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Giving light-duty jobs to injured workers saves Washington firms $20M

Giving light-duty jobs to injured workers saves Washington firms $20M

A Washington state program that helps employers provide light-duty jobs for injured workers has saved companies nearly $20 million in its first two years, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries says.

L&I is Washington’s monopoly workers compensation insurer. A workers comp reform bill passed in 2011 established the state’s “Stay at Work” program, which reimburses employers for providing medically approved light-duty jobs to injured employees.

The program has paid $19.6 million to 2,400 employers who provided modified work for 8,400 workers in the last two years, L&I said in a statement Thursday.

Employers who participate in “Stay at Work” are reimbursed for 50% of an injured employee’s base wages, as well as for equipment, training and clothing provided for the worker’s modified job, according to the statement.