Labor agency fined; underpaid premiums Washington State

Author Subject: Labor agency fined; underpaid premiums Washington State
Webmaster Posted At 11:28:41 02/28/2001
Another case of Frauding the system

TUMWATER, Wash. -- The state has ordered Labor Ready, the Tacoma-based temporary worker agency, to pay $734,000 in workers' compensation premiums, interest and penalties.

A Department of Labor and Industries audit released Tuesday says that in 1998 the company underpaid workers' compensation premiums by about $498,000. The company was also ordered to pay $236,000 in penalties and interest.

Workers' compensation premiums pay for benefits when workers are hurt on the job.

According to the audit, Labor Ready paid less than it should have because it reported workers in the wrong classification. For example, the audit says the firm reported construction cleanup work as "grounds maintenance," for which the premium rate is 40 cents per hour instead of the class for construction work, with a rate of $1.20 per hour.

Labor Ready overpaid premiums in some cases, the audit found. The amount overpaid was subtracted from the total amount Labor Ready was ordered to pay.

The audit did not find criminal wrongdoing or intent to underpay premiums, said Labor and Industries spokeswoman Tammy Firkins.

Labor Ready's premium payments did not affect the amount of benefits that injured workers received. Companies pay premiums into a state fund, managed by Labor and Industries, which then pays out benefits to workers.

The department plans to conduct audits of Labor Ready for 1999 and 2000. The department also will train Labor Ready staff responsible for reporting risk classes and paying premiums.

The company has 30 days to ask the department to reconsider or to appeal to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.

Officials at Labor Ready did not immediately return telephone calls for comment Tuesday.

Labor and Industries began the audit after the AFL-CIO brought forward concerns about Labor Ready incorrectly reporting worker hours.

Labor Ready, one of the largest national temporary agencies, is being sued in California for allegedly not paying employees for all the time they work.

L.P. Re: Labor agency fined; underpaid premiums Washington State (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 21:25:16 03/02/2001

I am not sure I understand what this means. Could you expound on this abit further. I am an injured worker in Washington State and have been *stuck* in this corrupt system for 1 1/2 years, and they are getting ready to close my claim stating I am *ABLE* to work, with 10% disability which is Bull**it!! I know it. My Doctor knows it. This system of insanity MUST be called on the carpet. I still believe what goes around comes around. Maybe THIS is what is coming around, hmmmmm???? L.P.

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