Washington State Sets Unemployment Benefit to $0 by making up job title

Notice: Fictional Name Used at Request of the claimant.

“Gov. Jay Inslee announced the expansion of state policies today to support workers and businesses financially impacted by COVID-19.” From the March 10, 2020 announcement.

Let’s see how the state supports Diane.

Earlier this year Diane broke her ankle. She was finally able to get back to work. And then Coronovirus began to spread. The talent agency she worked for as an administrative assistant decided to shut down to reduce exposure from the public and because of a slow down. Diane was laid off.

The day before Governor Inslee announced the stay-at-home order (March 23, 2020), Diane went to the State’s Employment Security Department (ESD) website to apply for unemployment. During that application she reported her position as an administrative worker.

Diane received a response dated March 24, 2020 from Employment Security. Her monetary determination was $0 for benefits. Why? According to the determination, “You applied for unemployment benefits using wages you earned as an athlete. We can’t use those wages on your claim to pay you benefits between seasons if you have reasonable assurance you will return to work as a professional athlete.”

On March 30, 2020 ESD confirmed to Diane that she indeed did apply as an administrative worker. Where did the athlete, professional athlete, seasonal worker come from? They had no idea.

Turning a daily administrative office worker into a seasonal athlete certainly is a creative way to set benefits to zero.

When asked about the conversion of administrative office worker to “professional athlete” Nick Demerice of ESD simply said: ” There is  an appeals process I would encourage Diane to utilize if she feels her claim was wrongly decided. That process is outline [sic] on our website here: “

Wrongly decided indeed, by ESD making false statements. So now it is Diane’s responsibility to refute the false information ESD stated. Maybe it is just a “feeling” problem? What a scummy attitude ESD has.

Getting Around ESD Blockade

Trouble getting through to Washington State Employment Security Department? Here are some suggestions, valid as of March 29, 2020.

Find your representatives to Olympia, write email with details. Beg for help. Start here:

Send an email to the ESD Commissioner. Start here:

Send an email to the ESD Deputy Commissionere. Start here:

More people on the ESD Organizational Chart.


Wrong Phone Number to Police

King County Metro Transit (which serves Seattle) has its own police force. The police force is a part of the King County Sheriff’s office. On the buses are signs encouraging decent behavior. But, if bad behavior arises, Metro Transit has provided contact information to law enforcement. See below the portion of the sign with this contact information.

The number showing for Metro Transit Police is wrong. It is NOT 206 553 3000. The listed number is the main number to Metro customer service. There is no option in the customer service menu system for police. And, the number is not answered 1) between 8pm and 6am, 2) weekends, 3) holidays. Listen to the audio below. (Recorded 2019-12-15-closed; 2019-12-16-open .)

Metro’s announcement message when closed. NO mention of police.
Metro’s announcement message when open. NO mention of police.

Metro has not forgotten about Spanish speakers. The same wrong number to the police appears in Spanish. “o llame a metro transit police al” translates to 206 553 3000″or call metro transit police at 206 553 3000″.

King County Transit Shows Wrong Number to Police

What is the right seven-digit number? According to the Metro Transit Police web page it is 206 296 3311 (in image below). Chief of Metro Police Major Dave Jutilla on 2019-11-14 said in an email “206.296.3311 goes into the dispatch center for the KC Sheriff’s Office & and Metro Transit Police. 911 should be used for serious in-progress crimes.” The chief did not mention 206 553 3000 in his email.

Clearly the Metro Transit Police know the correct phone number.

Telling customers to call the wrong number for police help will absolutely delay help and could potentially put people’s lives in danger. Imagine calling for the police and listening through a menu system that has no option for the police. Imagine calling for the police when no one answers the phone during closed hours.

Placing the wrong number to police on hundreds of buses is not very smart and certainly not customer-friendly. I would call this a serious management failure.


2020-02-04: Yes indeed, King County Metro Transit is still pushing the wrong phone number to Transit Police. Saw the same numbers on posters (English and Spanish) in coach 2649 tonight.

2020-02-13: King County Metro Transit is still displaying the wrong phone number to Transit Police. Saw the same wrong numbers on posters in coach 2634 today. Twice.


ShuttleExpress in Seattle Not Reliable

We no longer trust ShuttleExpress in Seattle to get us to the airport. Here’s why:

I made a reservation with private car (at double the expense) for a more precise pickup time: 415am. I called ShuttleExpress offices at least 24 hours in advance and confirmed the 415am pickup. The female representative assured me 415am was the pickup time. We received an email confirming the 415am pickup time.

The driver showed up at 330am — 45 minutes early! No warning!

The passenger, my housemate, was still dealing with the animals and other chores to prepare the house for departure. The driver showing up 45 minutes early put the passenger into a panic dealing with animals and other chores to secure the house.

I called the ShuttleExpress number at 425 981 7000 440am Pacific Time to complain and ask for a refund. The guy on the phone kept saying the computer showed 345am. Who cares what the computer says? It is wrong. I made the reservation. I called to confirm and was told 415am. We have an email confirming 415am pickup.

The bottom line is this:
— ShuttleExpress is not reliable

— ShuttleExpress people apparently lie

— ShuttleExpress did not conform to the agreed pickup time

When ShuttleExpress ignores the scheduled and time confirmed in their own email how can anyone have confidence and trust ShuttleExpress? We can’t.