PO Box 40121
Olympia, WA 98504-0121
The Labor and Industries Division is comprised of 51 attorneys and 55 professional staff in Olympia and Seattle. There is someone handling L&I litigation at every Attorney General's Office location, but the Labor and Industries Division has primary responsibility for assigning cases and providing advice to the Department. The Labor and Industries Division represents and advises the Department of Labor and Industries regarding the state’s industrial insurance program, workers’ compensation benefits, questions about fair wages and prevailing wage requirements, workplace conditions and safe work environments, contractor and building issues, crime victim claims, and other issues for workers and employers. The division handles a wide variety of cases from entry level to highly complex matters, and has a robust appellate litigation program. The work touches all businesses and workers in Washington and is of central importance to the business economy of our state.
The work of the Labor and Industries (L&I) division tracks the missions of its client agency. This work includes litigation and client advice involving: workers’ compensation benefits for workers (e.g. wage replacement, medical care, vocational retraining, and permanent disability awards); questions about fair wages and workplace conditions; safe work environments; contractor and building issues; crime victim claims; and a myriad of issues for Washington workers and employers.
Working in the L&I division frequently involves fast-paced, high volume litigation with numerous expert and lay witnesses. On average, the division handles more than 500 disputed appeals on industrial insurance claims per month, and the cases present complex medical, vocational and legal issues. Approximately 35 percent of these appeals are resolved by paralegals through a mediation process. In fiscal year 2006, individual attorney caseloads represented $358 million in exposure to the state’s industrial insurance funds. Division attorneys also represent L&I in regulatory actions and provide client advice. Attorneys practice before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and in the superior courts. There is also a significant volume of appellate work. The work is challenging and important to the welfare of the state.