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Dec. 23, 1996

L&I sets hearings on proposed changes for drywall industry

TUMWATER - The Department of Labor & Industries will adopt temporary rules Jan. 1, 1997, that are designed to give honest drywall contractors a break on premiums they pay for workers' compensation insurance.

Premiums will be based on materials used rather than on worker hours reported. This change will ensure a more reliable method of verifying premiums owed for workers' compensation coverage.

The department will hold several informal hearings in January to gather comments on making the temporary rules permanent.

A formal public hearing is scheduled Feb. 3.

A special audit by Labor & Industries showed that between 40 percent and 60 percent of the hours spent installing drywall are not reported to the department. That means honest contractors who report hours get stuck with higher premium rates because of dishonest contractors who never file the required reports.

A recent case in point involved the co-owner of a Federal Way drywall firm who has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $510,000 in restitution. The co-owner failed to report taxes to the state and never reported worker hours for workers' compensation purposes.

The informal hearings are:

  • Jan. 2, 10 a.m. - noon, Labor & Industries Building, Tumwater.
  • Jan. 3, 10 a.m. - noon, Labor & Industries Office, Longview.
  • Jan. 6, 10 a.m. - noon, Labor & Industries Office, Spokane.
  • Jan. 7, 10 a.m. - noon, Labor & Industries Office, Kennewick.
  • Jan. 8, 10 a.m. - noon, Labor & Industries Office, Yakima.
  • Jan. 9, 10 a.m. - noon, Labor & Industries Office, Bellevue.
  • Jan. 10, 10 a.m. - noon, Labor & Industries Office, Mount Vernon.

The formal public hearing Feb. 3 will be at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of the Labor & Industries Building in Tumwater.

For more information on the proposed rules, contact:

Classification Services
Department of Labor & Industries
360-902-4776

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