Employments included—Declaration of policy.
There is a hazard in all employment and it is the purpose of this title to embrace all employments which are within the legislative jurisdiction of the state.
This title shall be liberally construed for the purpose of reducing to a minimum the suffering and economic loss arising from injuries and/or death occurring in the course of employment.
[ 1972 ex.s. c 43 § 6; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 2; 1961 c 23 § 51.12.010.
Prior: 1959 c 55 § 1; 1955 c 74 § 2;
prior: (i) 1947 c 281 § 1, part; 1943 c 210 § 1, part; 1939 c 41 § 1, part; 1937 c 211 § 1, part; 1927 c 310 § 1, part; 1921 c 182 § 1, part; 1919 c 131 § 1, part; 1911 c 74 § 2, part; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 7674, part. (ii) 1923 c 128 § 1, part; RRS § 7674a, part.]
The following are the only employments which shall not be included within the mandatory coverage of this title:
(1) Any person employed as a domestic servant in a private home by an employer who has less than two employees regularly employed forty or more hours a week in such employment.
(2) Any person employed to do gardening, maintenance, or repair, in or about the private home of the employer. For the purposes of this subsection, "maintenance" means the work of keeping in proper condition, "repair" means to restore to sound condition after damage, and "private home" means a person's place of residence.
(3) A person whose employment is not in the course of the trade, business, or profession of his or her employer and is not in or about the private home of the employer.
(4) Any person performing services in return for aid or sustenance only, received from any religious or charitable organization.
(5) Sole proprietors or partners.
(6) Any child under eighteen years of age employed by his or her parent or parents in agricultural activities on the family farm.
(7) Jockeys while participating in or preparing horses for race meets licensed by the Washington horse racing commission pursuant to chapter 67.16
(8)(a) Except as otherwise provided in (b) of this subsection, any bona fide officer of a corporation voluntarily elected or voluntarily appointed in accordance with the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the corporation, who at all times during the period involved is also a bona fide director, and who is also a shareholder of the corporation. Only such officers who exercise substantial control in the daily management of the corporation and whose primary responsibilities do not include the performance of manual labor are included within this subsection.
(b) Alternatively, a corporation that is not a "public company" as defined in RCW 23B.01.400
may exempt eight or fewer bona fide officers, who are voluntarily elected or voluntarily appointed in accordance with the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the corporation and who exercise substantial control in the daily management of the corporation, from coverage under this title without regard to the officers' performance of manual labor if the exempted officer is a shareholder of the corporation, or may exempt any number of officers if all the exempted officers are related by blood within the third degree or marriage. If a corporation that is not a "public company" elects to be covered under subsection (8)(a) of this section, the corporation's election must be made on a form prescribed by the department and under such reasonable rules as the department may adopt.
(c) Determinations respecting the status of persons performing services for a corporation shall be made, in part, by reference to Title 23B
RCW and to compliance by the corporation with its own articles of incorporation and bylaws. For the purpose of determining coverage under this title, substance shall control over form, and mandatory coverage under this title shall extend to all workers of this state, regardless of honorary titles conferred upon those actually serving as workers.
(d) A corporation may elect to cover officers who are exempted by this subsection in the manner provided by RCW 51.12.110
(9) Services rendered by a musician or entertainer under a contract with a purchaser of the services, for a specific engagement or engagements when such musician or entertainer performs no other duties for the purchaser and is not regularly and continuously employed by the purchaser. A purchaser does not include the leader of a group or recognized entity who employs other than on a casual basis musicians or entertainers.
(10) Services performed by a newspaper vendor, carrier, or delivery person selling or distributing newspapers on the street, to offices, to businesses, or from house to house and any freelance news correspondent or "stringer" who, using his or her own equipment, chooses to submit material for publication for free or a fee when such material is published.
(11) Services performed by an insurance producer, as defined in RCW 48.17.010
, or a surplus line broker licensed under chapter 48.15
(12) Services performed by a booth renter. However, a person exempted under this subsection may elect coverage under RCW 51.32.030
(13) Members of a limited liability company, if either:
(a) Management of the company is vested in its members, and the members for whom exemption is sought would qualify for exemption under subsection (5) of this section were the company a sole proprietorship or partnership; or
(b) Management of the company is vested in one or more managers, and the members for whom the exemption is sought are managers who would qualify for exemption under subsection (8) of this section were the company a corporation.
(14) A driver providing commercial transportation services as defined in RCW 48.177.005
. The driver may elect coverage in the manner provided by RCW 51.32.030
(15) For hire vehicle operators under chapter 46.72
RCW who own or lease the for hire vehicle, chauffeurs under chapter 46.72A
RCW who own or lease the limousine, and operators of taxicabs under chapter 81.72
RCW who own or lease the taxicab. An owner or lessee may elect coverage in the manner provided by RCW 51.32.030
Effective date—2009 c 162:
See note following RCW 48.03.020
Severability—Effective date—2008 c 217:
See notes following RCW 48.03.020
Effective date—Conflict with federal requirements—1991 c 246:
See notes following RCW 51.08.195
Effective dates—Implementation—1982 c 63:
See note following RCW 51.32.095
Severability—Effective date—1977 ex.s. c 323:
See notes following RCW 51.04.040
Persons working on parents' family farms—Optional exclusion from coverage.
(1) The parent or parents of a person at least eighteen years of age but under twenty-one years of age may elect to exclude from mandatory coverage under this title the parent's employment of that person in agricultural activities on their family farm if:
(a) The person resides with his or her parent or parents or resides on their family farm; and
(b) The parent or parents file a written notice with the department electing exclusion from coverage.
(2) A parent or parents who have elected to exclude a person under this subsection may subsequently obtain coverage for that person under RCW 51.12.110
(1) Volunteers shall be deemed employees and/or workers, as the case may be, for all purposes relating to medical aid benefits under chapter 51.36
A "volunteer" shall mean a person who performs any assigned or authorized duties for the state or any agency thereof, except emergency services workers as described by chapter 38.52
RCW, brought about by one's own free choice, receives no wages, and is registered and accepted as a volunteer by the state or any agency thereof, prior to the occurrence of the injury or the contraction of an occupational disease, for the purpose of engaging in authorized volunteer service: PROVIDED, That such person shall be deemed to be a volunteer although he or she may be granted maintenance and reimbursement for actual expenses necessarily incurred in performing his or her assigned or authorized duties.
Any and all premiums or assessments due under this title on account of such volunteer service shall be the obligation of and be paid by the state or any agency thereof which has registered and accepted the services of volunteers.
(2) Except as provided in RCW 51.12.050
, volunteers may be deemed employees and/or workers, as the case may be, for all purposes relating to medical aid benefits under chapter 51.36
RCW at the option of any city, county, town, special district, municipal corporation, or political subdivision of any type, or any private nonprofit charitable organization, when any such unit of local government or any such nonprofit organization has given notice of covering all of its volunteers to the director prior to the occurrence of the injury or contraction of an occupational disease.
A "volunteer" shall mean a person who performs any assigned or authorized duties for any such unit of local government, or any such organization, except emergency services workers as described by chapter 38.52
RCW, or firefighters covered by chapter 41.24
RCW, brought about by one's own free choice, receives no wages, and is registered and accepted as a volunteer by any such unit of local government, or any such organization which has given such notice, for the purpose of engaging in authorized volunteer services: PROVIDED, That such person shall be deemed to be a volunteer although he or she may be granted maintenance and reimbursement for actual expenses necessarily incurred in performing his or her assigned or authorized duties: PROVIDED FURTHER, That juveniles performing community restitution under chapter 13.40
RCW may not be granted coverage as volunteers under this section.
Any and all premiums or assessments due under this title on account of such volunteer service for any such unit of local government, or any such organization shall be the obligation of and be paid by such organization which has registered and accepted the services of volunteers and exercised its option to secure the medical aid benefits under chapter 51.36
RCW for such volunteers.
Effective date—2002 c 175:
See note following RCW 7.80.130
Finding—Purpose—2001 c 138:
See note following RCW 51.12.050
Offenders performing community restitution.
Offenders performing community restitution pursuant to court order or under RCW 13.40.080
may be deemed employees and/or workers under this title at the option of the state, county, city, town, or nonprofit organization under whose authorization the community restitution is performed. Any premiums or assessments due under this title for community restitution work shall be the obligation of and be paid for by the state agency, county, city, town, or nonprofit organization for which the offender performed the community restitution. Coverage commences when a state agency, county, city, town, or nonprofit organization has given notice to the director that it wishes to cover offenders performing community restitution before the occurrence of an injury or contraction of an occupational disease.
Effective date—2002 c 175:
See note following RCW 7.80.130
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.
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.
The application of this title and related safety laws is hereby extended to all lands and premises owned or held by the United States of America, by deed or act of cession, by purchase or otherwise, which are within the exterior boundaries of the state of Washington, and to all projects, buildings, constructions, improvements, and property belonging to the United States of America, which are within the exterior boundaries of the state, in the same way and to the same extent as if said premises were under the exclusive jurisdiction of the state, and as fully as is permitted under the provisions of that act of the congress of the United States approved June 25, 1936, granting to the several states jurisdiction and authority to apply their state workers' compensation laws on all property and premises belonging to the United States of America, being 49 United States Statutes at large 1938, title 40, section 290 United States code, 1958 edition: PROVIDED, That this title shall not apply to employees of the United States of America.
Work done by contract—Subcontractors—Nonemergency transportation brokers.
The provisions of this title apply to all work done by contract; the person, firm, or corporation who lets a contract for such work is responsible primarily and directly for all premiums upon the work, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section. The contractor and any subcontractor are subject to the provisions of this title and the person, firm, or corporation letting the contract is entitled to collect from the contractor the full amount payable in premiums and the contractor in turn is entitled to collect from the subcontractor his or her proportionate amount of the payment.
(1) For the purposes of this section, a contractor registered under chapter 18.27
RCW or licensed under chapter 19.28
RCW is not responsible for any premiums upon the work of any subcontractor if:
(a) The subcontractor is currently engaging in a business which is registered under chapter 18.27
RCW or licensed under chapter 19.28
(b) The subcontractor has a principal place of business which would be eligible for a business deduction for internal revenue service tax purposes other than that furnished by the contractor for which the business has contracted to furnish services;
(c) The subcontractor maintains a separate set of books or records that reflect all items of income and expenses of the business;
(d) The subcontractor has contracted to perform:
(i) The work of a contractor as defined in RCW 18.27.010
(ii) The work of installing wires or equipment to convey electric current or installing apparatus to be operated by such current as it pertains to the electrical industry as described in chapter 19.28
(e) The subcontractor has an industrial insurance account in good standing with the department or is a self-insurer. For the purposes of this subsection (1)(e), a contractor may consider a subcontractor's account to be in good standing if, within a year prior to letting the contract or master service agreement, and at least once a year thereafter, the contractor has verified with the department that the account is in good standing and the contractor has not received written notice from the department that the subcontractor's account status has changed. Acceptable documentation of verification includes a department document which includes an issued date or a dated printout of information from the department's internet web site showing a subcontractor's good standing. The department shall develop an approach to provide contractors with verification of the date of inquiries validating that the subcontractor's account is in good standing.
It is unlawful for any county, city, or town to issue a construction building permit to any person who has not submitted to the department an estimate of payroll and paid premium thereon as provided by chapter 51.16
RCW of this title or proof of qualification as a self-insurer.
(2) Nonemergency transportation brokers that operate as not-for-profit businesses are not liable for any premiums of a subcontractor if the provisions of subsection (1)(c) and (e) of this section are met throughout the term of the contract. For purposes of this section, nonemergency transportation brokers are those organizations or entities that contract with the state health care authority, or its successor, to arrange nonemergency transportation for qualified clients.
Adoption of rules—2004 c 243:
See note following RCW 51.08.177
Inasmuch as it has proved impossible in the case of employees of common carriers by railroad, engaged in maintenance and operation of railways doing interstate, foreign, and intrastate commerce, and in maintenance and construction of their equipment, to separate and distinguish the connection of such employees with interstate or foreign commerce from their connection with intrastate commerce, and such employees have, in fact, received no compensation under this title, the provisions of this title shall not apply to work performed by such employees in the maintenance and operation of such railroads or performed in the maintenance or construction of their equipment, or to the employees of such common carriers by railroad engaged therein, but nothing herein shall be construed as excluding from the operation of this title railroad construction work, or the employees engaged thereon: PROVIDED, That common carriers by railroad engaged in such interstate or foreign commerce and in intrastate commerce shall, in all cases where liability does not exist under the laws of the United States, be liable in damages to any person suffering injury while employed by such carrier, or in case of the death of such employee, to the surviving spouse and child, or children, and if no surviving spouse or child or children, then to the parents, minor sisters, or minor brothers, residents of the United States at the time of such death, and who were dependent upon such deceased for support, to the same extent and subject to the same limitations as the liability now existing, or hereafter created, by the laws of the United States governing recoveries by railroad employees injured while engaged in interstate commerce: PROVIDED FURTHER, That if any interstate common carrier by railroad shall also be engaged in one or more intrastate enterprises or industries (including street railways and power plants) other than its railroad, the foregoing provisions of this section shall not exclude from the operation of the other sections of this title or bring under the foregoing proviso of this section any work of such other enterprise or industry, the payroll of which may be clearly separable and distinguishable from the payroll of the maintenance or operation of such railroad, or of the maintenance or construction of its equipment: PROVIDED FURTHER, That nothing in this section shall be construed as relieving an independent contractor engaged through or by his or her employees in performing work for a common carrier by railroad, from the duty of complying with the terms of this title, nor as depriving any employee of such independent contractor of the benefits of this title.
Severability—1973 1st ex.s. c 154:
See note following RCW 2.12.030
Intrastate and interstate commerce.
The provisions of this title shall apply to employers and workers (other than railways and their workers) engaged in intrastate and also in interstate or foreign commerce, for whom a rule of liability or method of compensation now exists under or may hereafter be established by the congress of the United States, only to the extent that the payroll of such workers may and shall be clearly separable and distinguishable from the payroll of workers engaged in interstate or foreign commerce: PROVIDED, That as to workers whose payroll is not so clearly separable and distinguishable the employer shall in all cases be liable in damages for injuries to the same extent and under the same circumstances as is specified in the case of railroads in the first proviso of RCW 51.12.080
: PROVIDED FURTHER, That nothing in this title shall be construed to exclude goods or materials and/or workers brought into this state for the purpose of engaging in work.
Effective dates—Implementation—1982 c 63:
See note following RCW 51.32.095
Common carrier employees—Owners and operators of trucks.
(1) Common or contract carriers doing business in this state that are engaged exclusively in interstate or foreign commerce, or any combination thereof, shall provide coverage under this title for their Washington employees, unless the employer has furnished workers' compensation insurance coverage under the laws of another state for the coverage of employees in this state: PROVIDED, That any common or contract carrier or its successor that formerly had coverage under this title and by virtue of being exclusively engaged in interstate or foreign commerce, or any combination thereof, withdrew its acceptance of liability under this title by filing written notice with the director of the withdrawal of its acceptance prior to January 2, 1987, shall be governed by the provisions of this section that were in effect as of that date.
(2) A person who is domiciled in this state and who owns and operates a truck engaged in intrastate, interstate, or foreign commerce, or any combination thereof, may elect coverage under this title in the manner provided by RCW 51.32.030
, whether or not the truck is leased to a common or contract carrier.
Effective date—1989 c 368:
"This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1989." [ 1989 c 368 § 2.
Maritime occupations—Segregation of payrolls—Common enterprise—Geoduck harvesting.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the provisions of this title shall not apply to a master or member of a crew of any vessel, or to employers and workers for whom a right or obligation exists under the maritime laws or federal employees' compensation act for personal injuries or death of such workers.
(2) If an accurate segregation of payrolls of workers for whom such a right or obligation exists under the maritime laws cannot be made by the employer, the director is hereby authorized and directed to fix from time to time a basis for the approximate segregation of the payrolls of employees to cover the part of their work for which no right or obligation exists under the maritime laws for injuries or death occurring in such work, and the employer, if not a self-insurer, shall pay premiums on that basis for the time such workers are engaged in their work.
(3) Where two or more employers are simultaneously engaged in a common enterprise at one and the same site or place in maritime occupations under circumstances in which no right or obligation exists under the maritime laws for personal injuries or death of such workers, such site or place shall be deemed for the purposes of this title to be the common plant of such employers.
(4) In the event payments are made both under this title and under the maritime laws or federal employees' compensation act, such benefits paid under this title shall be repaid by the worker or beneficiary. For any claims made under the Jones Act, the employer is deemed a third party, and the injured worker's cause of action is subject to RCW 51.24.030
(5) Commercial divers harvesting geoduck clams under an agreement made pursuant to RCW 79.135.210
and the employers of such divers shall be subject to the provisions of this title whether or not such work is performed from a vessel.
Effective date—2008 c 70:
"This act takes effect January 1, 2009." [ 2008 c 70 § 2.
Effective date—Applicability—1988 c 271 §§ 1-4:
See note following RCW 51.12.102
Effective date—1975 1st ex.s. c 224:
See note following RCW 51.04.110
Ferry system employees in extrahazardous employment: RCW 47.64.070
Maritime workers—Asbestos-related disease.
(1) The department shall furnish the benefits provided under this title to any worker or beneficiary who may have a right or claim for benefits under the maritime laws of the United States resulting from an asbestos-related disease if (a) there are objective clinical findings to substantiate that the worker has an asbestos-related claim for occupational disease and (b) the worker's employment history has a prima facie indicia of injurious exposure to asbestos fibers while employed in the state of Washington in employment covered under this title. The department shall render a decision as to the liable insurer and shall continue to pay benefits until the liable insurer initiates payments or benefits are otherwise properly terminated under this title.
(2) The benefits authorized under subsection (1) of this section shall be paid from the medical aid fund, with the self-insurers and the state fund each paying a pro rata share, based on number of worker hours, of the costs necessary to fund the payments. For the purposes of this subsection only, the employees of self-insured employers shall pay an amount equal to one-half of the share charged to the self-insured employer.
(3) If the department determines that the benefits paid under subsection (1) of this section are owed to the worker or beneficiary by a self-insurer or the state fund, then the self-insurer or state fund shall reimburse the medical aid fund for all benefits paid and costs incurred by the fund.
(4) If the department determines that the benefits paid under subsection (1) of this section are owed to the worker or beneficiary by a federal program other than the federal social security, old age survivors, and disability insurance act, 42 U.S.C. or an insurer under the maritime laws of the United States:
(a) The department shall pursue the federal program insurer on behalf of the worker or beneficiary to recover from the federal program insurer the benefits due the worker or beneficiary and on its own behalf to recover the benefits previously paid to the worker or beneficiary and costs incurred;
(b) For the purpose of pursuing recovery under this subsection, the department shall be subrogated to all of the rights of the worker or beneficiary receiving compensation under subsection (1) of this section; and
(c) The department shall not pursue the worker or beneficiary for the recovery of benefits paid under subsection (1) of this section unless the worker or beneficiary receives recovery from the federal program insurer, in addition to receiving benefits authorized under this section. The director may exercise his or her discretion to waive, in whole or in part, the recovery of any such benefits where the recovery would be against equity and good conscience.
(d) Actions pursued against federal program insurers determined by the department to be liable for benefits under this section may be prosecuted by special assistant attorneys general. The attorney general shall select special assistant attorneys general from a list compiled by the department and the Washington state bar association. The attorney general, in conjunction with the department and the Washington state bar association, shall adopt rules and regulations outlining the criteria and the procedure by which private attorneys may have their names placed on the list of attorneys available for appointment as special assistant attorneys general to litigate actions under this subsection. Attorneys' fees and costs shall be paid in conformity with applicable federal and state law. Any legal costs remaining as an obligation of the department shall be paid from the medical aid fund.
(5) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply if the worker or beneficiary refuses, for whatever reason, to assist the department in making a proper determination of coverage. If a worker or beneficiary refuses to cooperate with the department, self-insurer, or federal program insurer by failing to provide information that, in the opinion of the department, is relevant in determining the liable insurer, or if a worker refuses to submit to medical examination, or obstructs or fails to cooperate with the examination, or if the worker or beneficiary fails to cooperate with the department in pursuing benefits from the federal program insurer, the department shall reject the application for benefits. No information obtained under this section is subject to release by subpoena or other legal process.
(6) The amount of any third party recovery by the worker or beneficiary shall be subject to a lien by the department to the full extent that the medical aid fund has not been otherwise reimbursed by another insurer. Reimbursement shall be made immediately to the medical aid fund upon recovery from the third party suit. If the department determines that the benefits paid under subsection (1) of this section are owed to the worker or beneficiary by a federal program insurer, the department shall not participate in the costs or attorneys' fees incurred in bringing the third party suit.
Applicability—1993 c 168:
"This act applies to all claims without regard to the date of injury or date of filing of the claim." [ 1993 c 168 § 2.
Effective date—1993 c 168:
"This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1993." [ 1993 c 168 § 3.
Report to legislature—1988 c 271 § 1:
"The department of labor and industries shall conduct a study of the program established by RCW 51.12.102
. The department's study shall include the use of benefits under the program and the cost of the program. The department shall report the results of the study to the economic development and labor committee of the senate and the commerce and labor committee of the house of representatives, or the appropriate successor committees, at the start of the 1993 regular legislative session." [ 1988 c 271 § 4.
Effective date—Applicability—1988 c 271 §§ 1-4:
"Sections 1 through 4 of this act shall take effect July 1, 1988, and shall apply to all claims filed on or after that date or pending a final determination on that date." [ 1988 c 271 § 5.
Any employer who has in his or her employment any person or persons excluded from mandatory coverage pursuant to RCW 51.12.020
may file notice in writing with the director, on such forms as the department may provide, of his or her election to make such persons otherwise excluded subject to this title. The employer shall forthwith display in a conspicuous manner about his or her works, and in a sufficient number of places to reasonably inform his or her workers of the fact, printed notices furnished by the department stating that he or she has so elected. Said election shall become effective upon the filing of said notice in writing. The employer and his or her workers shall be subject to all the provisions of this title and entitled to all of the benefits thereof: PROVIDED, That those who have heretofore complied with the foregoing conditions and are carried and considered by the department as within the purview of this title shall be deemed and considered as having fully complied with its terms and shall be continued by the department as entitled to all of the benefits and subject to all of the liabilities without other or further action. Any employer who has complied with this section may withdraw his or her acceptance of liability under this title by filing written notice with the director of the withdrawal of his or her acceptance. Such withdrawal shall become effective thirty days after the filing of such notice or on the date of the termination of the security for payment of compensation, whichever last occurs. The employer shall, at least thirty days before the effective date of the withdrawal, post reasonable notice of such withdrawal where the affected worker or workers work and shall otherwise notify personally the affected workers. Withdrawal of acceptance of this title shall not affect the liability of the department or self-insurer for compensation for any injury occurring during the period of acceptance.
The department shall have the power to cancel the elective adoption coverage if any required payments or reports have not been made. Cancellation by the department shall be no later than thirty days from the date of notice in writing by the department advising of cancellation being made.
Effective date—Conflict with federal requirements—1991 c 246:
See notes following RCW 51.08.195
Effective dates—Implementation—1982 c 63:
See note following RCW 51.32.095
Severability—Effective date—1977 ex.s. c 323:
See notes following RCW 51.04.040
(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.
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.
Registered apprentices or trainees.
(1) All persons registered as apprentices or trainees with the state apprenticeship council and participating in supplemental and related instruction classes conducted by a school district, a community college, a vocational school, or a local joint apprenticeship committee, shall be considered as workers of the state apprenticeship council and subject to the provisions of Title 51
RCW, for the time spent in actual attendance at such supplemental and related instruction classes.
(2) The assumed wage rate for all apprentices or trainees during the hours they are participating in supplemental and related instruction classes, shall be three dollars per hour. This amount shall be used for purposes of computations of premiums. For purposes of computing disability compensation payments, the actual wage rate during employment shall be used.
(3) Only those apprentices or trainees who are registered with the state apprenticeship council prior to their injury or death and who incur such injury or death while participating in supplemental and related instruction classes shall be entitled to benefits under the provisions of Title 51
(4) The filing of claims for benefits under the authority of this section shall be the exclusive remedy of apprentices or trainees and their beneficiaries for injuries or death compensable under the provisions of Title 51
RCW against the state, its political subdivisions, the school district, community college, or vocational school and their members, officers or employees or any employer regardless of negligence.
(5) This section shall not apply to any apprentice or trainee who has earned wages for the time spent in participating in supplemental and related instruction classes.
Intent—1987 c 185:
"In 1977, in two separate pieces of legislation relating to industrial insurance, the Washington legislature changed certain references from "workmen's" or "workman's" compensation to "workers'" compensation. The purpose of this act is to correct remaining obsolete references to "workmen's compensation" and "workmen."" [ 1987 c 185 § 1.
Severability—1987 c 185:
"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." [ 1987 c 185 § 41.
Volunteer law enforcement officers.
(1) As used in this section:
(a) "Municipal corporation" means any city, town, or county authorized by law to maintain and operate a law enforcement department;
(b) "Law enforcement department" means any regularly organized police department, sheriff's department, department of public safety, or other similar organization which has as its primary purpose the enforcement of state or local penal laws and the preservation of public order, which consists wholly of volunteer law enforcement officers or a combination of volunteer and paid law enforcement officers, and which is duly organized and maintained by a municipal corporation;
(c) "Volunteer law enforcement officer" means a person who is a member of a law enforcement department and who (i) performs assigned or authorized duties for the law enforcement department by his or her own free choice; (ii) serves in a position that is not basically clerical or secretarial in nature; (iii) is registered and accepted as a volunteer by the law enforcement department; and (iv) receives no monetary remuneration other than maintenance and reimbursement for actual expenses necessarily incurred in performing assigned duties; and
(d) "Performance of duty" includes any work in and about the volunteer law enforcement officers' quarters, police station, or any other place under the direction or general orders of the officer having the authority to order a volunteer law enforcement officer to perform the work; providing law enforcement assistance; patrol; drill; and any work of an emergency nature performed in accordance with the rules of the law enforcement department.
(2) Any municipal corporation maintaining and operating a law enforcement department may elect to provide coverage under this title for all of its volunteer law enforcement officers for death or disability occurring in the performance of their duties as volunteer law enforcement officers. Any municipal corporation electing to provide the coverage shall file a written notice of coverage with the director.
(3) Coverage under this section shall be for all the applicable death, disability, and medical aid benefits of this title and shall be effective only for injuries which occur and occupational diseases which are contracted after the notice of coverage has been filed with the director.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a municipal corporation from covering its volunteer law enforcement officers and other volunteers under RCW 51.12.035
(2), as now or hereafter amended, for medical aid benefits only.
(4) Volunteer law enforcement officers for whom municipal corporations have given notice of coverage under this section shall be deemed workers or employees, as the case may be, and the performance of their duties shall be deemed employment or in the course of employment, as the case may be, for all purposes of this title except where expressly excluded or where the context clearly requires otherwise.
(5) All premiums, assessments, contributions, and penalties due under this title because coverage is provided under this section shall be the obligation of and be paid by the municipal corporation giving the notice of coverage to the director.
(6) Any municipal corporation electing coverage under this section shall maintain a time log in which the number of hours worked by each of its volunteer law enforcement officers is recorded. The log shall be made available for inspection upon the request of any authorized employee of the department.
(7) Any municipal corporation electing coverage under this section may withdraw the coverage by filing a written notice of the withdrawal with the director. The withdrawal shall become effective thirty days after filing the notice or on the date of the termination of the security for payment of compensation, whichever occurs later. At least thirty days before the effective date of the withdrawal, the municipal corporation shall notify each of its volunteer law enforcement officers of the withdrawal. Withdrawal of coverage under this section shall not affect the liability of the department or self-insurer for compensation for any injury occurring during the period in which coverage was provided.
Severability—1977 ex.s. c 113:
"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." [ 1977 ex.s. c 113 § 2.
Musicians and entertainers.
Any musician or entertainer who performs as a member of a group or recognized entity is deemed an employee of the group or entity and the leader of the group or entity shall be required to properly register as an employer with the department and pay industrial insurance premiums on behalf of his or her employees. If a musician or entertainer is a sole performer or performs as a partner in a group or entity, or performs on a casual basis, the musician or entertainer shall be exempted from mandatory coverage of this title. However, any such sole performer, partner, or casual performer may elect to be covered under this title and shall be subject to all the provisions and entitled to all the benefits under this title.
Musicians and entertainers: RCW 51.12.020
Foreign degree-granting institutions—Employee services in country of domicile.
The services of employees of a foreign degree-granting institution who are nonimmigrant aliens under the immigration laws of the United States, shall, for the purposes of RCW 51.12.120
, be considered to be localized or principally localized, in the country of domicile of the foreign degree-granting institution as defined in RCW 28B.90.010
in those instances where the income of those employees would be exempt from taxation by virtue of the terms and provisions of any treaty between the United States and the country of domicile of the foreign degree-granting institution. However, a foreign degree-granting institution is not precluded from otherwise establishing that a nonimmigrant employee's services are, for the purpose of such statutes, principally located in its country of domicile.
(1) An employer covered under this title may elect to include student volunteers as employees or workers for all purposes relating to medical aid benefits under chapter 51.36
RCW. The employer shall give notice of its intent to cover all of its student volunteers to the director prior to the occurrence of the injury or contraction of an occupational disease.
(2) A student volunteer is an enrolled student in a public school as defined in RCW 28A.150.010
who is participating as a volunteer under a program authorized by the public school. The student volunteer shall perform duties for the employer without wages. The student volunteer shall be deemed to be a volunteer even if the student is granted maintenance and reimbursement for actual expenses necessarily incurred in performing his or her assigned or authorized duties. A person who earns wages for the services performed is not a student volunteer.
(3) Any and all premiums or assessments due under this title on account of service by a student volunteer shall be paid by the employer who has registered and accepted the services of volunteers and has exercised its option to secure the medical aid benefits under chapter 51.36
RCW for the student volunteers.
Effective date—Implementation—1994 c 246 § 1:
"Section 1 of this act shall take effect October 1, 1994. The department of labor and industries may take such steps as are necessary to ensure that this section is implemented on its effective date." [ 1994 c 246 § 3.
For hire vehicle owners or lessees—Retrospective rating program.
(1) The department may appoint a panel of individuals with for hire vehicle, limousine, or taxicab transportation industry experience and expertise to advise the department.
(2) The owner or lessee of any for hire, limousine, or taxicab vehicle is eligible for inclusion in a retrospective rating program authorized and established pursuant to chapter 51.18
Effective date—2011 c 190:
"Except for section 3 of this act, this act takes effect January 1, 2012." [ 2011 c 190 § 9.