What can you do? Call and write to your state Senators and Legislators, as well as Governor Inslee and let them know that you strongly oppose the proposed changes to our workers’ compensation laws.
To find the name and contact information of your representatives, you can call 1-800-562-6000 or go online to http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/ and enter your address and zip code. The names and contact information for your Senator and Representative(s) will be shown.
Over the last several years, our firm, along with other dedicated attorneys, labor unions, and lobbyists, have successful fought off changes to our workers’ compensation laws which would have cut benefits to injured workers. With the new legislature, those benefits are under attack again, mainly from the Republican members of the state Senate.
The bills that passed in the state Senate include ones that:
- Allow Retro group employers to schedule so-called independent medical exams and order vocational assessments without input from the claims managers at the Department;
- Allow employers to force an injured worker to take a light duty job without approval by the attending physician and, if the worker’s condition worsens as a result of that light duty work, he or she cannot leave the job without the express, written approval of the attending physician;
- Eliminate the 55 age limit protection on structured settlements and allows settlements for any worker at age 40 or older. These structured settlements are designed to lower the cost of workers compensation to employers by reducing benefits to injured workers.
Please act now. These changes may appear simple, but they are not. The workers’ compensation laws are complex and designed to protect the rights of injured workers. These changes would benefit employers only. Call or write your Senator and Representatives and urge them to vote no on the proposed changes to our workers’ compensation laws.