Rules Under Development

General reporting rules, classifications, audit and recordkeeping, rates and rating system for Washington workers' compensation insurance

Chapter 296-17, WAC

All updates for this rule:

2016 Industrial Insurance Premium Rates (Chapter 296-17 WAC and Chapter 296-17B WAC)

Labor and Industries is required by law to establish and maintain a workers’ compensation classification plan, and to set premium rates that are: 1) the lowest necessary to maintain actuarial solvency of the accident and medical aid funds; and 2) designed to attempt to limit fluctuations in premium rates. The plan must be consistent with recognized principles of insurance. Labor and Industries is also required by law to offer retrospective rating plans to employers as a further incentive to encourage workplace safety and prevent employee injury.731.

6/16/2015

PDF: Preproposal (CR-101)

Taxi, for hire, limousine, and commercial transportation service drivers legislation (WAC Chapter 296-17, WAC Chapter 296-17A)

The department is conducting rulemaking to implement the requirements of Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5550 which exempts from workers’ compensation insurance the taxi, for hire, and limousine drivers who own or lease their vehicles; and commercial transportation service (CTS) drivers as defined in Title 48. The legislation allows for elective coverage for these exempt employments.729.

5/19/2015

PDF: Preproposal (CR-101)

Misc. Classification and Reporting Changes (Chapters 296-17, Chapter 296-17A)

WAC chapters 296-17 and 296-17A establish how employers are required to report and pay industrial insurance premiums. The Department is adopting revisions to:

  • Correct typographical and other errors (such as invalid telephone numbers and out-of-date references),
  • Revise wording and formatting to make the rules easier to understand and apply, and
  • Incorporate and formalize existing agency practices (such as expressly including in a risk classification employment that the Department currently includes by interpretation or analogy).
The purpose of this rulemaking is not to make substantive changes to how the Department classifies employment, but to review and revise its classification plan to ensure it is clear and understandable. These changes will not change the way we calculate employer rates, our reporting requirements, or how we classify businesses. As part of this rulemaking, the Department also intends to review these chapters as required by SSB 5679 (Chapter 30, 2013 Laws 2nd Special Session) to make changes where possible to reduce the regulatory burden on employers insured with the State Fund. The changes were adopted 5/19/2015 and became effective on 7/1/2015.723.

7/1/2015

Rule Changes Effective

5/19/2015

PDF: Adoption (Rule-Making Order CR-103)

PDF: Adopted Rule Language

3/17/2015

PDF: Proposed Rulemaking (CR 102)

PDF: Proposed Rule Language

1/20/2015

PDF: Preproposal (CR-101)

2015 Rates (Chapters 296-17, Chapter 296-17B WAC)

The Department has adopted a rule that amends the tables of classification base premium rates, experience rating plan parameters, experience modification factor calculation limitations and retrospective rating plan size groupings for the workers’ compensation insurance program for calendar year 2015. Classification base rates were amended for updated loss and payroll experience. The department is adopting a 0.8 percent overall average premium rate increase. The Department’s decision to increase overall rates is intended to ensure adequate premiums to cover expected losses for 2015 claims and to continue rebuilding the trust funds’ contingency reserves to adequate levels. Washington law provides that rates should be adjusted annually to reflect the hazards of each industry and in accordance with recognized workers’ compensation insurance principles. The adopted language goes into effect on January 1, 2015.709.

12/1/2014

PDF: Adoption (Rule-Making Order CR-103)

PDF: Adopted Rule Language

10/30/2014

Public Hearing

10/28/2014

Public Hearing

10/27/2014

Public Hearing

10/24/2014

Public Hearing

10/23/2014

Public Hearing

10/22/2014

Public Hearing

9/16/2014

PDF: Proposed Rulemaking (CR 102)

PDF: Proposed Rule Language

6/17/2014

PDF: Preproposal (CR-101)

2015 Classifications Updates (Chapters 296-17, WAC 296-17A WAC)

The Department adopting rules that amend the following four specific areas:

  • Rules applicable to the classification and reporting of professional sports teams (WAC 296-17-35203(1), 296-17A-6706, 296-17A-6707, 296-17A-6809, and 296-17A-7102);
  • Rules applicable to the classification of employers operating spas (WAC 296-17A-6109, 296-17A-6204, and 296-17A-6501);
  • Rules applicable to the classification of reforestation employment (WAC 296-17A-1007, 296-17A-5004, and 296-17A-5006); and
  • Rules applicable to the classification of farming operations (WAC 296-17A-4802 through 296-17A-4813).
703.

1/6/2015

PDF: Adoption (Rule-Making Order CR-103)

PDF: Adopted Rule Language

9/12/2014

Public Hearing

9/12/2014

Comments Due

7/22/2014

PDF: Proposed Rulemaking (CR 102)

PDF: Proposed Rule Language

5/6/2014

PDF: Preproposal (CR-101)

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