Legal Considerations

Public records

Per RCW 42.56.250:

"The following employment and licensing information is exempt from public inspection and copying under this chapter:

(4) The following information held by any public agency in personnel records, public employment related records, volunteer rosters, or included in any mailing list of employees or volunteers of any public agency: Residential addresses, residential telephone numbers, personal wireless telephone numbers, personal email addresses, social security numbers, driver's license numbers, identicard numbers, payroll deductions including the amount and identification of the deduction, and emergency contact information of employees or volunteers of a public agency, and the names, dates of birth, residential addresses, residential telephone numbers, personal wireless telephone numbers, personal email addresses, social security numbers, and emergency contact information of dependents of employees or volunteers of a public agency."

Agencies are reminded to consult with their respective public records officers or assigned Assistant Attorneys General (AAGs) to consider any public records issues that may arise related to the workgroup. Agencies shall comply with all existing public records retention requirements in the course of compensating workgroup members. Workgroup members should be aware that in the course of their work with state agencies, written documents including digital files, emails, payments, reimbursement requests, etc. May be subject to the Public Records Act (PRA) and should consult with the agency’s public records officer for more information.

Immigration Status

Individuals who are non-US Citizens or US Nationals may be able to receive a stipend, depending on their circumstances. The volunteer participant may be informed that they should contact a personal immigration attorney regarding whether receipt of a stipend would impact their individual immigration status. Based on our review, the lived experience stipend should not be considered a public charge. Agencies may contact their assigned LPD AAG with particular questions about individuals with general employment authorization or agency-specific immigration status (H-1B), or other specific questions regarding an agency’s ability to provide a stipend to a particular participant.

Youth Volunteers:

Youth volunteers may receive stipends. Volunteers are not considered employees, however agencies may want to consider limitations on youth participation in workgroups in order to not interfere with educational activities.  Agencies may want to consider hours of participation, breaks, and the types of activities they may participate in as a volunteer member of a Class 1 workgroup.

For youth participants who are 16-17 years old, it is recommended that their participation as a volunteer should not exceed the following hours, and events should not occur during the youth volunteer’s school day. Regular breaks and meal periods should be provided, including a break at least every three hours (at least 10 minutes) and longer breaks for meals should be provided if an event lasts over 5 hours. Hours of participation are recommended to follow these limitations: 


Hours / day

Hours / week

Days / week

Start – End time

School week

4 hours *

20 hours

6 days

7 a.m. – 10 p.m. **

Non-school week

8 hours

48 hours

6 days

5 a.m. – Midnight

School week with
special variance

6 hours *

28 hours

6 days

7 a.m. – 10 p.m. ***

* 8 hours Fri.–Sun.
** Midnight Fri.–Sat. or the day before a school holiday
*** Midnight Fri.–Sat.


Requirements for Agencies to Issue a 1099-MISC

Issuing 1099-MISC forms to community members

If a workgroup member earns $600 or more in compensation (not reimbursements) from one agency in a calendar year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires a 1099-MISC form to be issued. If a workgroup member receives compensation from more than one agency for participating in multiple workgroups, this $600 amount is applied per agency and is not calculated cumulatively.

If compensation is remitted from the State of Washington, the respective state agency is responsible for issuing the 1099-MISC form. If the compensation is distributed via a third-party administrator, it is the responsibility of the third-party administrator to issue the 1099-MISC form. State agencies may want to include this as a requirement in contracts with third-party administrators (including nonprofit agencies, private businesses, and agents whose primary purpose is the distribution of payments) to ensure they are aware of their obligation.

Retired state employees who receive stipends may need to consult with Retirement Services to make sure there are no potential impacts on retirement payments.