Legal Considerations

Public records

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.

Non-US Citizens

Paying stipends to individuals who are non-US citizens but who are working under the appropriate permit such as a visa is allowed. Paying stipends and reimbursements to undocumented individuals is currently under review by the Attorney General’s Office.

Minors and Students

People under the age of 18 are eligible to receive compensation at the same rates as adult workgroup members for their participation, provided they are in compliance with existing statewide labor laws regarding minors.

College applicants and students should be aware that any compensation received for workgroup participation should be disclosed as a part of yearly earnings in any financial aid applications such as FAFSA, Pell grants, etc.

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.