To avoid being charged for these benefits, employers must contact Employment Security and specify which layoffs are due to military members returning to work.
"We corrected a clear wrong," said Sen. Chris Marr, a Spokane Democrat who sponsored the legislation. "We should be encouraging employers to do what they can to support our servicemen and women, not saddling them with higher unemployment insurance costs for doing so. This new law removes that very obstacle and gets the state out of the way."
"Employers who welcome reservists back into the work place shouldn't be penalized through higher unemployment taxes," said Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee. "This law allows our unemployment system to treat both the temporary workers and their employers with compassion."
The new law does not apply to certain employers, including state, local and federal governments; public schools; some tribal entities; and some non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status. These reimbursable employers are still required to pay dollar for dollar for all unemployment benefits paid to former employees.