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Washington Department of Labor & Industries proposes workers' compensation rate increase

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Worker's comp rules vary by state

While carrying workers' compensation for your small business is often a good idea, whether you're actually required to do so as a business owner depends on where you live. Some states base whether you need to have workers' compensation on the size of your business. For example, in Alabama, businesses with five or more employees need to have workers' compensation.

But within those rules, there may be exceptions based on types of business. Taking a closer look at the Alabama workers' compensation law, it requires that even businesses smaller than five people have workers' compensation, if the business is involved in construction. So make sure to check specific regulations in your state before determining what kind of coverage you'll need.

Employers and workers may soon be paying more for workers’ compensation insurance after the Washington Department of Labor & Industries proposed a 4.8% rate increase.

If adopted, the department said the rate increase would result in employers and employees jointly paying an additional $61 a year, on average, for a full-time employee within a business.

Workers would continue to pay on average about a quarter of the program’s premium, which is like what was paid in 2022.

The department said in a statement that it “will use contingency reserves to cover any gap between premiums and costs to keep rates steady and avoid a larger increase.”

The department said the cost for providing the insurance has gone up, because of wage inflation and the increasing cost of medical care.

People are encouraged to submit comments in writing to: Jo Anne Attwood, administrative regulations analyst, P.O. Box 41448, Olympia, WA, 98504-4148; or email

All comments must be received by 5 p.m. Oct. 28.

More information about the proposal is available at

Copyright 2022 Tribune Content Agency.


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