Press Release

Wednesday, September 23

AWB Statement on Proposed Workers' Compensation Rate Increase

OLYMPIA -- The Association of Washington Business, Washington state's largest business organization representing small, medium and large employers, issued the following statement regarding the Department of Labor & Industries’ proposed workers’ compensation rate increase:

"Today’s proposal to once again raise employers' workers' compensation insurance rates by 2 percent, or nearly double what the department needs to break even, is yet another illustration of the need for efficiencies and reforms within the single-option system,” said AWB President Kris Johnson.

"In Oregon, officials are proposing to reduce the cost of workers’ compensation by more than 5 percent, all while taking care of injured workers. While it’s true that Oregon’s system is different from Washington’s, it is a great example of how a government program has adapted to today’s workforce and the needs of employers.

"Employers are concerned not only about the years of unnecessary workers’ compensation rate increases, but also the message that it sends — a message that government fails to appreciate that our economy is still fragile and that while economic recovery has come to parts of the Puget Sound region, it has not arrived in all parts of the state. Employers understand the need for a robust program that helps injured workers, but every unnecessary cost only hampers their ability to expand their operations, hire more Washingtonians and raise wages at a time when these are the exact things our state’s economy needs to experience a full recovery."

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