act meets the requirements of section 2003 of the federal American recovery and reinvestment act of 2009.
Conflict with federal requirements2011 c 4: See note following RCW 50.20.1202.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2000 c 2: See notes following RCW 50.04.355.



Suitable work factors.

(1) Suitable work for an individual is employment in an occupation in keeping with the individual's prior work experience, education, or training and if the individual has no prior work experience, special education, or training for employment available in the general area, then employment which the individual would have the physical and mental ability to perform. In determining whether work is suitable for an individual, the commissioner shall also consider the degree of risk involved to the individual's health, safety, and morals, the individual's physical fitness, the individual's length of unemployment and prospects for securing local work in the individual's customary occupation, the distance of the available work from the individual's residence, and such other factors as the commissioner may deem pertinent, including state and national emergencies.
(2) For individuals with base year work experience in agricultural labor, any agricultural labor available from any employer shall be deemed suitable unless it meets conditions in RCW 50.20.110 or the commissioner finds elements of specific work opportunity unsuitable for a particular individual.
(3) For part-time workers as defined in RCW 50.20.119, suitable work includes suitable work under subsection (1) of this section that is for seventeen or fewer hours per week.
(4) For individuals who have qualified for unemployment compensation benefits under *RCW 50.20.050 (1)(b)(iv) or (2)(b)(iv), as applicable, an evaluation of the suitability of the work must consider the individual's need to address the physical, psychological, legal, and other effects of domestic violence or stalking.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 50.20.050 was amended twice during the 2009 legislative session, changing the subsection numbering.
Retroactive application2006 c 13 §§ 8-22: See note following RCW 50.04.293.
Conflict with federal requirementsPart headings not lawSeverability2006 c 13: See notes following RCW 50.20.120.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2003 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 50.01.010.
Effective date1989 c 380 §§ 78-81: See note following RCW 50.04.150.
Conflict with federal requirements1989 c 380: See note following RCW 50.04.150.
Effective datesConstruction1977 ex.s. c 33: See notes following RCW 50.04.030.
Effective date1973 1st ex.s. c 158: See note following RCW 50.08.020.



Suitable work exceptions.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this title, no work shall be deemed to be suitable and benefits shall not be denied under this title to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new work under any of the following conditions:
(1) If the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute; or
(2) if the remuneration, hours, or other conditions of the work offered are substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the locality; or
(3) if as a condition of being employed the individual would be required by the employing unit to join a company union or to resign from or refrain from joining any bona fide labor organization.
[ 1945 c 35 § 79; Rem. Supp. 1945 § 9998-217.]



Unemployment of sport or athletic event participant during period between sport seasons.

Benefits shall not be paid to any individual on the basis of any services, substantially all of which consist of participating in sports or athletic events or training or preparing to so participate, for any week which commences during the period between two successive sport seasons (or similar periods) if the individual performed the services in the first of the seasons (or similar periods) and there is a reasonable assurance that the individual will perform the services in the latter of the seasons (or similar periods).

NOTES:

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



Unemployment due to vacation.

When an unemployed individual is qualified for receipt of unemployment compensation benefits by the specific provisions of RCW 50.20.010, 50.20.120 and 50.20.130, and such individual is not specifically disqualified from receiving such benefits by reason of the provisions of RCW 50.20.090, 50.20.050, 50.20.060, 50.20.070 or 50.20.080, he [or she] shall, for all purposes of the unemployment compensation act, be deemed to be involuntarily unemployed and entitled to unemployment compensation benefits: PROVIDED, That the cessation of operations by an employer for the purpose of granting vacations, whether by union contract or other reasons, shall in no manner be construed to be a voluntary quit nor a voluntary unemployment on the part of the employees.

NOTES:

Severability1951 c 265: See note following RCW 50.98.070.



Jury service.

No otherwise eligible individual shall be denied benefits for any week because he or she is serving as a prospective or impaneled juror in any court of this state. Compensation received for service as a juror shall not be considered wages subject to contributions under this title nor shall such compensation be considered in determining base-year wages, but it shall be considered remuneration for purposes of a deduction from benefits under RCW 50.20.130.

NOTES:

Severability1979 ex.s. c 135: See note following RCW 2.36.080.



Unemployment while in approved training.

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an otherwise eligible individual shall not be denied benefits for any week because he or she is in training approved under section 236(a)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974, P.L. 93-618, nor may that individual be denied benefits for any such week by reason of leaving work which is not suitable employment to enter such training, or for failure to meet any requirement of federal or state law for any such week which relates to the individual's availability for work, active search for work, or refusal to accept work.
(2) For the purposes of this section, "suitable employment" means, with respect to an individual, work of a substantially equal or higher skill level than the individual's past adversely affected employment (as described for the purposes of the Trade Act of 1974, P.L. 93-618), if the wages for such work are not less than eighty percent of the individual's average weekly wage as determined for the purposes of the Trade Act of 1974, P.L. 93-618.

NOTES:

SeverabilityConflict with federal requirements1982 1st ex.s. c 18: See notes following RCW 50.12.200.



Part-time workers.

(1) With respect to claims that have an effective date on or after January 2, 2005, an otherwise eligible individual may not be denied benefits for any week because the individual is a part-time worker and is available for, seeks, applies for, or accepts only work of seventeen or fewer hours per week by reason of the application of RCW 50.20.010(1)(c), 50.20.080, or 50.22.020(1) relating to availability for work and active search for work, or failure to apply for or refusal to accept suitable work.
(2) For purposes of this section, "part-time worker" means an individual who: (a) Earned wages in "employment" in at least forty weeks in the individual's base year; and (b) did not earn wages in "employment" in more than seventeen hours per week in any weeks in the individual's base year.

NOTES:

Retroactive application2006 c 13 §§ 8-22: See note following RCW 50.04.293.
Conflict with federal requirementsPart headings not lawSeverability2006 c 13: See notes following RCW 50.20.120.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2003 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 50.01.010.



Amount of benefits.

Except as provided in RCW 50.20.1201 and 50.20.1202, benefits shall be payable as provided in this section.
(1) For claims with an effective date on or after April 4, 2004, benefits shall be payable to any eligible individual during the individual's benefit year in a maximum amount equal to the lesser of twenty-six times the weekly benefit amount, as determined in subsection (2) of this section, or one-third of the individual's base year wages under this title.
(2) For claims with an effective date on or after April 24, 2005, an individual's weekly benefit amount shall be an amount equal to three and eighty-five one-hundredths percent of the average quarterly wages of the individual's total wages during the two quarters of the individual's base year in which such total wages were highest.
(3) The maximum and minimum amounts payable weekly shall be determined as of each June 30th to apply to benefit years beginning in the twelve-month period immediately following such June 30th.
(a) The maximum amount payable weekly shall be either four hundred ninety-six dollars or sixty-three percent of the "average weekly wage" for the calendar year preceding such June 30th, whichever is greater.
(b) The minimum amount payable weekly shall be fifteen percent of the "average weekly wage" for the calendar year preceding such June 30th.
(4) If any weekly benefit, maximum benefit, or minimum benefit amount computed herein is not a multiple of one dollar, it shall be reduced to the next lower multiple of one dollar.

NOTES:

Effective date2011 c 4 §§ 1-6 and 16-21: See note following RCW 50.20.1202.
Conflict with federal requirements2011 c 4: See note following RCW 50.20.1202.
Short title2009 c 3: "This act may be known and cited as the economic security act of 2009." [ 2009 c 3 § 1.]
Effective date2009 c 3: "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 April 5, 2009." [ 2009 c 3 § 15.]
Conflict with federal requirements2009 c 3: "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." [ 2009 c 3 § 16.]
Part headings not law2006 c 13: "Part headings used in this act are not any part of the law." [ 2006 c 13 § 25.]
Severability2006 c 13: "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." [ 2006 c 13 § 27.]
Conflict with federal requirements2006 c 13: "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." [ 2006 c 13 § 28.]
FindingsIntent2005 c 133: "The legislature finds that the unemployment insurance system was created to set aside unemployment reserves to be used for the benefit of persons who are unemployed through no fault of their own and to maintain purchasing power and limit the social consequences of unemployment. The legislature further finds that the system is falling short of these goals by failing to recognize the importance of applying liberal construction for the purpose of reducing involuntary unemployment, and the suffering caused by it, to the minimum, and by failing to provide equitable benefits to unemployed workers. The legislature also recognizes the desirability of managing the system to take into account the goal of reducing costs to foster a competitive business climate. The legislature intends to adjust the balance between these goals by reinstating the requirement for liberal construction and making other adjustments in the system that will allow reasonable improvements in benefit equity, including reinstating a weekly benefit calculation based on the wages in the two quarters of the claimant's base year in which wages were the highest. The legislature finds that these adjustments are critical to the health and welfare of unemployed workers, and to the purchasing power essential to the economic health and welfare of communities and the state, and should be implemented as soon as feasible." [ 2005 c 133 § 1.]
Conflict with federal requirements2005 c 133: "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." [ 2005 c 133 § 11.]
Effective date2005 c 133: "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 22, 2005]." [ 2005 c 133 § 12.]
Additional employees authorized2005 c 133: See note following RCW 50.01.010.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2003 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 50.01.010.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverability2002 c 149: See notes following RCW 50.22.140.
Effective dates, applicabilityConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1993 c 483: See notes following RCW 50.04.293.
Conflict with federal requirements1984 c 205: "If any part of this act is found to be in conflict with federal requirements which 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 hereby declared to be inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict, and such finding or determination shall not affect the operation of the remainder of this act. The rules under this act shall meet federal requirements which 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." [ 1984 c 205 § 11.]
Severability1984 c 205: "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." [ 1984 c 205 § 12.]
Effective dates1984 c 205: "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 21, 1984], except as follows:
(1) Sections 6 and 13 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 1985;
(2) Section 7 of this act shall be effective for compensable weeks of unemployment beginning on or after January 6, 1985; and
(3) Section 9 of this act shall take effect on July 1, 1985." [ 1984 c 205 § 14.]
Conflict with federal requirementsEffective datesConstruction1983 1st ex.s. c 23: See notes following RCW 50.04.073.
ConstructionEffective datesSeverability1981 c 35: See notes following RCW 50.22.030.
SeverabilityEffective dates1980 c 74: See notes following RCW 50.04.323.
Effective datesConstruction1977 ex.s. c 33: See notes following RCW 50.04.030.
Effective date1970 ex.s. c 2: See note following RCW 50.04.020.
Effective date1959 c 321: See note following RCW 50.20.080.
Severability1951 c 265: See note following RCW 50.98.070.



Amount of benefitsApplicable May 3, 2009, for claims effective before, on, or after May 3, 2009, through January 2, 2010.

(1) This section applies beginning May 3, 2009.
(2)(a) For claims with an effective date before May 3, 2009, in weeks of unemployment beginning on or after May 3, 2009, an individual's weekly benefit amount shall be the amount established under RCW 50.20.120 and subsection (3) of this section plus an additional forty-five dollars. For individuals who have a balance of regular unemployment benefits available, the weekly benefit amount under this subsection (2)(a) is payable for all remaining weeks of regular, extended, emergency, supplemental, or additional benefits on that claim. For individuals who have exhausted regular benefits but have a balance of training benefits available as provided in RCW 50.22.155 or 50.22.150, the weekly benefit amount under this subsection (2)(a) is payable for all remaining weeks of training benefits, but not for weeks of extended, emergency, supplemental, or additional benefits on that claim unless specifically authorized under federal or state law.
(b) For claims with an effective date on or after May 3, 2009, and before January 3, 2010, an individual's weekly benefit amount shall be the amount established under RCW 50.20.120 and subsection (3) of this section plus an additional forty-five dollars. The weekly benefit amount under this subsection (2)(b) is payable for all weeks of regular, extended, emergency, supplemental, or additional benefits on that claim.
(3)(a) For benefit years beginning before May 3, 2009, in weeks of unemployment beginning on or after May 3, 2009, the minimum amount payable weekly shall be one hundred fifty-five dollars. For individuals who have a balance of regular unemployment benefits available, the minimum amount payable weekly under this subsection (3)(a) is payable for all remaining weeks of regular, extended, emergency, supplemental, or additional benefits on that claim. For individuals who have exhausted regular benefits but have a balance of training benefits available as provided in RCW 50.22.155 or 50.22.150, the minimum amount payable weekly under this subsection (3)(a) is payable for all remaining weeks of training benefits, but not for weeks of extended, emergency, supplemental, or additional benefits on that claim unless specifically authorized under federal or state law.
(b) For benefit years beginning on or after May 3, 2009, and before January 3, 2010, the minimum amount payable weekly shall be one hundred fifty-five dollars. The minimum amount payable weekly under this subsection (3)(b) is payable for all weeks of regular, extended, emergency, supplemental, or additional benefits on that claim.
(4) The weekly benefit amounts and the minimum amounts payable weekly under this section shall increase the maximum benefits payable to the individual under RCW 50.20.120(1) by a corresponding dollar amount.
(5) The weekly benefit amounts under this section shall increase the maximum amount payable weekly, irrespective of the provisions of RCW 50.20.120(3).
(6) Payment of benefits to individuals whose weekly benefit amounts are increased under this section shall be subject to the same terms and conditions under this title that apply to the payment of benefits to individuals whose benefit amounts are established under RCW 50.20.120.
(7) This section does not apply to claims with an effective date on or after January 3, 2010.

NOTES:

Short titleEffective dateConflict with federal requirements2009 c 3: See notes following RCW 50.20.120.



Additional temporary benefit increase.

(1) Except as provided for in subsection (3) of this section, for claims with an effective date on or after March 6, 2011, and before November 6, 2011, an individual's weekly benefit amount shall be the amount established under RCW 50.20.120 plus an additional temporary benefit increase of twenty-five dollars. The weekly benefit amount under this section:
(a) Is payable for all weeks of regular, extended, emergency, supplemental, or additional benefits on that claim;
(b) Shall increase the maximum benefits payable to the individual under RCW 50.20.120(1) by a corresponding dollar amount; and
(c) Shall increase the maximum amount payable weekly and the minimum amount payable weekly, irrespective of the provisions of RCW 50.20.120(3).
(2) Payment of benefits to individuals whose weekly benefit amounts are increased under this section shall be subject to the same terms and conditions under this title that apply to the payment of benefits to individuals whose benefit amounts are established under RCW 50.20.120.
(3) The department must calculate the total amount of temporary benefit increases paid under subsection (1) of this section.
(a) In calculating the total amount of temporary benefit increases, weeks of emergency unemployment compensation and extended benefits shall not be considered.
(b) Except as provided for in (c) of this subsection, when the total amount of temporary benefit increases for all weeks equals sixty-eight million dollars, the temporary benefit increase under subsection (1) of this section may not be paid for any additional weeks. An individual's maximum benefits payable, maximum amount payable weekly, or the minimum amount payable weekly must be adjusted accordingly.
(c) An individual receiving emergency unemployment compensation or extended benefits under this section shall continue to receive the temporary benefit increase for all weeks of emergency unemployment compensation or extended benefits.

NOTES:

Effective date2011 c 4 §§ 1-6 and 16-21: "Sections 1 through 6 and 16 through 21 of this act are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and take effect immediately [February 11, 2011]." [ 2011 c 4 § 26.]
Conflict with federal requirements2011 c 4: "*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." [ 2011 c 4 § 20.]
*Reviser's note: See 2011 c 4 § 21 (uncodified), following this note.
Conflict with federal requirements2011 c 4: "In determining under section 20 of this act which if any part of this act is 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 the state for federal unemployment tax credits, the commissioner of the Washington state employment security department shall have full and complete authority and discretion to determine the extent of the conflict and to determine which provisions of this act shall be inoperative and which shall remain in effect in order to remedy the conflict with federal requirements." [ 2011 c 4 § 21.]



Deduction from weekly benefit amount.

(1) If an eligible individual is available for work for less than a full week, he or she shall be paid his or her weekly benefit amount reduced by one-seventh of such amount for each day that he or she is unavailable for work: PROVIDED, That if he or she is unavailable for work for three days or more of a week, he or she shall be considered unavailable for the entire week.
(2) Each eligible individual who is unemployed in any week shall be paid with respect to such week a benefit in an amount equal to his or her weekly benefit amount less:
(a) Seventy-five percent of that part of the remuneration (if any) payable to him or her with respect to such week which is in excess of five dollars; or
(b) For any weeks in which the individual is receiving training benefits as provided in RCW 50.22.155(2), half of that part of the remuneration (if any) payable to him or her with respect to such week which is in excess of five dollars.
(3) The benefits in this section, if not a multiple of one dollar, shall be reduced to the next lower multiple of one dollar.

NOTES:

Contingent effective date2011 c 4 §§ 7-15: See note following RCW 50.20.099.
Conflict with federal requirements2011 c 4: See note following RCW 50.20.1202.
Conflict with federal requirementsEffective datesConstruction1983 1st ex.s. c 23: See notes following RCW 50.04.073.
Application1973 2nd ex.s. c 7: See note following RCW 50.04.310.
Effective date1959 c 321: See note following RCW 50.20.080.



Filing applications and claimsDefinitions.

An application for initial determination, a claim for waiting period, or a claim for benefits shall be filed in accordance with such rules as the commissioner may prescribe. An application for an initial determination may be made by any individual whether unemployed or not. Each employer shall post and maintain printed statements of such rules in places readily accessible to individuals in his or her employment and shall make available to each such individual at the time he or she becomes unemployed, a printed statement of such rules and such notices, instructions, and other material as the commissioner may by rule prescribe. Such printed material shall be supplied by the commissioner to each employer without cost to the employer.
The term "application for initial determination" shall mean a request in writing, or by other means as determined by the commissioner, for an initial determination. The term "claim for waiting period" shall mean a certification, after the close of a given week, that the requirements stated herein for eligibility for waiting period have been met. The term "claim for benefits" shall mean a certification, after the close of a given week, that the requirements stated herein for eligibility for receipt of benefits have been met.
A representative designated by the commissioner shall take the application for initial determination and for the claim for waiting period credits or for benefits. When an application for initial determination has been made, the employment security department shall promptly make an initial determination which shall be a statement of the applicant's base year wages, his or her weekly benefit amount, his or her maximum amount of benefits potentially payable, and his or her benefit year. Such determination shall fix the general conditions under which waiting period credit shall be granted and under which benefits shall be paid during any period of unemployment occurring within the benefit year fixed by such determination.

NOTES:

FindingIntent1998 c 161: "The legislature finds that the shift by the employment security department from in-person written initial applications for unemployment insurance benefits to a call center approach creates opportunities for improved service but also raises serious concerns. Eliminating face-to-face contact may increase the potential for fraud and reduce the probability that claimants will utilize existing reemployment resources. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature that if the written application process is to be eliminated, the employment security department must ensure that unemployment insurance claimants remain actively involved in reemployment activities and that an independent evaluation be conducted of the call center approach to unemployment insurance." [ 1998 c 161 § 1.]
Evaluation of call center: "(1) The joint legislative audit and review committee, in consultation with members of the senate and house of representatives commerce and labor committees and the unemployment insurance advisory committee, shall conduct an evaluation of the new call center approach to unemployment insurance. The evaluation shall review the performance of the call center system, including, but not limited to, the: (a) Promptness of payments; (b) number and types of errors; (c) amount and types of fraud; and (d) level of overpayments and underpayments, compared with the current system.
(2) The joint legislative audit and review committee is directed to contract with a private entity consistent with the provisions of *chapter 39.29 RCW. The committee shall consult with the unemployment insurance advisory committee in the design of the request for proposals from potential contractors and shall use the advisory committee to evaluate the responses. The joint legislative audit and review committee shall provide a report on its findings and recommendations to the appropriate standing committee of the senate and house of representatives by September 1, 2001." [ 1998 c 161 § 5.]
*Reviser's note: Chapter 39.29 RCW was repealed by 2012 c 224 § 29, effective January 1, 2013. See chapter 39.26 RCW.
Funding1998 c 161 § 5: "The employment security department is authorized to expend funds provided under RCW 50.24.014(1)(b) for the purposes of the evaluation provided for in section 5 of this act." [ 1998 c 161 § 6.]



Notice of application or claim.

The applicant for initial determination, his or her most recent employing unit as stated by the applicant, and any other interested party which the commissioner by regulation prescribes, shall, if not previously notified within the same continuous period of unemployment, be given notice promptly in writing that an application for initial determination has been filed and such notice shall contain the reasons given by the applicant for his or her last separation from work. If, during his or her benefit year, the applicant becomes unemployed after having accepted subsequent work, and reports for the purpose of reestablishing his or her eligibility for benefits, a similar notice shall be given promptly to his or her then most recent employing unit as stated by him or her, or to any other interested party which the commissioner by regulation prescribes.
Each base year employer shall be promptly notified of the filing of any application for initial determination which may result in a charge to his or her account.

NOTES:

Effective date1970 ex.s. c 2: See note following RCW 50.04.020.



Redetermination.

(1) A determination of amount of benefits potentially payable issued pursuant to the provisions of RCW 50.20.120 and 50.20.140 shall not serve as a basis for appeal but shall be subject to request by the claimant for reconsideration and/or for redetermination by the commissioner at any time within one year from the date of delivery or mailing of such determination, or any redetermination thereof: PROVIDED, That in the absence of fraud or misrepresentation on the part of the claimant, any benefits paid prior to the date of any redetermination which reduces the amount of benefits payable shall not be subject to recovery under the provisions of RCW 50.20.190. A denial of a request to reconsider or a redetermination shall be furnished the claimant in writing and provide the basis for appeal under the provisions of RCW 50.32.020.
(2) A determination of denial of benefits issued under the provisions of RCW 50.20.180 shall become final, in absence of timely appeal therefrom: PROVIDED, That the commissioner may reconsider and redetermine such determinations at any time within one year from delivery or mailing to correct an error in identity, omission of fact, or misapplication of law with respect to the facts.
(3) A determination of allowance of benefits shall become final, in absence of a timely appeal therefrom: PROVIDED, That the commissioner may redetermine such allowance at any time within two years following the benefit year in which such allowance was made in order to recover any benefits improperly paid and for which recovery is provided under the provisions of RCW 50.20.190: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, That in the absence of fraud, misrepresentation, or nondisclosure, this provision or the provisions of RCW 50.20.190 shall not be construed so as to permit redetermination or recovery of an allowance of benefits which having been made after consideration of the provisions of RCW 50.20.010(1)(c), or the provisions of RCW 50.20.050, 50.20.060, 50.20.080, or 50.20.090 has become final.
(4) A redetermination may be made at any time: (a) To conform to a final court decision applicable to either an initial determination or a determination of denial or allowance of benefits; (b) in the event of a back pay award or settlement affecting the allowance of benefits; or (c) in the case of fraud, misrepresentation, or willful nondisclosure. Written notice of any such redetermination shall be promptly given by mail or delivered to such interested parties as were notified of the initial determination or determination of denial or allowance of benefits and any new interested party or parties who, pursuant to such regulation as the commissioner may prescribe, would be an interested party.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2003 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 50.01.010.
Conflict with federal requirements1990 c 245: See note following RCW 50.04.030.



Payment of benefits.

An individual who has received an initial determination finding that he or she is potentially entitled to receive waiting period credit or benefits shall, during the benefit year, be given waiting period credit or be paid benefits in accordance with such initial determination for any week with respect to which the conditions of eligibility for such credit or benefits, as prescribed by this title, are met, unless the individual is denied waiting period credit or benefits under the disqualification provisions of this title.
All benefits shall be paid through employment offices in accordance with such regulations as the commissioner may prescribe.



Denial of benefits.

If waiting period credit or the payment of benefits shall be denied to any claimant for any week or weeks, the claimant and such other interested party as the commissioner by regulation prescribes shall be promptly issued written notice of the denial and the reasons therefor. In any case where the department is notified in accordance with such regulation as the commissioner prescribes or has reason to believe that the claimant's right to waiting period credit or benefits is in issue because of his or her separation from work for any reason other than lack of work, the department shall promptly issue a determination of allowance or denial of waiting period credit or benefits and the reasons therefor to the claimant, his or her most recent employing unit as stated by the claimant, and such other interested party as the commissioner by regulation prescribes. Notice that waiting period credit or benefits are allowed or denied shall suffice for the particular weeks stated in the notice or until the condition upon which the allowance or denial was based has been changed.



Recovery of benefit payments.

(1) An individual who is paid any amount as benefits under this title to which he or she is not entitled shall, unless otherwise relieved pursuant to this section, be liable for repayment of the amount overpaid. The department shall issue an overpayment assessment setting forth the reasons for and the amount of the overpayment. The amount assessed, to the extent not collected, may be deducted from any future benefits payable to the individual: PROVIDED, That in the absence of a back pay award, a settlement affecting the allowance of benefits, fraud, misrepresentation, or willful nondisclosure, every determination of liability shall be mailed or personally served not later than two years after the close of or final payment made on the individual's applicable benefit year for which the purported overpayment was made, whichever is later, unless the merits of the claim are subjected to administrative or judicial review in which event the period for serving the determination of liability shall be extended to allow service of the determination of liability during the six-month period following the final decision affecting the claim.
(2) The commissioner may waive an overpayment if the commissioner finds that the overpayment was not the result of fraud, misrepresentation, willful nondisclosure, or fault attributable to the individual and that the recovery thereof would be against equity and good conscience. When determining whether the recovery would be against equity and good conscience, the department must consider whether the employer or employer's agent failed to respond timely and adequately to a written request of the department for information relating to the claim or claims without establishing good cause for the failure pursuant to RCW 50.29.021(5). An overpayment waived under this subsection shall be charged against the individual's applicable entitlement for the eligibility period containing the weeks to which the overpayment was attributed as though such benefits had been properly paid.
(3) Any assessment herein provided shall constitute a determination of liability from which an appeal may be had in the same manner and to the same extent as provided for appeals relating to determinations in respect to claims for benefits: PROVIDED, That an appeal from any determination covering overpayment only shall be deemed to be an appeal from the determination which was the basis for establishing the overpayment unless the merits involved in the issue set forth in such determination have already been heard and passed upon by the appeal tribunal. If no such appeal is taken to the appeal tribunal by the individual within thirty days of the delivery of the notice of determination of liability, or within thirty days of the mailing of the notice of determination, whichever is the earlier, the determination of liability shall be deemed conclusive and final. Whenever any such notice of determination of liability becomes conclusive and final, the commissioner, upon giving at least twenty days' notice, using a method by which the mailing can be tracked or the delivery can be confirmed, may file with the superior court clerk of any county within the state a warrant in the amount of the notice of determination of liability plus a filing fee under RCW 36.18.012(10). The clerk of the county where the warrant is filed shall immediately designate a superior court cause number for the warrant, and the clerk shall cause to be entered in the judgment docket under the superior court cause number assigned to the warrant, the name of the person(s) mentioned in the warrant, the amount of the notice of determination of liability, and the date when the warrant was filed. The amount of the warrant as docketed shall become a lien upon the title to, and any interest in, all real and personal property of the person(s) against whom the warrant is issued, the same as a judgment in a civil case duly docketed in the office of such clerk. A warrant so docketed shall be sufficient to support the issuance of writs of execution and writs of garnishment in favor of the state in the manner provided by law for a civil judgment. A copy of the warrant shall be mailed within five days of its filing with the clerk to the person(s) mentioned in the warrant using a method by which the mailing can be tracked or the delivery can be confirmed.
(4) On request of any agency which administers an employment security law of another state, the United States, or a foreign government and which has found in accordance with the provisions of such law that a claimant is liable to repay benefits received under such law, the commissioner may collect the amount of such benefits from the claimant to be refunded to the agency. In any case in which under this section a claimant is liable to repay any amount to the agency of another state, the United States, or a foreign government, such amounts may be collected without interest by civil action in the name of the commissioner acting as agent for such agency if the other state, the United States, or the foreign government extends such collection rights to the employment security department of the state of Washington, and provided that the court costs be paid by the governmental agency benefiting from such collection.
(5) Any employer who is a party to a back pay award or settlement due to loss of wages shall, within thirty days of the award or settlement, report to the department the amount of the award or settlement, the name and social security number of the recipient of the award or settlement, and the period for which it is awarded. When an individual has been awarded or receives back pay, for benefit purposes the amount of the back pay shall constitute wages paid in the period for which it was awarded. For contribution purposes, the back pay award or settlement shall constitute wages paid in the period in which it was actually paid. The following requirements shall also apply:
(a) The employer shall reduce the amount of the back pay award or settlement by an amount determined by the department based upon the amount of unemployment benefits received by the recipient of the award or settlement during the period for which the back pay award or settlement was awarded;
(b) The employer shall pay to the unemployment compensation fund, in a manner specified by the commissioner, an amount equal to the amount of such reduction;
(c) The employer shall also pay to the department any taxes due for unemployment insurance purposes on the entire amount of the back pay award or settlement notwithstanding any reduction made pursuant to (a) of this subsection;
(d) If the employer fails to reduce the amount of the back pay award or settlement as required in (a) of this subsection, the department shall issue an overpayment assessment against the recipient of the award or settlement in the amount that the back pay award or settlement should have been reduced; and
(e) If the employer fails to pay to the department an amount equal to the reduction as required in (b) of this subsection, the department shall issue an assessment of liability against the employer which shall be collected pursuant to the procedures for collection of assessments provided herein and in RCW 50.24.110.
(6) When an individual fails to repay an overpayment assessment that is due and fails to arrange for satisfactory repayment terms, the commissioner shall impose an interest penalty of one percent per month of the outstanding balance. Interest shall accrue immediately on overpayments assessed pursuant to RCW 50.20.070 and shall be imposed when the assessment becomes final. For any other overpayment, interest shall accrue when the individual has missed two or more of the individual's monthly payments either partially or in full.
(7) The department shall: (a) Conduct social security number cross-match audits or engage in other more effective activities that ensure that individuals are entitled to all amounts of benefits that they are paid; and (b) engage in other detection and recovery of overpayment and collection activities.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirements2020 c 86: See note following RCW 50.12.200.
Conflict with federal requirementsEffective date2013 c 189: See notes following RCW 50.16.010.
SeverabilityConflict with federal requirementsEffective date2007 c 327: See notes following RCW 50.24.014.
Retroactive application2006 c 13 §§ 8-22: See note following RCW 50.04.293.
Conflict with federal requirementsPart headings not lawSeverability2006 c 13: See notes following RCW 50.20.120.
Effective date2005 c 518: See note following RCW 28A.600.110.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2003 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 50.01.010.
SeverabilityEffective date2002 c 371: See notes following RCW 9.46.100.
Conflict with federal requirements1995 c 90: "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 hereby declared to be inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict, and such finding or determination shall not affect the operation of the remainder of this act. The rules under this act shall 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." [ 1995 c 90 § 2.]
Application1995 c 90: "This act applies to job separations occurring after July 1, 1995." [ 1995 c 90 § 3.]
Effective date1995 c 90: "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 shall take effect immediately [April 18, 1995]." [ 1995 c 90 § 4.]
Effective dates, applicabilityConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1993 c 483: See notes following RCW 50.04.293.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective dates1991 c 117: See notes following RCW 50.04.030.
Conflict with federal requirements1990 c 245: See note following RCW 50.04.030.
Severability1981 c 35: See note following RCW 50.22.030.
Effective date1975 1st ex.s. c 228: See note following RCW 50.04.355.
Effective date1973 1st ex.s. c 158: See note following RCW 50.08.020.
Government or retirement pension plan payments as remuneration or wagesRecovery of excess over benefits allowable, limitations: RCW 50.04.323.



Authority to compromise benefit overpayments.

See RCW 50.24.020.



Collection of benefit overpayments, limitation of actions.

See RCW 50.24.190.



Chargeoff of uncollectible benefit overpayments.

See RCW 50.24.200.



Assessed interestUse.

All receipts from interest assessed against unemployment insurance claimants shall be deposited in the administrative contingency fund and shall be used for the purpose of RCW 50.20.190(6).

NOTES:

Effective dates, applicabilityConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1993 c 483: See notes following RCW 50.04.293.



Nonliability of state.

Benefits shall be deemed to be due and payable under this title only to the extent provided in this title and to the extent that moneys are available therefor to the credit of the unemployment compensation fund, and neither the state nor the commissioner shall be liable for any amount in excess of such sums.
[ 1945 c 35 § 88; Rem. Supp. 1945 § 9998-226.]



Notification of availability of basic health plan.

The commissioner shall notify any person filing a claim under this chapter who resides in a local area served by the Washington basic health plan of the availability of basic health care coverage to qualified enrollees in the Washington basic health plan under chapter 70.47 RCW, unless the Washington basic health plan administrator has notified the commissioner of a closure of enrollment in the area. The commissioner shall maintain a supply of Washington basic health plan enrollment application forms, which shall be provided in reasonably necessary quantities by the administrator, in each appropriate employment service office for the use of persons wishing to apply for enrollment in the Washington basic health plan.



Federal income tax deduction and withholdingNoticeRules.

(1) An individual filing a new claim for unemployment insurance must, at the time of filing such claim, be advised that:
(a) Unemployment insurance is subject to federal income tax;
(b) Requirements exist pertaining to estimated tax payments;
(c) The individual may elect to have federal income tax deducted and withheld from the individual's payment of unemployment insurance at the amount specified in the federal internal revenue code; and
(d) The individual is permitted to change a previously elected withholding status.
(2) Amounts deducted and withheld from unemployment compensation must remain in the unemployment fund until transferred to the federal taxing authority as a payment of income tax.
(3) The commissioner shall follow all procedures specified by the United States department of labor and the federal internal revenue service pertaining to the deducting and withholding of income tax.
(4) The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement this section. Amounts shall be deducted and withheld in accordance with the priorities established in rules adopted by the commissioner.

NOTES:

Findings1996 c 28: "The legislature finds that:
(1) The unique federal and state partnership of the unemployment insurance program places a special responsibility on states, and selected Congressional legislation requires conforming legislation at the state level;
(2) The most recent conformity legislation requires states to offer unemployed workers the option of having the employment security department withhold federal income tax from unemployment insurance benefits;
(3) Unemployment benefits have been subject to income tax for several years, and voluntary withholding is a reasonable strategy some claimants will use to spread the payment of their federal income tax liability over several weeks or months rather than a single payment at income tax time; and
(4) Conformity with federal law supports the federal and state partnership and responds to the needs of this state's unemployed workers." [ 1996 c 28 § 1.]
Conflict with federal requirements1996 c 28: "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 hereby declared to be inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict, and such finding or determination shall not affect the operation of the remainder of this act. The rules under this act shall 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." [ 1996 c 28 § 3.]
Severability1996 c 28: "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." [ 1996 c 28 § 4.]
Effective dateApplication1996 c 28: "This act shall take effect December 31, 1996, and shall apply to payments made after December 31, 1996." [ 1996 c 28 § 5.]



Electronic labor exchange system.

The employment security department will ensure that within a reasonably short period of time after the initiation of benefits, all unemployment insurance claimants, except those with employer attachment, union referral, individuals complying with an electrical apprenticeship training program that includes a recognized referral system under apprenticeship program standards approved by the Washington state apprenticeship and training council, in commissioner-approved training, or the subject of antiharassment orders, register for job search in an electronic labor exchange system that supports direct employer access for the purpose of selecting job applicants.

NOTES:

Applicability2019 c 50 §§ 1-3: See note following RCW 50.20.010.
FindingIntent1998 c 161: See note following RCW 50.20.140.



Job search monitoring.

(1)(a) To ensure that following the initial application for benefits, an individual is actively engaged in searching for work, the employment security department shall implement a job search monitoring program. The department shall contract with employment security agencies in other states to ensure that individuals residing in those states and receiving benefits under this title are actively engaged in searching for work in accordance with the requirements of this section. The department may use interactive voice technology and other electronic means to ensure that individuals are subject to comparable job search monitoring, regardless of whether they reside in Washington or elsewhere.
(b) Except for those individuals with employer attachment or union referral, individuals complying with an electrical apprenticeship training program that includes a recognized referral system under apprenticeship program standards approved by the Washington state apprenticeship and training council, individuals who qualify for unemployment compensation under *RCW 50.20.050 (1)(b)(iv) or (2)(b)(iv), as applicable, and individuals in commissioner-approved training, an individual who has received five or more weeks of benefits under this title, regardless of whether the individual resides in Washington or elsewhere, must provide evidence of seeking work, as directed by the commissioner or the commissioner's agents, for each week beyond five in which a claim is filed. The evidence must demonstrate contacts with at least three employers per week or documented in-person job search activities at the local reemployment center at least three times per week.
(c) In developing the requirements for the job search monitoring program, the commissioner or the commissioner's agents shall utilize an existing advisory committee having equal representation of employers and workers.
(2) An individual who fails to comply fully with the requirements for actively seeking work under RCW 50.20.010 shall lose all benefits for all weeks during which the individual was not in compliance, and the individual shall be liable for repayment of all such benefits under RCW 50.20.190.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 50.20.050 was amended twice during the 2009 legislative session, changing the subsection numbering.
Applicability2019 c 50 §§ 1-3: See note following RCW 50.20.010.
Retroactive application2006 c 13 §§ 8-22: See note following RCW 50.04.293.
Conflict with federal requirementsPart headings not lawSeverability2006 c 13: See notes following RCW 50.20.120.
Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date2003 2nd sp.s. c 4: See notes following RCW 50.01.010.
FindingIntent1998 c 161: See note following RCW 50.20.140.



Self-employment assistance programFindingDepartment provides information to eligible individualsRules.

(1) The legislature finds that the establishment of a self-employment assistance program would assist unemployed individuals and create new businesses and job opportunities in Washington state. The department must inform all individuals eligible under the terms of RCW 50.20.010 of the availability of self-employment assistance and entrepreneurial training programs and of the training provisions of RCW 50.20.043 which would allow them to pursue commissioner-approved training. In addition, when individuals are identified as likely to exhaust benefits under RCW 50.20.011, and when individuals are otherwise eligible for commissioner-approved training under RCW 50.20.043, the department must inform such individuals of the opportunity to enroll in commissioner-approved self-employment assistance programs.
(2) An unemployed individual is eligible to participate in a self-employment assistance program if it has been determined that he or she:
(a) Is otherwise eligible for regular benefits as defined in RCW 50.22.010;
(b) Has been identified as likely to exhaust regular unemployment benefits under a profiling system established by the commissioner as defined in P.L. 103-152 or is otherwise eligible for commissioner-approved training under RCW 50.20.043; and
(c) Is enrolled in a self-employment assistance program that is approved by the commissioner, and includes entrepreneurial training, business counseling, technical assistance, and requirements to engage in activities relating to the establishment of a business and becoming self-employed.
(3) Individuals participating in a self-employment assistance program approved by the commissioner are eligible to receive their regular unemployment benefits.
(a) The requirements of RCW 50.20.010 and 50.20.080 relating to availability for work, active search for work, and refusal to accept suitable work are not applicable to an individual in the self-employment assistance program for the first fifty-two weeks of the individual's participation in the program. However, enrollment in a self-employment assistance program does not entitle the enrollee to any benefit payments he or she would not be entitled to had he or she not enrolled in the program.
(b) An individual who meets the requirements of this section is considered to be "unemployed" under RCW 50.04.310 and 50.20.010.
(4) An individual who fails to participate in his or her approved self-employment assistance program as prescribed by the commissioner is disqualified from continuation in the program.
(5) The commissioner must take all steps necessary in carrying out this section to assure collaborative involvement of interested parties in program development, and to ensure that the self-employment assistance programs meet all federal criteria for withdrawal from the unemployment fund. The commissioner may approve, as self-employment assistance programs, existing self-employment training programs available through community colleges, workforce development boards, or other organizations and is not obligated by this section to expend any departmental funds for the operation of self-employment assistance programs, unless specific funding is provided to the department for that purpose through federal or state appropriations.
(6) The commissioner may adopt rules as necessary to implement this section.

NOTES:

Report to legislature2012 c 40; 2007 c 248: "By December 1, 2015, the employment security department must report to relevant legislative committees on the performance of the self-employment assistance program. The report must include an analysis of the following:
(1) Self-employment impacts;
(2) Wage and salary outcomes;
(3) Benefit payment outcomes; and
(4) A cost-benefit analysis." [ 2012 c 40 § 3; 2007 c 248 § 3.]
Effective date2007 c 248: "This act takes effect January 1, 2008." [ 2007 c 248 § 4.]
Implementation2007 c 248: "The commissioner of employment security may take the necessary steps to ensure that this act is implemented on its effective date." [ 2007 c 248 § 5.]