August 12, 2019

L&I Wage Order and Employer-Paid Healthcare Benefits


Are you receiving time loss benefits? Is your employer still paying for healthcare benefits? Has the Department issued a Wage Order? It is very important that your wage order is accurate, especially when it comes to healthcare benefits.

In 2001, Washington’s Supreme Court was asked to decide if an injured worker’s wages should include employer-paid healthcare benefits. Cockle v. Dep’t of Labor & Indus., 142 Wash. 2d 801 (2001).

This important case expanded the definition of an injured worker’s wages to include the worker’s loss of employer-paid health care benefits. This means that when an employer stops paying for these benefits, the employer’s actual contribution to the worker’s health care benefits at the time of injury must be included in the wage calculation.