WSR 02-07-102

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

LABOR AND INDUSTRIES

[ Filed March 20, 2002, 9:58 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: General reporting rules, classifications, audit and recordkeeping, rates and rating system for workers' compensation insurance, chapter 296-17 WAC, revisions to existing retrospective rating rules including but not limited to the definition of account in good standing and date of enrollment; accepting faxed applications in lieu of an original; requirement that payment agreements be in writing; and clarification of when applications are due when the due date falls on a weekend. Labor and industries may also propose a new rule concerning the due date for the annual safety report, and a rule explaining that refunds are net of audit adjustments and the we charge interest on unpaid assessments.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 51.18.010.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Business partners have asked labor and industries to clarify several retrospective rating rules and to establish new rules as needed to address due dates, acceptance of faxed applications, and to repeal a rule voided by Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor. Labor and industries has also identified the need for several new rules. The rule changes are designed to provide greater clarity of participation requirements.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.

Process for Developing New Rule: Labor and industries will use direct mailings and the Internet to share possible ideas for rule changes with participating employers and business associations that sponsor retrospective rating groups. Draft rules will also be shared with the retrospective rating advisory committee at the April 9th meeting. Interested parties can participate in the development of the draft rules by attending the meeting and/or submitting comments and suggestions. We will share the final version of the proposed draft rules with the retrospective rating advisory committee at the July 9th meeting.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. A letter with ideas on possible rule changes will be sent to all employers that participate in retrospective rating. Employers will be encouraged to attend the retrospective rating advisory committee meetings where the rule ideas will be discussed and draft rules formulated. Employers can obtain information on our process at the retro web site (www.lni.wa.gov/retro) and can submit comments electronically. Employers can also contact advisory committee members and share comments directly with our business representatives. A list of committee members can be found at the retro web site. The letter will also contain instructions on how to share ideas or concerns with labor and industries as the rules are being developed.

March 18, 2002

Gary Moore

Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office