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Archive: 2013

  • New Washington State minimum wage takes effect January. 1, 2014

    Washington's minimum wage will increase to $9.32 per hour beginning Januaryuary 1, 2014, as announced in September by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

    December 31, 2013 | Read full story

  • Bremerton man charged with defrauding hospitals, faking work injuries to get painkillers

    A 41-year-old Bremerton man faces 25 felony charges alleging he faked on-the-job injuries to fool hospitals and clinics into prescribing him narcotics.

    December 23, 2013 | Read full story

  • Free posters that cost $295? Businesses are confused

    Scores of businesses are contacting the Department of Labor & Industries to report they have received an official-looking letter that implies they must buy required workplace posters or face fines. L&I did not send the letters, but wants to remind companies that the workplace posters are available for free.

    December 10, 2013 | Read full story

  • Washington's workers' comp rates will increase 2.7 percent in 2014

    Premiums for workers' compensation insurance next year will increase for the first time in three years, the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) announced today. The average 2.7 percent rate increase for 2014 premiums is an increase of less than two cents per hour worked.

    December 2, 2013 | Read full story

  • Vancouver clinic owner repays Washington state nearly $90,000 in billing scam

    The owner of a Vancouver chiropractic clinic has repaid the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) nearly $90,000 resulting from fraudulent billing.

    November 27, 2013 | Read full story

  • Check out plumbers before Black Fridayday plumbing disasters

    Here are two Thanksgiving leftovers to avoid: excessive plumber bills and shoddy plumbing work.

    November 25, 2013 | Read full story

  • Mountlake Terrace man pleads guilty in $600,000 billing scam

    The owner of a foreign-language interpreter service pleaded guilty Mondayday in a scheme that authorities say cost Washington state hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    November 19, 2013 | Read full story

  • Animated student safety and health video wins first place from L&I

    Winners announced in the annual video contest as part of L&I's Injured Young Worker Speakers Program.

    October 29, 2013 | Read full story

  • Minimum Wage will increase by 13 cents to $9.32 per hour on Januaryuary 1, 2014

    Washington's minimum wage will increase to $9.32 per hour beginning Januaryuary 1, 2014, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced today.

    September 30, 2013 | Read full story

  • Chehalis halfway house operator charged with defrauding state of $90,000 in workers' comp payments

    The operator of several controversial halfway houses in Lewis County now faces felony charges alleging she illegally received more than $90,000 in workers' compensation benefits.

    September 27, 2013 | Read full story

  • Heroes to be honored at 62nd Governor's Safety and Health Conference

    When train conductor Max Chabo saw a man on the tracks in front of the moving train in an Olympia tunnel, he threw the emergency brake, jumped off the engine and raced ahead of the train to pull the man away from the engine, saving him from going under the train. Chabo is one of the men and women who took heroic action to provide critical aid when it was needed the most. Next week, they will all be honored for their life-saving efforts.

    September 23, 2013 | Read full story

  • Don't be a victim: Visit L&I experts at upcoming home shows to learn how to avoid contractor scams

    When it comes to remodeling, hiring a qualified contractor can mean the difference between a home improvement and a renovation nightmare. Starting this week, experts from the Department of Labor & Industries will be available at the Washington State Fair, and later at home shows throughout the state, to offer tips on achieving the remodeling project of your dreams.

    September 19, 2013 | Read full story

  • Klickitat County lumber company fined nearly a quarter of a million dollars after worker gets cAugustht in machinery

    The SDS Lumber Company of Bingen, Wash., has been fined $244,600 for 69 workplace safety and health violations after a worker was seriously injured in Marchch. The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) cited the employer for one willful, 54 serious and 14 general violations of safety and health rules.

    September 17, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I proposes 2.7 percent average rise in workers' comp rates in 2014

    The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has proposed an average 2.7 percent rate increase for 2014 workers' compensation premiums, an increase of less than 2 cents per hour worked.

    September 16, 2013 | Read full story

  • Space still available at worker safety and health conference in Tacoma

    Space is still available at the 62nd annual Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference on Septembert. 25 and 26 at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center. The conference is one of the largest of its kind in the nation for workers, employers and safety and health professionals. It brings together leading industry experts to deliver a program of cutting-edge education, best practices, peer networking and demonstrations.

    September 12, 2013 | Read full story

  • Spokane restaurant owner charged with theft of nearly $250,000 in workers' comp payments

    A Spokane restaurant owner faces a felony theft charge alleging she defrauded the state of nearly $250,000 in workers' compensation benefits over eight years while claiming she could not work.

    August 28, 2013 | Read full story

  • Labor & Industries cuts paperwork time and costs for customers

    A new online service from the Department of Labor & Industries will allow customers to opt for electronic delivery of most claims-related mail — a move that could save the agency $1.3 million in the first year alone.

    August 19, 2013 | Read full story

  • Seattle cab driver faces 15 felony counts for workers' comp fraud

    The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) says a 54 year old Seattle man has been charged with 15 counts of second degree theft in connection with more than $262,000 he received in workers' compensation and other benefits.

    August 1, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I announces new Centers of Occupational Health and Education

    The Department of Labor & Industries has finalized new agreements with health-care organizations to provide Centers of Occupational Health and Education (COHEs).

    July 30, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I offering grants for innovative solutions to workplace problems

    Do you have an innovative idea for improving workplace safety and health or a creative solution to help injured workers return to work soon after an injury? If so, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) would like to hear from you and may help fund your project.

    July 29, 2013 | Read full story

  • Woman charged with theft and perjury in $16,000 workers' comp scam

    An Idaho woman faces felony charges after allegedly receiving more than $12,000 in workers' compensation benefits and nearly $4,000 for vocational rehabilitation while claiming she was unable to work.

    July 26, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I finds April 8 Metro fatality not directly related to escalator failure

    The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) today released a report on its investigation into an April 8 fatality on a King County Metro escalator. The report found no mechanical problems with the escalator that could have contributed to the incident.

    July 23, 2013 | Read full story

  • 3.4 percent COLA for Pension and Time-Loss, Effective July 1

    For most workers injured before July 1, 2012, time-loss and pension benefit payments will increase 3.4 percent based on the change in the state's average wage, as announced by the Department of Employment Security on June 12.

    July 2, 2013 | Read full story

  • Changes to pain treatment for injured workers begin today

    The Department of Labor & Industries has changed the amount of time doctors can prescribe narcotics (opioids) for injured workers without agency authorization from 12 to six weeks.

    July 1, 2013 | Read full story

  • First L&I sweep of 2013 finds unregistered contractors in Kennewick area

    In their first surprise sweep of 2013, construction compliance inspectors with the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) checked 125 contractors on 89 job sites in the Kennewick area this past weekend, citing nine contractors for either lacking a state registration or not being registered for the work they were actually doing.

    June 28, 2013 | Read full story

  • Workplace safety conference seeks nominations for lifesaving awards

    Know someone who saved a life this past year? The Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board would like to know. The board is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Governor's Lifesaving awards, presented to Washington state residents who saved a life these past 12 months.

    June 12, 2013 | Read full story

  • SMART Association, Master Builders win $85,000 from L&I to help injured construction workers return to work sooner

    The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has awarded the SMART Association and the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties an $85,000 grant to partner in creating a program to get injured construction workers back on the job sooner.

    May 20, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I webinar to share tips for securing new round of grant dollars

    The Department of Labor & Industries has scheduled a webinar to showcase the value of its Return to Work grant program and encourage more applicants to seek funding.

    May 17, 2013 | Read full story

  • Tacoma woman charged with stealing $50,000 in benefits from state

    A 39-year-old Tacoma woman faces charges on five counts of theft for fraudulently collecting more than $50,000 in workers' compensation benefits from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

    May 14, 2013 | Read full story

  • Bellevue gun shop cited for exposing workers to lead

    The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has fined a King County gun shop $23,480 for exposing workers to health hazards caused by lead exposure. Wade's Eastside Gun Shop, Inc. in Bellevue was cited for 17 violations of worker safety and health rules at the business's indoor firing range.

    May 14, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I: Be prepared for summer heat when working outdoors

    With hot summer weather arriving early this year, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) wants to remind both workers and employers that working outdoors in hot weather can put you at risk of heat-related illness.

    May 10, 2013 | Read full story

  • UW wins $100,000 L&I grant to help injured workers return to work sooner

    The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has awarded the University of Washington (UW), in collaboration with Harborview Medical Center, a $100,000 grant to help get injured health-care workers back on the job sooner.

    May 9, 2013 | Read full story

  • Three local employers recognized for safety excellence

    Three local employers have been recognized for safety excellence by the Department of Labor & Industries.

    May 9, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I Director and Governor Inslee urge workplace safety for teens with summer jobs

    Gov. Jay Inslee has declared May as "Safe Jobs for Youth Mondayth," just ahead of the summer season, when many teens apply for work. While many teens will simply be grateful for a job, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) wants to remind teens, parents and employers that the top priority should be providing a safe workplace for these young workers.

    May 9, 2013 | Read full story

  • Jail time for King County man who faked work injuries to get drugs

    Jose Ramon Amaya-Hernandez thought he found the perfect way to get prescription narcotics — go to a hospital claiming to be in pain due to a work related injury. However, an investigation by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) uncovered the scam.

    May 7, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I proposes changes to pain treatment for injured workers

    The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is seeking public comment on new rules for prescribing opioids (narcotics) to treat pain in injured workers.

    April 17, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I ceremony April 23 to mark Worker Memorial Day

    A young fisherman, a veteran truck driver, a bridge painter, and an office manager working at her desk — these are among the 66 people who will be honored this year at the 2013 Worker Memorial Day ceremony April 23.

    April 17, 2013 | Read full story

  • Lack of escalator safety maintenance caused Bellevue Square escalator accident L&I opens inquiry into maintenance company

    The Washington Dept. of Labor & Industries today completed a four-month investigation into the cause of a serious escalator malfunction at Bellevue Square on December. 6, 2012 that injured seven people.

    April 8, 2013 | Read full story

  • Learn how to prevent injuries in construction on May 8 in Puyallup

    As construction activity continues to rebound, staying focused on workplace safety and preventing injuries is more important than ever.

    April 2, 2013 | Read full story

  • Tacoma couple must reimburse state $224,000 for workers' comp fraud

    A Tacoma couple received jail time and will have to reimburse the state more than $200,000 after they both filed fraudulent workers' compensation claims in 2009.

    April 1, 2013 | Read full story

  • Language interpreter gets jail time, must pay $34,000 for overcharging state

    A Tacoma woman received a 90-day jail term and must pay restitution after pleading guilty to first degree theft charges for fraudulently billing the Department of Labor & Industries for language interpretive services she never provided.

    March 22, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I launches advertising campaign to help injured workers return to work

    A new advertising campaign on television and the Internet is encouraging employers in Washington state to provide light-duty jobs for their employees while they recover from workplace injuries.

    March 20, 2013 | Read full story

  • Pierce County couple plead guilty to felony charges

    Owners of a towing service will pay nearly $23,000 in restitution and fines after pleading guilty to charges that they continued to employ workers in their Spanaway towing business after the state had prohibited them from doing so.

    March 6, 2013 | Read full story

  • Language interpreter sentenced for padding bill to state

    A Seattle man will pay more than $5,000 in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to charges that he overbilled the state for Spanish language interpretive services.

    February 22, 2013 | Read full story

  • Lake Steven roofing contractor sentenced to 60 days for Workers' Comp fraud

    A Lake Stevens man was sentenced to 60 days in jail converted to electronic home monitoring after a state investigation showed he failed to obtain workers' compensation benefits for his employees.

    February 14, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I launches ProtectMyHome campaign to fight contractor fraud

    A new campaign urging consumers to carefully check the credentials of anyone they hire for home repairs or remodels was launched today by the Department of Labor & Industries. Mike Holmes, nationally known renovation expert, fraud-fighter, and host of HGTV's Holmes on Homes show is the face of the campaign.

    February 14, 2013 | Read full story

  • Registration Open for 9th Annual Agriculture Safety Day

    Registration is now open for the 9th Annual Agriculture Safety Day, which will be held on Marchch 6, 2013, at the Wenatchee Convention Center.

    February 6, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I requests proposals to sponsor Centers of Occupational Health and Education

    The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is requesting proposals from health care organizations interested in sponsoring Centers of Occupational Health and Education (COHEs). The COHEs work with medical providers, employers and injured workers to improve health care for work-related injuries and illnesses.

    February 4, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I selects Consilience Software for new computer system

    The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has selected Consilience Software to develop a computer system that will track health care delivery for injured workers. This Occupational Health Management System (OHMS) will be used by L&I’s Centers of Occupational Health and Education and other programs. The first phase of the multi-million dollar project will be completed in mid-2013.

    February 1, 2013 | Read full story

  • Kettle Falls woman sentenced for stealing workers' compensation benefits

    An L&I investigation led to a four-and- a-half month jail sentence for a Kettle Falls woman who admitted to stealing more than $30,000 in workers' compensation benefits.

    February 1, 2013 | Read full story

  • L&I offering grants for innovative safety and health projects

    Have an innovative idea for improving workplace safety and health, such as with training, equipment or another new idea?

    January 31, 2013 | Read full story

  • Spokane man charged with stealing $113,271 in workers' comp benefits

    Doyle Ronald Wheeler, 36, of Spokane, has been charged in Spokane County Superior Court with first degree felony theft for illegally collecting workers' compensation benefits.

    January 14, 2013 | Read full story

  • Worker's death leads to citation for Department of Natural Resources

    The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been cited for 15 worker-safety violations following an investigation into the drowning death of a DNR diver last summer.

    January 11, 2013 | Read full story

  • Required workplace posters from L&I sent to employers

    The Department of Labor and Industries has mailed a new set of required workplace posters to employers in Washington state. A major change in the workers' compensation poster (Notice to Employees-If a Job Injury Occurs) prompted the mailing—injured workers must now see a network medical provider for ongoing care.

    January 3, 2013 | Read full story


  • Archive: 2012

  • New L&I medical network changes health care for Washington's injured workers

    Effective Januaryuary 1, workers who suffer a job-related injury or illness can see any provider for their first visit to a doctor's office or an emergency room, but for ongoing treatment they must get care from a doctor in the network.

    December 28, 2012 | Read full story

  • New Washington state minimum wage takes effect January. 1, 2013

    Washington's minimum wage increases 15 cents to $9.19 an hour beginning January. 1, 2013.

    December 28, 2012 | Read full story

  • L&I holds workers' compensation rates flat in 2013

    L&I today announced there will be no overall increase in workers' compensation insurance premiums in 2013. This is the second year in a row that L&I has held overall rates flat.

    November 30, 2012 | Read full story

  • Tacoma couple charged with theft of $223,000 in workers' comp benefits

    A Tacoma couple has been charged with one count of felony theft each for collecting workers' compensation benefits illegally.

    November 21, 2012 | Read full story

  • L&I offering free emergency washing/eyewash workshops for employers

    It takes just one accidental splash of a corrosive substance, even a common household chemical like bleach, to cause serious or even permanent damage to a worker's eyes or skin. That is why Washington state law requires employers to provide emergency washing/eyewash stations, in addition to personal protective equipment, when there's a potential employee exposure to corrosives, strong irritants or toxic chemicals.

    November 8, 2012 | Read full story

  • Surprise Wenatchee sweep of 63 work sites uncovers unregistered contractors

    In the fourth surprise sweep in Washington state since Augustust, construction compliance inspectors with L&I visited 63 work sites in Chelan and Douglas counties this past weekend, citing 11 contractors for either lacking a state registration, or not being registered for the work they were actually doing. The infraction carries a $1,000 fine for a first-time offense.

    November 6, 2012 | Read full story

  • Employers affected by Hurricane Sandy may request quarterly report filing extension

    Hurricane Sandy may have prevented some out-of-state employers from paying their workers' compensation premiums by the Oct. 31 deadline.

    November 1, 2012 | Read full story

  • Injured workers — has your doctor joined L&I's new medical provider network?

    In an effort to make sure injured workers are aware of important changes to how they receive medical care, L&I this week is sending 45,000 letters to injured workers letting them know whether or not their doctor has joined the new workers’ compensation medical network.

    October 24, 2012 | Read full story

  • Attending a home show? Visit the L&I booth for a reality check on contractor scams — and how to avoid them

    L&I and its consumer outreach team will attend several home shows around Washington in the coming weeks to educate consumers on how to protect themselves from shady contractors, shoddy work and costly scams.

    October 3, 2012 | Read full story

  • Learn how to apply for grant money from L&I at free workshop

    Do you have an innovative idea for improving workplace safety and health or helping injured workers get back on the job? If so, L&I would like to hear from you and may help fund your project.

    October 1, 2012 | Read full story

  • Washington's minimum wage to increase to $9.19 next year

    Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $9.19 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2013, the Department of Labor & Industries announced today.

    September 28, 2012 | Read full story

  • L&I compliance inspectors target underground economy in weekend sweep

    Construction compliance inspectors with L&I swept through Pierce County this past weekend, citing more than a dozen contractors for working without being registered, an infraction which carries a $1,000 fine for a first-time offense.

    September 25, 2012 | Read full story

  • Heroes to be honored at 61st Governor's Safety Conference

    Preventing a young shooting victim from bleeding to death, wrestling with an armed assailant, and wading into a murky swamp to rescue a motorist are some of the heroic actions taken by men and women who provided critical aid when it was most needed. These heroes and more will be honored for their life-saving efforts.

    September 20, 2012 | Read full story

  • L&I proposes no increase in workers' comp rate for 2013

    L&I announced it is proposing no increase in the average rate for workers’ compensation insurance. If adopted, this would be the second straight year with no increase in workers’ comp rates.

    September 17, 2012 | Read full story

  • BP Cherry Point refinery cited for willful and serious workplace safety violations, fined $81,500

    The Department of Labor & Industries has cited the BP Cherry Point petroleum refinery in Blaine for six violations, including one "willful violation," of workplace safety and health rules related to management of pipeline and refinery processes.

    August 30, 2012 | Read full story

  • Register now for worker safety and health conference

    Registration is open for the 61st annual Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference on Sept. 26 and 27 at the Spokane Convention Center.

    August 27, 2012 | Read full story

  • Workshops on new Stay at Work program offered around the state

    L&I has reimbursed more than 1,000 employers almost $5.5 million to help retain injured workers in light duty jobs, but many businesses around the state remain uncertain how the program can benefit them.

    August 23, 2012 | Read full story

  • Five tips to beat the heat when working outdoors

    If you work outdoors, the Department of Labor & Industries says to take steps to prevent heat-related illness, a condition that can cause serious illness or even death.

    August 16, 2012 | Read full story

  • L&I marks one-year anniversary of Stay at Work program

    One year into its new Stay at Work program, L&I has reimbursed 568 employers with $2.5 million and helped 1,200 injured workers remain on the job, making it one of the fastest growing workers' comp programs in the United States.

    June 15, 2012 | Read full story

  • Wanted: Real-life heroes and heroines

    If you know a real-life hero or heroine who saved a life this past year, the Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board would like to hear from you.

    June 7, 2012 | Read full story

  • Competitors wanted for annual forklift rodeo competition

    Driving a forklift may look easy, but driving one safely requires the right training and experience.

    May 24, 2012 | Read full story

  • Five tips for young workers taking summer jobs

    Among those killed on the job in Washington last year were five young men under the age of 25, including one who was just 18. An average of 79 young men and women between 16 and 24 are hurt on the job every day across the state.

    May 21, 2012 | Read full story

  • L&I offering new grants for innovative return-to-work ideas

    Do you have an innovative idea for helping injured workers return to work soon after an injury? If so, L&I would like to hear from you and may even help fund your project.

    May 18, 2012 | Read full story

  • Warm weather? Must be time for asphalt paving scams

    A homeowner in the Yakima area has fallen victim to an asphalt paving scam, prompting L&I to remind all property owners to protect themselves from unscrupulous contractors.

    May 10, 2012 | Read full story

  • Construction Safety Day coming up May 2 in Puyallup

    Construction industry workers, owners and supervisors have an opportunity to focus on industry-specific training at the fifth annual Construction Safety Day on Wednesday, May 2.

    April 20, 2012 | Read full story

  • L&I ceremony April 26 to mark Worker Memorial Day

    All are welcome to honor the men and women who died from a job-related illness or injury last year at the Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I) annual Worker Memorial Day ceremony.

    April 19, 2012 | Read full story

  • Washington has 51 workplace deaths in 2011 – a historic low

    After years of steady decline, deaths in Washington state due to fatal workplace injuries fell to 51 in 2011, the lowest number of work-related deaths in the state's history.

    March 14, 2012 | Read full story

  • L&I's medical provider network now accepting applications

    The Department of Labor & Industries is now accepting applications for the statewide workers' compensation medical network that will launch in 2013. Network providers will care for injured workers covered by L&I as well as by self-insured employers.

    February 15, 2012 | Read full story

  • L&I seeks public comment on rules for implementing medical network

    The Department of Labor & Industries is seeking input from the public on draft rules for implementing portions of the workers' comp medical network that will launch in 2013. Specifically, the rules cover injured workers' visits to non-network providers — what L&I can pay for and who can decide to reopen a claim.

    February 10, 2012 | Read full story

  • L&I seeks public comment on rules for Structured Settlements

    The Department of Labor & Industries is holding four hearings to take public comments on rules pertaining to structured settlement agreements for workers' compensation claims.

    February 2, 2012 | Read full story

  • Dealing with storm damage? Protect yourself from unqualified contractors

    A week after a winter storm swept through much of Washington, downing trees and power lines, many homeowners are still cleaning up and repairing the damage.

    January 26, 2012 | Read full story

  • L&I extends filing deadline to Feb. 3 due to storm slowdown

    The state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is extending its quarterly filing deadline for State Fund employers to submit their workers' compensation premiums from midnight Jan. 31 to midnight Feb. 3.

    January 25, 2012 | Read full story

  • Enforcement, education part of L&I effort to protect workers in primary metals industry

    The Department of Labor & Industries has joined a national effort to improve safety at smelters, foundries and other metal processing facilities that make up the state's primary metals industry.

    January 12, 2012 | Read full story

  • Hazardous drugs rule adopted, meeting set to discuss advisory committee

    The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has adopted the Hazardous Drugs rule, designed to protect health care workers from exposure to chemotherapy drugs and other hazardous drugs.

    January 12, 2012 | Read full story

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