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Trade Adjustment Assistance for employees

Filing a petition on behalf of the workers:

A petition must first be filed on behalf of a group of workers with the U.S. Department of Labor. A single petition form covers requests for TAA, TRA and RTAA certification. If the worker group meets the necessary group-eligibility criteria, a certification will be issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. A worker group or company must be certified for TAA before individuals can apply for benefits.

A petition can be filed within a year of a layoff event. In Washington, a TAA petition can be filed with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) by one of five entities:

  1. the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) TAA Program Operator;
  2. a union or appropriate labor representative;
  3. three affected workers;
  4. the employer; or;
  5. the local WorkSource;

A petition identifies a worker group at a specific firm or subdivision and covers all individuals in that group. Generally, if a worker is laid off, a petition must be submitted within one year of the layoff for that worker to be covered by the petition and the certification if DOL grants the petition. A group of workers may be eligible for TAA if their jobs are lost or threatened due to trade related circumstances as determined by the DOL investigation. While the latest information regarding program eligibility is available on the DOL TAA website at, these circumstances may include:

• Increased imports;
• A shift in operations to certain countries;
• Supply or downstream production to certain companies with TAA-certified workers.

Once a complete petition is filed, the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance (OTAA) initiates an investigation to determine whether the company or a group of workers meets the group eligibility requirements. If the worker group meets the group eligibility criteria, a certification will be issued. This certifies that the workers of the group are eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits.

After the investigation, DOL determines group eligibility to apply for TAA benefits and services. Workers in a certified group will be notified by their state, at which time they may apply for individual eligibility for benefits and services.

For more assistance, contact the TAA Program Operator or the Washington State Labor Council.

ESD TAA Program Operator:
Michelle Griffith: 360-915-2723 (WA Relay 711)

Washington State Labor Council Workforce Development Team:
Bill Messenger: 360-357-8736
Emmanuel Flores: 360-570-5179
Rachel McAloon: 360-515-1335

For Dislocated Worker, Incumbent Worker, Layoff Aversion Information contact:
Bill Messenger: 360-357-8736
Emmanuel Flores: 360-570-5179

Frequently asked questions

TAA fact sheet