Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1984 NO. 5 >

(1) Professional athletes who enter into contracts with, and are paid by, athletic organizations domiciled outside of the State of Washington are, nevertheless, covered by the Washington industrial insurance (i.e., workers' compensation) system when they are assigned to, and are playing for, an organization or team domiciled in Washington. (2) Hockey players under contract with a Washington domiciled "amateur" hockey league team are not covered by the Washington industrial insurance system if the only remuneration they receive is limited to, and is the nature of, travel expense reimbursement or coverage and no other form of compensation is paid; if, however, the players are receiving some further compensation for their services, as well, they would be "workers" and, therefore, covered. (3) Industrial insurance coverage for semiprofessional athletes will be dependent upon the particular facts of each case from the standpoint of whether or not the athletes are compensated for their services as such so as to cause them to be "workers" within the meaning of RCW 51.08.180.