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51.12.110  <<  51.12.120 >>   51.12.130

RCW 51.12.120

Extraterritorial coverage.

(1) If a worker, while working outside the territorial limits of this state, suffers an injury on account of which he or she, or his or her beneficiaries, would have been entitled to compensation under this title had the injury occurred within this state, the worker, or his or her beneficiaries, shall be entitled to compensation under this title if at the time of the injury:

     (a) His or her employment is principally localized in this state; or

     (b) He or she is working under a contract of hire made in this state for employment not principally localized in any state; or

     (c) He or she is working under a contract of hire made in this state for employment principally localized in another state whose workers' compensation law is not applicable to his or her employer; or

     (d) He or she is working under a contract of hire made in this state for employment outside the United States and Canada.

     (2) The payment or award of compensation or other recoveries, including settlement proceeds, under the workers' compensation law of another state, territory, province, or foreign nation to a worker or his or her beneficiaries otherwise entitled on account of such injury to compensation under this title shall not be a bar to a claim for compensation under this title if that claim under this title is timely filed. If compensation is paid or awarded under this title, the total amount of compensation or other recoveries, including settlement proceeds, paid or awarded the worker or beneficiary under such other workers' compensation law shall be credited against the compensation due the worker or beneficiary under this title.

     (3)(a) An employer not domiciled in this state who is employing workers in this state in work for which the employer must be registered under chapter 18.27 RCW or licensed under chapter 19.28 RCW, or prequalified under RCW 47.28.070, must secure the payment of compensation under this title by:

     (i) Insuring the employer's workers' compensation obligation under this title with the department;

     (ii) Being qualified as a self-insurer under this title; or

     (iii) For employers domiciled in a state or province of Canada subject to an agreement entered into under subsection (7) of this section, as permitted by the agreement, filing with the department a certificate of coverage issued by the agency that administers the workers' compensation law in the employer's state or province of domicile certifying that the employer has secured the payment of compensation under the other state's or province's workers' compensation law.

     (b) The department shall adopt rules to implement this subsection.

     (4) If a worker or beneficiary is entitled to compensation under this title by reason of an injury sustained in this state while in the employ of an employer who is domiciled in another state or province of Canada and the employer:

     (a) Is not subject to subsection (3) of this section and has neither opened an account with the department nor qualified as a self-insurer under this title, the employer or his or her insurance carrier shall file with the director a certificate issued by the agency that administers the workers' compensation law in the state of the employer's domicile, certifying that the employer has secured the payment of compensation under the workers' compensation law of the other state and that with respect to the injury the worker or beneficiary is entitled to the benefits provided under the other state's law.

     (b) Has filed a certificate under subsection (3)(a)(iii) of this section or (a) of this subsection (4):

     (i) The filing of the certificate constitutes appointment by the employer or his or her insurance carrier of the director as its agent for acceptance of the service of process in any proceeding brought by any claimant to enforce rights under this title;

     (ii) The director shall send to such employer or his or her insurance carrier, by registered or certified mail to the address shown on such certificate, a true copy of any notice of claim or other process served on the director by the claimant in any proceeding brought to enforce rights under this title;

     (iii) If the employer is a self-insurer under the workers' compensation law of the other state or province of Canada, the employer shall, upon submission of evidence or security, satisfactory to the director, of his or her ability to meet his or her liability to the claimant under this title, be deemed to be a qualified self-insurer under this title; and

     (iv) If the employer's liability under the workers' compensation law of the other state or province of Canada is insured:

     (A) The employer's carrier, as to such claimant only, shall be deemed to be subject to this title. However, unless the insurer's contract with the employer requires the insurer to pay an amount equivalent to the compensation benefits provided by this title, the insurer's liability for compensation shall not exceed the insurer's liability under the workers' compensation law of the other state or province; and

     (B) If the total amount for which the employer's insurer is liable under (b)(iv)(A) of this subsection is less than the total of the compensation to which the claimant is entitled under this title, the director may require the employer to file security satisfactory to the director to secure the payment of compensation under this title.

     (c) If subject to subsection (3) of this section, has not complied with subsection (3) of this section or, if not subject to subsection (3) of this section, has neither qualified as a self-insurer nor secured insurance coverage under the workers' compensation law of another state or province of Canada, the claimant shall be paid compensation by the department and the employer shall have the same rights and obligations, and is subject to the same penalties, as other employers subject to this title.

     (5) As used in this section:

     (a) A person's employment is principally localized in this or another state when: (i) His or her employer has a place of business in this or the other state and he or she regularly works at or from the place of business; or (ii) if (a)(i) of this subsection is not applicable, he or she is domiciled in and spends a substantial part of his or her working time in the service of his or her employer in this or the other state;

     (b) "Workers' compensation law" includes "occupational disease law" for the purposes of this section.

     (6) A worker whose duties require him or her to travel regularly in the service of his or her employer in this and one or more other states may agree in writing with his or her employer that his or her employment is principally localized in this or another state, and, unless the other state refuses jurisdiction, the agreement shall govern as to any injury occurring after the effective date of the agreement.

     (7) The director is authorized to enter into agreements with the appropriate agencies of other states and provinces of Canada that administer their workers' compensation law with respect to conflicts of jurisdiction and the assumption of jurisdiction in cases where the contract of employment arises in one state or province and the injury occurs in another. If the other state's or province's law requires Washington employers to secure the payment of compensation under the other state's or province's workers' compensation laws for work performed in that state or province, then employers domiciled in that state or province must purchase compensation covering their workers engaged in that work in this state under this state's industrial insurance law. When an agreement under this subsection has been executed and adopted as a rule of the department under chapter 34.05 RCW, it binds all employers and workers subject to this title and the jurisdiction of this title is governed by this rule.

     (8) Washington employers who are not self-insured under chapter 51.14 RCW shall obtain workers' compensation coverage from the state fund for temporary and incidental work performed on jobs or at jobsites in another state by their Washington workers. The department is authorized to adopt rules governing premium liability and reporting requirements for hours of work in excess of temporary and incidental as defined in this chapter.

     (9) "Temporary and incidental" means work performed by Washington employers on jobs or at jobsites in another state for thirty or fewer consecutive or nonconsecutive full or partial days within a calendar year. Temporary and incidental days are considered on a per state basis.

     (10) By December 1, 2011, the department shall report to the workers' compensation advisory committee on the effect of this section on the revenue and costs to the state fund.

[2008 c 88 § 1; 1999 c 394 § 1; 1998 c 279 § 2; 1995 c 199 § 1; 1977 ex.s. c 350 § 23; 1972 ex.s. c 43 § 12; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 82.]

Notes:

     Finding -- Intent -- 1998 c 279: "The legislature finds that a competitive disadvantage exists in the construction industry because of a disparity in workers' compensation coverage requirements among the states. The intent of this act is (1) to provide an equal footing for all contractors bidding on or engaging in construction work in this state, (2) to ensure that all workers injured while in the course of employment in this state receive the benefits to which they are entitled, and (3) to not create disincentives for employers to hire workers in this state." [1998 c 279 § 1.]

     Severability -- 1995 c 199: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1995 c 199 § 8.]