ESSB 6293

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

C 62 L 16

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Addressing volunteers, student volunteers, and unpaid students.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor (originally sponsored by Senators Braun, Bailey, Rivers, Conway and Sheldon).

Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor

House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards

Background: Volunteers who perform assigned work or authorized duties for the state or state agencies are considered employees for the purposes of receiving industrial insurance medical aid benefits. These volunteers must be acting of their own free choice, not receiving wages, and be registered and accepted as volunteers by the state or a state agency prior to the occurrence of an injury or occupational disease.

Volunteers may be provided medical aid benefit coverage at the option of any local government or nonprofit organization that has given notice to the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) that it will cover all of its volunteers prior to any injury or occupational disease.

Student volunteers may be provided medical aid benefit coverage at the option of their employer. To qualify for the benefits: (1) the employer must have given notice of its intent to provide coverage, for all of its volunteers, to L&I prior to an any injury or occupational disease; (2) the student must be enrolled and participating in a program authorized by a public school for any grades K-12; and (3) the student must perform the duties for the employer without pay.

All L&I premiums or assessments due for the student volunteers' medical aid benefits are paid by the employer who has registered and accepted the services of the volunteers.

Summary: Individual employers may provide medical aid benefits to: (1) student volunteers enrolled and participating in a program authorized by any public or private school, including institutions of higher education; and (2) "unpaid students" who are in school-sponsored, unpaid work-based learning. Work-based learning includes cooperative education, clinical experiences, and internship programs.

An employer may annually elect to pay the L&I volunteer premiums and assessments for 100 hours of service for each volunteer, student volunteer, and unpaid student, instead of tracking the actual number of hours of service for each volunteer. An employer selecting this option must use the method for the entire calendar year.

Votes on Final Passage:







(House amended)




(Senate concurred)


June 9, 2016