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Oct. 22, 2009

L&I encourages business, workers and organized labor to attend public hearings on proposed workers' compensation rate increase

TUMWATER – The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) said today it hopes for good attendance at public hearings next week on proposed workers’ compensation insurance rates for 2010.

The agency noted that heightened interest by workers' compensation stakeholders, including a pre-hearing rally planned by the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) October 28 in Tumwater, are good reminders of the importance of all voices being heard in the public hearing process.

"I look forward to hearing what members of the BIAW and other employers and workers have to say," said Bob Malooly, assistant director for L&I's Insurance Services Division. "It is a reminder that we need to hear from all stakeholders with an interest in workers' compensation. Employers and workers all need a sound workers’ comp system when unfortunate injuries and illnesses occur in the workplace."

Malooly said six public hearings around the state will take testimony on a proposed 7.6 percent average increase in premiums next year.

He added that L&I has a new Q&A on its Web site providing accurate and up-to-date information prior to the hearings. It addresses a variety of issues, including the agency’s administrative costs, pensions and time-loss claims.

Final 2010 rates will be adopted in late November following these public hearings:

  • Tukwila: Oct. 27, 1 p.m., L&I Office, 12806 Gateway Dr.
  • Tumwater: Oct. 28, 10 a.m., L&I Headquarters, 7273 Linderson Way S.W.
  • Vancouver: Oct. 28, 10 a.m., Red Lion Inn at the Quay, 100 Columbia St.
  • Bellingham: Oct. 29, 1 p.m., Bellingham Quality Inn, 100 E. Kellogg Road
  • Spokane: Oct. 30, 9 a.m., Spokane Airport Ramada, 8909 W. Airport Dr.
  • Richland: Oct. 30, 2 p.m., Richland Hampton Inn, 486 Bradley Blvd.

Written comments, accepted through Nov. 7, may be e-mailed to Ronald Moore, Employer Services Program Manager, or mailed to him at the Department of Labor & Industries, P.O. Box 44140, Olympia, WA 98504-4140. Faxed comments should go to 360-902-4729.

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For media information: Steve Pierce, L&I, 360-902-5412.

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