Working with Your Employer

Tell your employer

If you are injured on the job or diagnosed with an occupational disease, let your employer know right away. Employers need to know about injuries and be familiar with the situation when the L&I paperwork arrives so that they can help you plan your return to work.

Questions workers have

What if I can't do my job?

If you have work restrictions, your doctor will explain them on the Activity Prescription Form (F242‑385‑000). If you are unable to perform your regular job while you are recovering, your employer may be able to find you transitional or light-duty work within your medical restrictions. This can make it easier for you to get back to your original work and wages when you have recovered.

How will my injury affect my employer's costs?

Your employer's workers' compensation rates can be affected by the cost of an injury. This is one reason employers help injured workers return to paid work while they are still healing, if permitted by the doctor.

Self-insured employers pay all claims costs. About a third of all Washington employees work for self‑insured employers.

What if my employer wants me to see a company doctor?

You may see a company doctor if you wish, but you have the right to choose your own doctor.

What if my employer wants a company nurse or representative to accompany me to the doctor?

You have the right to choose your doctor and also to decide who, if anyone, you want to accompany you to the doctor. You have the right to decline to have the company nurse or any employer representative accompany you to the hospital, doctor, or any other medical visit. Your employer can't discriminate or retaliate against you. Contact L&I if you need assistance.

What if my employer says my company is self-insured?

If so, worker rights and benefits are the same. However, your employer, not L&I, handles your paperwork and pays for the claim.

If you disagree with how your self‑insured employer or their representative is managing your claim, contact Self‑Insurance at L&I to find your L&I claim manager so you can contact them directly.

About a third of all Washington employees work for self‑insured employers.

I'm afraid to report my injury because I don't want to get fired. What do I do?

You may contact L&I. Your employer may not discriminate or retaliate against you for filing a claim, for saying that you plan to file a claim, or for seeking workers' compensation benefits. If your employer has discouraged you from filing a claim, you may file a complaint (F262‑024‑000).

What happens if I move out of state when my employer has a job for me?

Your time loss benefits could stop if you decline a job approved by your doctor and offered by your Washington employer.

What if I was injured while working out of state?

A Washington worker can file a claim in Washington even if the injury occurs out of state. The claim won't be rejected because the injury happened out-of-state, even if your employer isn't paying premiums to Washington state. You may file claims in both Washington State and in the state or country in which you were injured, but any benefits you receive from another state will be credited against any benefits to which you may be eligible from L&I.

Did you know?

The sooner you are able to return to work after an injury, whether in a light‑duty or a modified job (with your doctor's OK), the more likely you are to recover and earn your pre-injury salary.

We will reimburse your employer 50% of the base wage they pay to you to do an approved light-duty job. We will also cover expenses such as training and tools related to the light-duty job. More on eligibility and what your employer can get reimbursed for at www.StayAtWork.Lni.wa.gov.

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