For workers who’ve been injured on the job and fought for months or years in court for adequate compensation, collecting that payment shouldn’t have to be a continuation of the struggle. But due to the way current laws are written for self-insured employers, that’s all too often the case when it comes to workers’ comp claims.
A proposed bill in the Washington state House of Representatives aims to fix the system by increasing the fees self-insured companies have to pay for delaying L&I orders to compensate victims.
Injured workers and their representatives often have to spend weeks or months convincing L&I to force negligent employers to pay up. But the fines are so low that most employers are almost incentivized to simply ignore L&I interventions.
House Bill 2409, introduced in January, lays out a set of new penalties for self-insured employers that refuse to compensate injured workers.
Existing fines of $500 for penalties like unreasonable delays or refusing to pay benefits as they become due would jump to as much as $1,700 under the new bill.
Employers that fail to keep necessary books, records and payroll information, or refuse to provide the information to L&I auditors, will be subject to fines up to $850, instead of the existing $200 penalty. Doctors and some nurses would face similar fees for failing to notify L&I of injury-related claim information in a timely manner.
If enacted, the new law should help speed up payment for injury victims who are owed compensation under Washington state law.
Emery Reddy helps workers. Call us at if you have a workers’ comp or other employment law claim. You won’t get better advice.