L&I proposes 2 percent rate increase to workers’ comp

A 2 percent increase to workers’ compensation rates is being proposed for 2016.

The rate increase is needed to help build the reserve funds, said Joel Sacks, director of Washington State Department of Labor & Industries in a news release.

Employers and workers in Washington pay into the workers’ compensation system so they are covered in case of a workplace injury or an illness from something they were exposed to on the job. Last year L&I covered nearly 90,000 work-related claims.

The proposed increase is a little more than 1 cent per hour worked, according to the news release.

The agency will hold a series of public hearings about the proposed rates. The closest one to Bellingham is at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Everett Community College.