Schmidt legislation to increase incentives in Stay at Work Program passes House unanimously

Legislation that would increase incentives for workers to return to the workforce sooner passed the House of Representatives unanimously on Tuesday.

House Bill 2127, sponsored by Rep. Suzanne Schmidt, provides workers’ compensation incentives for employees to return to work as part of Washington State’s Stay at Work Program and Preferred Worker Program.

“Before coming to the Legislature, I worked in claims management with employers. I saw firsthand the benefit of the right-to-work incentives for employers and employees,” said Schmidt, R-Spokane Valley. “This legislation is going to advance those incentives further. I was very excited when the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) approached me to discuss this bill. It is a win-win for both employers and employees.”

The bill would:

  • Modify certain return to work policies and reimbursement amounts under the workers’ compensation program.
  • Increase the maximum amounts of reimbursements paid to employers participating in the Stay at Work Program and Preferred Worker Program by L&I.
  • Increase the maximum amount paid to qualifying employers for job modification costs by L&I.
  • Allows L&I to authorize payments for basic skills development for qualifying injured workers.

“The number of workers who have returned to work under the programs has been outstanding. This legislation would build on that,” said Schmidt.

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov