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Who and what you must report

Reporting requirements are determined by the Washington legislature. It specifies which workers and what information you must report each quarter. Read the law.

Who to report

  • Employees covered by unemployment insurance
  • Corporate officers covered by unemployment insurance
  • If you have no employees and no payroll for the quarter, you must file a no-payroll report.

Who NOT to report

Don't report workers who are in exempt professions or those who are not classified as employees, including:
  • Independent contractors (self-employed)
  • Salespeople on commission (if selling merchandise outside of employer's place of business)
  • Elected government officials & church employees
  • Insurance & travel agents
  • Real estate agents, brokers and appraisers
  • Work-study students who are already working for a non-profit employer, or local or state government
  • Non-resident aliens who are temporarily in the United States as a non-immigrant (Visa classification F, H-2A and H-2B, H-3 or J)
  • Performance workers at small (three or fewer employees) performing arts companies (including actors, lighting technicians, costume designers and similar workers)
  • Read the exempt professions chart (PDF, 186KB).

What to report*

NOTE: Different states have different criteria for deciding whether a person can collect unemployment benefits. Washington state law requires that people work at least 680 hours within a year to qualify for benefits. The Employment Security Department uses the information that employers report each quarter to decide whether laid-off workers meet this requirement.

How to report hours

Round up to the next whole number. We don't accept half, quarter or any fractions of hours.

  • Salaried employees – Report actual hours worked. If hours are not tracked, report 40 hours per week for full-time employees.
  • Commissioned employees – Report actual hours worked. If hours are not tracked, report 40 hours per week for full-time employees.
  • Overtime – Report actual hours worked.
  • Vacation pay – Report the number of hours for leave with pay.
  • Payment in kind – Report actual hours worked.
  • Pay in lieu of notice – Report the hours that would have been worked.
  • Severance pay, bonuses, tips and gratuities – Report zero (0) hours. Read about reporting zero hours.

Contact us

If you have questions, call 855-TAX-WAGE (855-829-9243) and ask a tax specialist.

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