Labor and Industries: News Releases News Releases en-US 2021-11-29T12:58:00 Longview paper mill fined nearly $140,000 for failing to protect workers from COVID-19 TUMWATER – A Cowlitz County papermaking plant is facing nearly $140,000 in fines after one worker died and more than a dozen machine operators got sick with coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Apprenticeships in Washington State reach record numbers TUMWATER — The number of people involved in registered apprenticeship programs statewide has reached an all-time high.

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2 asbestos removal companies fined a combined $800,000 for knowingly exposing workers and the public to unsafe conditions TUMWATER — Two Washington asbestos removal contractors are facing a combined $800,000 in fines from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) for knowingly and repeatedly exposing employees and the public to extremely hazardous conditions.

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Court of Appeals affirms L&I position: Workers must be paid for required work travel TACOMA — In a unanimous decision, the state Court of Appeals affirmed a Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) decision ordering the Port of Tacoma to pay workers for all travel time on work trips to China and Texas.

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Bored injured worker got five jobs while collecting $41K in workers' comp SEATTLE — A King County man who claimed his on-the-job injury was so bad he couldn't work, but then took several jobs while he was receiving workers' compensation, has been sentenced to repay the state more than $41,000.

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Joint Washington state lab brings food safety, hazardous chemical testing, other significant public safety functions into 21st century TUMWATER – A new state laboratory and training center under construction soon in Tumwater will provide a state-of-the-art facility for food safety work, hazardous chemical testing, workplace safety investigations, and more.

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Four Washington roofing companies fined more than half a million dollars combined for repeatedly putting workers at risk of dangerous falls TUMWATER — Four Washington roofing companies are facing more than half a million dollars in fines for allowing workers to roof on top of homes without using fall protection and other safety violations. 

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Fourteen Washington workers honored for saving lives on the job TUMWATER — No one leaves for work thinking they’ll soon be faced with a life-threatening situation- and none of us really knows how we would react until it happens.

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For 2022, Washington minimum wage rises to $14.49 per hour TUMWATER — The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) today announced the state’s minimum wage will rise to $14.49 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2022.

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Start of school means limits on work hours for teens; Employers must get permission from parents, schools TUMWATER – The start of school signals limits on work hours for teenagers in Washington state. For employers, it means a Sept. 30 deadline to obtain permission from parents and schools for teens to work during the school year.

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Former business owner who submitted phony bills for interpretation services repays L&I $43,000 PASCO — A Seattle woman accused of forging signatures and stealing money by billing the state for appointments that never happened pleaded guilty Wednesday.

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L&I proposes 3.1 percent increase in workers' comp rates for 2022 TUMWATER −The state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is proposing a small increase in the average price employers and workers pay for workers' compensation insurance next year. If the proposal is adopted, it would be the first time in five years that workers' compensation rates would go up, but on average, premiums in 2022 would still be less than in 2017.

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Yakima orchards face lawsuit for more than $450,000 in back wages owed workers TUMWATER — The Washington State Attorney General's Office (AGO) has filed a lawsuit against two Yakima orchards in an effort to recoup more than $450,000 in back wages owed workers.

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Thurston County man who faked on-the-job injury pleads guilty in workers' comp scam Olympia — A Thurston County man who tried to pass off a barroom brawl injury as a workplace accident has pleaded guilty to stealing state workers’ compensation insurance benefits.

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Landmark Gebbers Farms settlement means company will spend more than $2 million investing in Central WA farmworkers, families TUMWATER — The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has reached a settlement with Gebbers Farms Operations, LP following one of the largest workplace safety and health fines in state history.

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Property flipper law to protect homebuyers from hazardous electrical work TUMWATER — Property flippers must use certified electricians when doing wiring improvements to homes or commercial buildings they sell within a year of purchase.

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Vancouver, Wash., husband and wife face felony charges in workers' comp scam VANCOUVER, Wash. — A married couple working at their son’s Vancouver auto repair shop claimed to be hurt at the shop and received workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries.

Now both are charged with stealing those benefits from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

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Washington among the first to issue rules to protect workers from wildfire smoke TUMWATER — Washington is under a state of emergency, with more than 600 wildfires reported already this year. That's about double the normal rate, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

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UPDATE Dairy workers eligible for overtime; all other ag workers eligible beginning Jan. 1, 2022 This news release has been updated since it was originally released July 15.

TUMWATER — Dairy workers in Washington can earn overtime pay following a State Supreme Court decision and a new state law now in effect. All other agricultural workers will be eligible beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

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Washington state issues hazard alert on heat stress as emergency rules take effect TUMWATER — The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) issued a Hazard Alert today calling on employers to increase monitoring of workers for signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses.

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Washington state emergency heat exposure rule increases protection for outdoor workers TUMWATER — The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) filed an emergency rule today to provide increased protection for employees exposed to extreme heat, including those working in agriculture, construction and other outdoor industries. The emergency Outdoor Heat Exposure rule clarifies proactive steps that employers must take to prevent outdoor workers from suffering heat-related illness.

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Snohomish roofing company fined $1.2 million for repeatedly putting workers at risk SNOHOMISH — A Snohomish roofing company with an extensive history of worker safety violations is facing more than $1.2 million in fines for disregarding the same rules it violated a year ago. 

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Nominate lifesaving workplace heroes in Washington TUMWATER — Emergencies can happen to anyone anywhere, even on the job. Immediate action can truly make the difference between life and death.

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Ex-logger claiming to have severe leg and back injuries charged with stealing nearly $300K in workers’ comp scam TUMWATER — A Cowlitz County man stands accused of faking injuries to collect nearly $300,000 in workers’ compensation benefits. James Joseph Thomasson, 52, of Kalama, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, May 25, in Thurston County Superior Court on one count of felony first-degree theft.

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Some temporary workers much more likely to get hurt on the job — new Washington safety requirements aim to change that OLYMPIA — Temporary workers in construction and manufacturing are more than twice as likely as permanent workers to get seriously hurt on the job in Washington.

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