Washington Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Washington Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    32

    Default Seasonal Workers and Workers' Comp

    I don't think I've asked this question before. If I have then please forgive.

    Is it true, that if someone is hired on as a seasonal worker, they are not entitled to workman's comp payments if they are hurt on the job? Even if Dr order's no work?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,109

    Default Re: Is this true?

    No. If you are covered thru workers comp you are entitled to all workers comp benefits. Benefits are not limited to some and not others. Seasonal employment is not one of the listed exclusions:
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=51.12.020

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,928

    Default Re: Is this true?

    No Nirvy it is not true. Just because you are working seasonal, temporary, or part time makes no difference. Even if it your first day on the job, doesn't make one bit of difference. If a work related injury causes you to NOT be able to work it is covered under WC in every state. So what are they trying to say that just because you would have only worked for them for a period of time that you should just do without the ability to work when it isn't their season? Dumb Asses anyway. Do they not consider that you would be able to work for someone else on their off season if not for the work injury incurred during their season.
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Is this true?

    First off, thanks for the replies you two. Plus the link. Um, Wow. I need to get my mind around this for a minute.

    That's exactly what they are saying SteelMagnolia. Jeez, this changes everything doesn't it?

    Here's a bit of what's going on.
    I was hired on in August of 06, and injured in Sept. I went back to work for awhile, But when it became obvious that something was seriously wrong the Dr took me off work between Sept.26 to Nov.28.

    I had only received 1 week of time loss when my employer contested it and the checks stopped, on the grounds that I was seasonal. They also said that they calculate time loss payments by what my income was 12 months before my employment with them.

    I wasn't employed before I went to work for them. So they figured, zero income for 12 months before the injury ='s zero time loss.
    I hope all that made sense.

    I appealed but the quick answer to that was no. L&I decided in favor of my employer and even credited back to their account the one time loss check I did get. Then sent me a letter announcing that I had to pay it back. Theres a ton more to say, but I don't want to start flying off on a wild tangent. Which could easily happen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    cincinnati,ohio
    Posts
    765

    Default Re: Is this true?

    any time you have a injury on the job, i advise to hire an attorney on way home from 1st dr. visit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Is this true?

    I spoke to the assistant of the one lawyer in the area who will deal with worker's comp cases, and she said that he won't get involved until I am denied medical treatment. I did mention the time loss issue but she didn't seem alarmed by it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,928

    Default Re: Is this true?

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=51.12.020

    RCW 51.12.020
    Employments excluded.

    The following are the only employments which shall not be included within the mandatory coverage of this title:

    (1) Any person employed as a domestic servant in a private home by an employer who has less than two employees regularly employed forty or more hours a week in such employment.

    (2) Any person employed to do gardening, maintenance, or repair, in or about the private home of the employer. For the purposes of this subsection, "maintenance" means the work of keeping in proper condition, "repair" means to restore to sound condition after damage, and "private home" means a person's place of residence.

    (3) A person whose employment is not in the course of the trade, business, or profession of his or her employer and is not in or about the private home of the employer.

    (4) Any person performing services in return for aid or sustenance only, received from any religious or charitable organization.

    (5) Sole proprietors or partners.

    (6) Any child under eighteen years of age employed by his or her parent or parents in agricultural activities on the family farm.

    (7) Jockeys while participating in or preparing horses for race meets licensed by the Washington horse racing commission pursuant to chapter 67.16 RCW.

    (8)(a) Except as otherwise provided in (b) of this subsection, any bona fide officer of a corporation voluntarily elected or voluntarily appointed in accordance with the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the corporation, who at all times during the period involved is also a bona fide director, and who is also a shareholder of the corporation. Only such officers who exercise substantial control in the daily management of the corporation and whose primary responsibilities do not include the performance of manual labor are included within this subsection.

    (b) Alternatively, a corporation that is not a "public company" as defined in *RCW 23B.01.400(21) may exempt eight or fewer bona fide officers, who are voluntarily elected or voluntarily appointed in accordance with the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the corporation and who exercise substantial control in the daily management of the corporation, from coverage under this title without regard to the officers' performance of manual labor if the exempted officer is a shareholder of the corporation, or may exempt any number of officers if all the exempted officers are related by blood within the third degree or marriage. If a corporation that is not a "public company" elects to be covered under subsection (8)(a) of this section, the corporation's election must be made on a form prescribed by the department and under such reasonable rules as the department may adopt.

    (c) Determinations respecting the status of persons performing services for a corporation shall be made, in part, by reference to Title 23B RCW and to compliance by the corporation with its own articles of incorporation and bylaws. For the purpose of determining coverage under this title, substance shall control over form, and mandatory coverage under this title shall extend to all workers of this state, regardless of honorary titles conferred upon those actually serving as workers.

    (d) A corporation may elect to cover officers who are exempted by this subsection in the manner provided by RCW 51.12.110.

    (9) Services rendered by a musician or entertainer under a contract with a purchaser of the services, for a specific engagement or engagements when such musician or entertainer performs no other duties for the purchaser and is not regularly and continuously employed by the purchaser. A purchaser does not include the leader of a group or recognized entity who employs other than on a casual basis musicians or entertainers.

    (10) Services performed by a newspaper carrier selling or distributing newspapers on the street or from house to house.

    (11) Services performed by an insurance agent, insurance broker, or insurance solicitor, as defined in RCW 48.17.010, 48.17.020, and 48.17.030, respectively.

    (12) Services performed by a booth renter as defined in **RCW 18.16.020. However, a person exempted under this subsection may elect coverage under RCW 51.32.030.

    (13) Members of a limited liability company, if either:

    (a) Management of the company is vested in its members, and the members for whom exemption is sought would qualify for exemption under subsection (5) of this section were the company a sole proprietorship or partnership; or

    (b) Management of the company is vested in one or more managers, and the members for whom the exemption is sought are managers who would qualify for exemption under subsection (8) of this section were the company a corporation.

    http://www.lni.wa.gov/IPUB/242-104-000.pdf

    Establishing your gross income
    When calculating your benefit, claim managers must first establish your gross income at the time of the injury.* The Wage Order you receive in the mail will show you the information we used to calculate this, including:
    Your wages earned before taxes, including income from a second job.
    Your medical, dental and vision benefits.
    The reasonable value of room and board, housing, heating fuel or similar considerations received from your employer as part of your income.
    Any bonus you received in the last 12 months from the employer you were working for when you were injured.
    Tips you reported to your employer for federal income tax purposes.
    If your work is exclusively seasonal, essentially part-time or intermittent, your monthly wage is determined by averaging the total wages earned, including overtime pay and tips, from all employment in any 12 successive calendar months preceding the injury that most fairly represents your employment pattern.

    Straight from your state's web site. Nothing about excluding seasonal workers there. In fact as you can see from the second excerpt they even address how to calculate wages for a seasonal worker. Most states have a formula used for those employees that haven't been employed a full year to calculate wages with. Many just divide the total gross wage by the number of weeks actually worked. Another option practiced in many states is to use the wages of similarly situated employee. I would be surprised to learn that Washington does not have a method to fairly calculate your wage benefit with.

    So now you KNOW you NEED an experienced attorney that is a board certified WC specialist. Nothing less will do especially under the circumstances of your denied benefits. Did you say they are paying your medical but not your wage replacement? Makes NO sense to me what so ever. A good board certified WC attorney should be able to help you. What ever you do DO NOT call one of those firms that pays cheesy actors and actresses to get on TV and tout the virtues of the firm. They are worthless. Get a personal referral from a friend or family member that has had to use a WC attorney in the past. Google lawyer referral services for WA state. Here is one link from one of the attorney member here, you can thank complyer, Bob Bollinger for this link.

    http://www.wilg.org/index.asp

    You need to find an attorney that will not be shy about going to bat with the L&I folks for you. It is total nonsense that they denied you the benefits you are entitled to under your state's WC laws. To tell you to return the one payment you got is completely asinine.

    Be sure and come back and let us know how things are going for you.

    Steel
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Seasonal Workers and Workers' Comp

    Thank you Steel, you cleared up that question thoroughly. I did speak to an attorney's assistant. And she said that the attorney would not get involved unless I was denied medical treatment. Which I haven't been yet. In fact, my hip surgery was just authorized yesterday. My surgeon said that I would be off work at least 6 weeks.

    But there will be no time loss forthcoming. They've gotten out of it and that's all there is to it.
    Last edited by Nirvy; 10-09-2007 at 11:16 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Seasonal Workers and Workers' Comp

    I was also told that I probably won't be able to find an attorney to take my case, because attorney's fee's are paid out of settlements. And she said that there won't be one in my case.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    cincinnati,ohio
    Posts
    765

    Default Re: Seasonal Workers and Workers' Comp

    never heard of such crap. dont give up. good luck, take care of yourself, my prayers are with all.

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