Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1985 NO. 2 > Jan 11 1985

When an industrially-injured worker continues to receive temporary total disability compensation from the Department of Labor and Industries while participating in an approved vocational rehabilitation plan consisting of on-the‑job training and there is no payment of wages by the training employer to the worker, court decisions support the proposition that state or federal minimum wage laws generally will not be applicable; nevertheless, if sufficient other indicia of an employer-employee relationship are present a court could still find an on-the‑job trainee to have crossed the line to becoming an employee for minimum wage law purposes.

AGO 1984 NO. 5 > Feb 14 1984

(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.

AGO 1983 NO. 8 > Apr 18 1983

Sections 1 through 13 of chapter 63, Laws of 1982, relating to vocational rehabilitation for injured workers, are remedial statutes which apply retroactively to such workers regardless of the date of injury; § 18, however, applies prospectively only to those workers whose deaths were caused by injuries that occurred on or after January 1, 1983.

AGLO 1979 NO. 9 > Feb 7 1979

Under the provisions of chapter 51.24 RCW, as amended by chapter 85, Laws of 1977, 1st Ex. Sess. (SSB 2154), either the State Department of Labor and Industries or a self-insured employer may legally approve a settlement between an injured worker (or beneficiary) and a third party tortfeasor which is for an amount less than the amount already disbursed by the department or self-insurer for industrial insurance benefits.

AGO 1981 NO. 13 > Sep 23 1981

(1) Except to the extent necessary to prevent a duplicative recovery, an insurer may not reduce the payments made to its insured under "underinsured motorist" coverage offered pursuant to chapter 48.22 RCW on the basis of payments made by the tortfeasor's liability insurer; an insurer who has made a payment under "underinsured motorist" coverage, however, has a statutory right of reimbursement from any judgment or settlement which its injured insured collects from the tortfeasor directly but it may not include a subrogation or "consent to settle" clause in its "underinsured motorist" coverage.(2) An insurer may reduce the payments made under such "underinsured motorist" coverage of a policy by the amount of any payments made under the liability coverage of the same policy, or it may reduce payments under the liability coverage by the amount of payments under the "underinsured motorist" coverage.(3) An insurer may not reduce payments made under the "underinsured motorist" coverage of a policy by the amount of benefits received under a workers' compensation law or similar disability benefits law; but, just as in the case of payments from the tortfeasor's liability insurer, the UIM carrier may take such amounts into account in the computation of the actual payment to be made under its UIM coverage.

AGO 1984 NO. 15 > Jun 18 1984

Where an employer who is certified to self-insure its workers' compensation obligations has paid a permanent partial disability award to an employee who subsequently becomes totally and permanently disabled from the combined effects of the injury and a preexisting disability, that employer is then required to pay into the state pension reserve fund the accident cost which would have resulted solely from the injury had there been no preexisting disability.

AGLO 1981 NO. 19 > Jul 24 1981

When the Department of Labor and Industries pays temporary total disability (time loss) benefits to an industrial insurance claimant pursuant to RCW 51.32.210 prior to entry of an order, and then subsequently rejects the claim, the department is not entitled to recover back those time loss benefits in the absence of some clerical error, misrepresentation or fraud.

AGLO 1981 NO. 19 > Jul 24 1981

When the Department of Labor and Industries pays temporary total disability (time loss) benefits to an industrial insurance claimant pursuant to RCW 51.32.210 prior to entry of an order, and then subsequently rejects the claim, the department is not entitled to recover back those time loss benefits in the absence of some clerical error, misrepresentation or fraud.

AGO 1984 NO. 22 > Aug 31 1984

The provisions of Wash. Const., Art. XXIX, § 1 (Amendment 49) do not cover the investment of money in the state industrial insurance accident, medical aid and reserve funds so as to permit the investment of those funds in corporate stock pursuant to legislative authorization, notwithstanding the provisions of Wash. Const., Art. XII, § 9.