The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is proposing an increase in the average hourly rate employers and workers will pay for workers’ compensation insurance beginning next year.

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Washington State's Rate System is a Little Different

Employers and workers pay into the workers’ comp system to fund wage and disability benefits and medical coverage for work-related injuries and illnesses.

Most states charge rates as a percentage of payroll, so when employee wages go up, those states, as a result,  automatically collect more premiums. Washington charges workers’ compensation rates as an amount per hours worked.

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When wages go up, the rate paid stays the same. The average wage of Washington State workers is expected to increase in 2024, which will lead to increased costs in the system. The rate increase helps to cover those costs.

So How Much is the Proposed Rate Increase?

L&I is proposing a 4.9 percent increase in the average hourly rate employers and workers will pay. If adopted, the increase means employers and workers on average would jointly pay an additional $65 a year for each full-time employee within a business.

L&I director Joel Sacks said regarding the proposed increase:

“With help from our reserves, we’re finding a balance between charging enough to cover costs and keeping rates steady and predictable, as Washington employers deal with economic uncertainty and lingering impacts of the pandemic,


Public hearings are scheduled for Oct. 26, 27, and 31 to take input on the proposed increase before a final decision is made. The Oct. 26 hearing will be held at 10 a.m. virtually and in person at L&I headquarters, Rooms S117, S118, S119 at
7273 Linderson Way SW Tumwater.

The Oct. 27 hearing will be held at 9 a.m. in person only at CenterPlace Event Center Auditorium 2426 Discover Pl Spokane Valley . The Oct. 31 hearing will be held at 10 a.m. in person only at Yakima Convention & Event Center, Room B, 10 North 8th St. Final rates will be adopted on Nov. 30 and go into effect Jan. 1, 2024.


You can join the October 26th hearing virtually by followingthe link below:
Meeting ID: 846 8256 2930
Passcode: Oct2623!

You can join with just audio via phone this way:

253-215-8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 428 348 2697

More information about the proposal is available at

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