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APA Opposes Washington Bill Prohibiting Higher Education From Outsourcing Payroll

BY: APA Staff | 03/02/18

The Washington Senate bill report for S.B. 6264 expressed concern with the outsourcing of unemployment insurance (UI) claims administration, where disputes between the claims administrator and part-time faculty left these faculty without UI benefits or forced them to go through an appeals process even though they did not have a reasonable assurance of continued work.

However, APA explained in a letter sent to state legislators on February 19, 2018, that translating these narrow outsourcing practices of UI claims administrators to all third-party payers, including payroll and human resources administration, was not justified.

APA was greatly concerned about the added administrative burden and costs imposed on payroll functions at universities and colleges in Washington under the bill. For example, the University of Washington stated that the impact on its international activities in research and public health would be significant. The university’s partners in other countries may contract with payroll providers that are experts at navigating complex withholding laws in those countries. To manage these laws internally would impose substantial liability and financial risks.

APA urged the state legislators to narrow the provisions to carve out payroll and human resources management. The bill was subsequently amended to specify that the prohibition on institutions of higher learning contracting with private companies is for UI benefit claims and removes third-party payers and professional employer organizations (PEOs) from the provisions.

For more information, read the article, “APA Opposes Washington Bill That Would Prohibit Colleges and Universities From Outsourcing Payroll” in PayState Update, Issue 5, Vol. 20.