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51.12.045  <<  51.12.050 >>   51.12.060

RCW 51.12.050

Public entity work — Partnerships with volunteer groups and businesses for community improvement projects.

(1) Whenever a public entity engages in any work, or let a contract therefor, in which workers are employed for wages, this title shall be applicable thereto. The employer's payments into the accident fund shall be made from the treasury of the public entity. If the work is being done by contract, the payroll of the contractor and the subcontractor shall be the basis of computation and, in the case of contract work consuming less than one year in performance, the required payment into the accident fund shall be based upon the total payroll. The contractor and any subcontractor shall be subject to the provisions of this title, and the state for its general fund, the county, municipal corporation, or other taxing district shall be entitled to collect from the contractor the full amount payable to the accident fund and the contractor, in turn, shall be entitled to collect from the subcontractor his or her proportionate amount of the payment.

     (2)(a) A public entity may seek partnerships with volunteer groups and businesses to engage in community improvement projects to benefit the public entity. In administering a project, the public entity must:

     (i) Provide prospective donors and participants written notice of the risks and responsibilities to be assumed by the public entity and the donors or participants. A volunteer donating labor on the project must, before beginning work, document in writing that he or she has received the notice and that he or she is donating labor as a result of his or her own free choice; and

     (ii) Pay premiums and assessments required under this title to secure medical aid benefits under chapter 51.36 RCW for volunteers donating labor on the project.

     (b) A contractor or employer donating equipment or materials for use on a community improvement project shall not, for the purposes of this title, be considered the employer of an individual donating labor unless the contractor or employer pays the individual wages for working on the project or makes working on the project a condition of employment. This subsection applies regardless of whether:

     (i) The contractor or employer informs the individual about the community improvement project or encourages the individual to donate labor on the project;

     (ii) The individual uses equipment or materials on the project that are donated by the contractor or the individual's employer; or

     (iii) The individual is granted maintenance or reimbursement for actual expenses necessarily incurred in performing labor for the project.

     (3) Whenever and so long as, by state law, city charter, or municipal ordinance, provision is made for employees or peace officers injured in the course of employment, such employees shall not be entitled to the benefits of this title and shall not be included in the payroll of the municipality under this title: PROVIDED, That whenever any state law, city charter, or municipal ordinance only provides for payment to the employee of the difference between his or her actual wages and that received under this title such employees shall be entitled to the benefits of this title and may be included in the payroll of the municipality.

     (4) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section, unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

     (a) "Community improvement project" means a project sponsored by a public entity that uses donated labor, materials, or equipment and includes, but is not limited to, projects to repair, restore, or preserve historic property.

     (b) "Historic property" means real property owned by a public entity including, but not limited to, barns, schools, military structures, and cemeteries.

     (c) "Public entity" means the state, county, any municipal corporation, or other taxing district.

[2001 c 138 § 2; 1977 ex.s. c 350 § 18; 1972 ex.s. c 43 § 8; 1961 c 23 § 51.12.050. Prior: 1955 c 74 § 6; prior: (i) 1923 c 136 § 5, part; 1921 c 182 § 8, part; 1915 c 188 § 6, part; 1911 c 74 § 17, part; RRS § 7692, part. (ii) 1923 c 128 § 1, part; RRS § 7674a, part.]

Notes:

     Finding -- Purpose -- 2001 c 138: "The legislature finds that government and business partnerships on projects for community improvement can assist communities to preserve historic property and create opportunities for volunteer service. The legislature also recognizes that uncertainty about risks and obligations may deter employers who would otherwise be willing to donate materials and equipment to a community project. The purpose of this act is to encourage participation by establishing clear criteria for determining industrial insurance obligations with respect to donated labor on certain community projects." [2001 c 138 § 1.]