State to repay employers who keep injured workers

Washington employers who provide temporary work that allows an injured worker to stay at work while recovering from an injury will be eligible to be reimbursed for half of the worker's wages, thanks to a new program.

The program is part of the workers' compensation reform bill Gov. Chris Gregoire signed this week.

Keeping an injured worker in a light-duty job while they recover helps employers keep workers, helps the business avoid increases in L&I premium rates and means workers don't lose the income they would if they were off the job collecting partial wage-replacement benefits, said Judy Schurke, director of the Department of Labor & Industries, in a news release.