Washington state authorizes new program for injured workers

Tumwater, WA – Under a new program in Washington state, employers who provide temporary work to an injured employee may be reimbursed for half of the worker’s pay.

The Stay-at-Work Program is part of a workers’ compensation bill (.pdf file) signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) on June 15.

According to the Washington Department of Labor & Industries, keeping injured workers in light-duty jobs helps employers retain valuable workers and avoid major increases in their L&I premium rates.

The new law also permits injured workers 55 and older to negotiate a settlement agreement with periodic payments instead of remaining in the workers’ comp system or being re-trained.

Other parts of the law include:

  • Safety grants for innovative return-to-work programs for injured workers
  • An independent study on occupational disease claims in Washington
  • A performance audit of the workers’ comp claims management system
  • A “rainy day” fund to stabilize rate changes during economic recessions

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)