2016 Self-Insurance Ombuds report out
Earlier this week, Donna Egeland, the Ombuds for injured workers of self-insured employers, released her annual report to the Governor as required by statute. The Ombuds report details calls and issues that have come in to the office over the past years, reports out on initiatives undertaken over the past year, and highlights some future initiatives of the Ombuds. Of particular interest for future initiatives is the Ombuds' interest in working with the Department to transition the self-insurance section from readjudication of self-insurers' claims to more of an audit and oversight role. Check out the full report here.
House Labor Committee holds work session on labor, workers' comp topics
Yesterday in the Washington State Legislature, the Labor Committee of the House of Representatives, chaired by Rep. Mike Sells, D-Everett, held a work session on a slew of workplace topics including workplace bullying, occupational exposure to lead, training benefits for workers receiving unemployment benefits, workplace safety in state hospitals, and a presentation on the above-referenced self-insurance Ombuds report. You can stream the whole roughly two hour work session at this link, or scroll to about 1:47 in for the Ombuds presentation and following comments by WSIA lobbyist Christine Brewer.
WCAC presentation slides available
Last Friday, the state Workers' Compensation Advisory Committee (WCAC) held its quarterly meeting at Labor & Industries headquarters in Tumwater. For those interested in following the work of the WCAC, the meeting slides are posted here, including information on the Department's 2017 premium rate announcement, financial performance and status of the State Funds, ongoing return to work efforts, and an update on the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.
Washington minimum wage set to increase to $9.53 in 2017
Earlier this week, the Department of Labor & Industries calculated 2017's statewide minimum wage, based on the year-over-year change in the Consumer Price Index. It'll hit $9.53 next year by operation of current law and, if Initiative 1433 on the November ballot passes, will go up to $11.00 an hour (on the way to $13.50 by 2020).
WSIA News & Events:
Employer workers' compensation coalition to meet Tuesday
The employers' workers' compensation coalition, a collaborative group of state fund employer representatives, retrospective ratings groups, and public and private sector self-insured employers, is meeting next Tuesday October 5th at WSIA, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, to continue fall discussion of 2017 legislative issues and shared agendas. A call in option is available for those who can't make it to Olympia but want to participate. The coalition is inclusive and open to any interested employers and representatives - for more information, contact Kris Tefft.