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Who and what you must report

Who you must report

You must report all of your employees and covered corporate officers each quarter. The following types of workers are not generally classified as “employees,” so you do not have to report them.

  • Independent contractors (self-employed).
  • 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).
  • Commissioned salespeople making sales of merchandise outside of employer's place of business.
  • Elected government officials.
  • Church employees.
  • Insurance agents.
  • Real estate agents, brokers and appraisers.
  • Travel agents.
  • Work-study students that are already working for a non-profit employer or local or state government.
  • People involved in performances (including actors, lighting technicians, costume designers and similar workers) at small performing arts companies (those with three or fewer employees on each day of the year).

If you are unsure whether you have to report a worker, contact your Account Management Center.


What you must report

You must report the following for every employee.

  • Name.
  • Social Security number.
  • Amount paid.
  • The number of hours worked.

If you do not report complete information for each employee, you will have to pay a penalty.

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

When completing your tax-and wage-reports, you must report all of the hours each employee worked during the quarter. Do not report fractions of hours, instead round up to the next whole number.

Following are instructions on how to report other types of hours:

  • Vacation pay – Report the number of hours for leave with pay.
  • Overtime – Report actual hours worked.
  • Commissioned employees – Report actual hours worked. If hours are not tracked, report 40 hours per week for full-time employees.
  • Salaried employees – Report actual hours. If hours are not tracked, report 40 hours per week for full-time employees.
  • 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.


Exempt professions

Exempt professions chart

Relevant laws and rules

Reporting requirements

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