L&I Disputes – WA

silhouette construction siteWashington Labor and Industries  Disputes

Appeal of Washington Labor and Industry Assessment

A major cost for Washington employers is the hourly charge imposed by Washington State’s Department of Labor and Industry (Workers’ Compensation). For manufacturing and construction businesses, the rates exceed $1 per hour. The calculation of L & I is a complex process requiring expertise. Often Washington employers make errors on their L & I forms – sometimes paying excess fees and sometimes not paying all that is due.

The Department of Labor and Industry regularly audits Washington employers. Surprisingly, their audits can also contain errors. Also, if there is a question of interpretation or an alternative calculation possible, Washington L & I tends to take the position that results in the highest cost and penalties to the employer.

What should you do if you are facing an audit by Washington State’s Department of Labor and Industry?

First, make sure you are working with a professional who is knowledgeable in the L & I process. Hire an experienced accountant or consultant. It is preferable that the consultant or accountant has the experience of previously working for Washington’s L & I agency.

It is important you do not delay. You have only 30 days after you receive the Notice and Order of Assessment to ask for reconsideration.

Hire the professional before the field audit is conducted by Labor and Industry. Even if you have failed to file the proper reports with the agency, a qualified consultant can save money far in excess of the cost of obtaining the assistance.

What if you need to appeal a Notice and Order of Assessment?

It is not usually cost effective to hire Tollefsen Law for Labor and Industry cases unless an appeal to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA) is required. We are generally willing to handle the appeal for a reasonable fixed fee.

What is the BIIA?

The Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA) is a separate state agency that is independent from the Department of Labor and Industries. The BIIA hears appeals from decisions made by the Department in several areas. The three principal types of appeals are the following types of L&I disputes:

Industrial insurance (workers’ compensation).

Safety citations under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA)

Crime victim compensation.

The BIIA is administered by three full-time Board members appointed by the Governor.1See RCW 51.52

You have only sixty days from the Notice and Order of Assessment to appeal to the BIIA2RCW 51.52.060. An appeal to the BIIA is a prerequisite for going to court

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. See RCW 51.52
2. RCW 51.52.060

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