Chapter 51.48 RCW

PENALTIES

Sections

51.48.010Employer's liability for penalties, injury or disease occurring before payment of compensation secured.
51.48.017Self-insurer delaying or refusing to pay benefits.
51.48.020Employer's false reporting or failure to secure payment of compensationFalse information by claimantsUnlawful actionsPenalties.
51.48.022Failure to secure payment of compensationStop work orderPenaltyRules.
51.48.025Retaliation by employer prohibitedInvestigationRemedies.
51.48.030Failure to keep records and make reports.
51.48.040Inspection of employer's records.
51.48.050Liability for illegal collections for medical aid.
51.48.055Termination, dissolution, or abandonment of businessPersonal liability for unpaid premiums.
51.48.060Physician or licensed advanced registered nurse practitionerFailure to report or comply.
51.48.075Information and training on premium liability.
51.48.080Violation of rules.
51.48.090Collection.
51.48.100WaiverPenalty-free periods.
51.48.103Engaging in business without certificate of coverageUnlawful actionsPenalties.
51.48.105Failure to apply for coverage of employeesNot applicable, when.
51.48.110Decedent having no beneficiariesPayment into supplemental pension fund.
51.48.120Notice of assessment for default in payments by employerIssuanceServiceContents.
51.48.131Notice of assessment for default in payments by employerAppeal.
51.48.140Notice of assessment for employer's default in paymentsWhen amount becomes finalWarrantExecutionGarnishmentFees.
51.48.150Notice of assessment for employer's default in paymentsNotice to withhold and deliver property due employer.
51.48.160Revocation of certificate of coverage for failure to pay warrants or taxes.
51.48.170Emergency assessment and collection of taxes.
51.48.180Emergency assessment and collection of taxesDistraint and sale of property.
51.48.190Emergency assessment and collection of taxesConduct of sale.
51.48.200Search and seizure of property to satisfy tax warrant or assessmentIssuance and execution of search warrant.
51.48.210Delinquent taxes.
51.48.220Order of execution upon propertyProcedureSale.
51.48.230Order of execution upon propertyEnforcement.
51.48.240Agents and employees of department not personally liableConditions.
51.48.250Liability of persons wilfully obtaining erroneous paymentsCivil penalties.
51.48.260Liability of persons unintentionally obtaining erroneous payments.
51.48.270Criminal liability of persons making false statements or concealing information.
51.48.280Kickbacks, bribes, and rebatesRepresentation feesCriminal liabilityExceptions.
51.48.290Written verification by health services providers.


Employer's liability for penalties, injury or disease occurring before payment of compensation secured.

Every employer shall be liable for the penalties described in this title and may also be liable if an injury or occupational disease has been sustained by a worker prior to the time he or she has secured the payment of such compensation to a penalty in a sum not less than fifty percent nor more than one hundred percent of the cost for such injury or occupational disease. Any employer who has failed to secure payment of compensation for his or her workers covered under this title may also be liable to a maximum penalty in a sum of five hundred dollars or in a sum double the amount of premiums incurred prior to securing payment of compensation under this title, whichever is greater, for the benefit of the medical aid fund.
[ 1985 c 347 § 2; 1982 c 63 § 20; 1977 ex.s. c 350 § 69; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 61; 1961 c 23 § 51.48.010. Prior: 1947 c 247 § 1(4d), part; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 7676d, part.]

NOTES:

Effective datesImplementation1982 c 63: See note following RCW 51.32.095.
Effective datesSeverability1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.



Self-insurer delaying or refusing to pay benefits.

If a self-insurer unreasonably delays or refuses to pay benefits as they become due there shall be paid by the self-insurer upon order of the director an additional amount equal to five hundred dollars or twenty-five percent of the amount then due, whichever is greater, which shall accrue for the benefit of the claimant and shall be paid to him or her with the benefits which may be assessed under this title. The director shall issue an order determining whether there was an unreasonable delay or refusal to pay benefits within thirty days upon the request of the claimant. Such an order shall conform to the requirements of RCW 51.52.050.

NOTES:

Effective datesSeverability1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.



Employer's false reporting or failure to secure payment of compensationFalse information by claimantsUnlawful actionsPenalties.

(1)(a) Any employer, who knowingly misrepresents to the department the amount of his or her payroll or employee hours upon which the premium under this title is based, shall be liable to the state for up to ten times the amount of the difference in premiums paid and the amount the employer should have paid and for the reasonable expenses of auditing his or her books and collecting such sums. Such liability may be enforced in the name of the department.
(b) An employer is guilty of a class C felony, if:
(i) The employer, with intent to evade determination and payment of the correct amount of the premiums, knowingly makes misrepresentations regarding payroll or employee hours; or
(ii) The employer engages in employment covered under this title and, with intent to evade determination and payment of the correct amount of the premiums, knowingly fails to secure payment of compensation under this title or knowingly fails to report the payroll or employee hours related to that employment.
(c) Upon conviction under (b) of this subsection, the employer shall be ordered by the court to pay the premium due and owing, a penalty in the amount of one hundred percent of the premium due and owing, and interest on the premium and penalty from the time the premium was due until the date of payment. The court shall:
(i) Collect the premium and interest and transmit it to the department of labor and industries; and
(ii) Collect the penalty and disburse it pro rata as follows: One-third to the investigative agencies involved; one-third to the prosecuting authority; and one-third to the general fund of the county in which the matter was prosecuted.
Payments collected under this subsection must be applied until satisfaction of the obligation in the following order: Premium payments; penalty; and interest.
(d) An employer found to have violated this subsection shall, in addition to any other penalties, be subject to the penalties in RCW 39.12.055.
(2) Any person claiming benefits under this title, who knowingly gives false information required in any claim or application under this title shall be guilty of a felony, or gross misdemeanor in accordance with the theft and anticipatory provisions of Title 9A RCW.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsSeverability2008 c 120: See notes following RCW 18.27.030.
SeverabilityEffective date1977 ex.s. c 323: See notes following RCW 51.04.040.
Effective datesSeverability1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.



Failure to secure payment of compensationStop work orderPenaltyRules.

(1) In addition to the penalties provided by this chapter, an employer performing services that require registration under chapter 18.27 RCW or licensing under chapter 19.28 RCW who violates RCW 51.14.010 may be subject to a stop work order issued under this section.
(2) If the director determines after an investigation that an employer is in violation of RCW 51.14.010, the director may issue a stop work order against the employer requiring the cessation of business operations of the employer. Service of the order must be in accordance with subsection (3) of this section.
(3) When a stop work order is served on a worksite by posting a copy of the stop work order in a conspicuous location at the worksite, it is effective as to the employer's operations on that worksite. When a stop work order is served on the employer, the order is effective to all employer worksites for which the employer is not in compliance. Business operations of the employer must cease immediately upon service consistent with the stop work order. The order remains in effect until the director issues an order releasing the stop work order upon finding that the employer has come into compliance and has paid any premiums, penalties, and interest under this title or issues an order of conditional release pursuant to subsection (6) of this section.
(4) An employer who violates a stop work order is subject to a one thousand dollar penalty for each day not in compliance.
(5) An employer against whom a stop work order has been issued may request reconsideration from the department or may appeal to the board of industrial insurance appeals. The request must be made in writing to the department or the board within ten days of receiving the stop work order at the worksite or in person. If the department conducts a reconsideration, it must be concluded within ten days of receiving the request for reconsideration by the employer. The stop work order remains in effect during the period of reconsideration or appeal, unless the employer furnishes to the department a cash deposit or bond in the amount of five thousand dollars or one thousand dollars per covered worker identified, whichever is greater. At time of a final order upholding a stop work order, the bond or cash deposit will be seized and applied to the premium, penalty, and interest balance of that employer. In an appeal before the board, the appellant has the burden of proceeding with the evidence to establish a prima facie case for the relief sought in such appeal. RCW 51.52.080 through 51.52.106 govern appeals under this section. Further appeals taken from a final decision of the board under this section are governed by the provisions relating to judicial review of administrative decisions contained in RCW 34.05.510 through 34.05.598, and the department has the same right of review from the board's decisions as do employers.
(6) The director may issue an order of conditional release from the stop work order if the employer has complied with the coverage requirements of this title and agreed to pay premiums, penalties, and interest through a payment schedule. If the terms of the schedule are not met, the stop work order may be reinstated and the unpaid balance will become due.
(7) Stop work orders and penalties assessed under this chapter remain in effect against any successor corporation or business entity that has one or more of the same principals or officers as the employer against whom the stop work order was issued and which is engaged in the same or equivalent trade or activity.
(8) The department may adopt rules to carry out this section.



Retaliation by employer prohibitedInvestigationRemedies.

(1) No employer may discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has filed or communicated to the employer an intent to file a claim for compensation or exercises any rights provided under this title. However, nothing in this section prevents an employer from taking any action against a worker for other reasons including, but not limited to, the worker's failure to observe health or safety standards adopted by the employer, or the frequency or nature of the worker's job-related accidents.
(2) Any employee who believes that he or she has been discharged or otherwise discriminated against by an employer in violation of this section may file a complaint with the director alleging discrimination within ninety days of the date of the alleged violation. Upon receipt of such complaint, the director shall cause an investigation to be made as the director deems appropriate. Within ninety days of the receipt of a complaint filed under this section, the director shall notify the complainant of his or her determination. If upon such investigation, it is determined that this section has been violated, the director shall bring an action in the superior court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred.
(3) If the director determines that this section has not been violated, the employee may institute the action on his or her own behalf.
(4) In any action brought under this section, the superior court shall have jurisdiction, for cause shown, to restrain violations of subsection (1) of this section and to order all appropriate relief including rehiring or reinstatement of the employee with back pay.



Failure to keep records and make reports.

Every employer who fails to keep and preserve the records required by this title or fails to make the reports provided in this title shall be subject to a penalty determined by the director but not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars or two hundred percent of the quarterly tax for each such offense, whichever is greater. Any employer who fails to keep and preserve the records adequate to determine taxes due shall be forever barred from questioning, in an appeal before the board of industrial insurance appeals or the courts, the correctness of any assessment by the department based on any period for which such records have not been kept and preserved.
[ 1986 c 9 § 8; 1985 c 347 § 4; 1982 c 63 § 21; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 64; 1961 c 23 § 51.48.030. Prior: 1947 c 247 § 1(4d), part; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 7676d, part.]

NOTES:

Effective datesImplementation1982 c 63: See note following RCW 51.32.095.
Effective datesSeverability1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.



Inspection of employer's records.

(1) The books, records and payrolls of the employer pertinent to the administration of this title shall always be open to inspection by the department or its traveling auditor, agent or assistant, for the purpose of ascertaining the correctness of the payroll, the persons employed, and such other information as may be necessary for the department and its management under this title.
(2) Refusal on the part of the employer to submit his or her books, records and payrolls for such inspection to the department, or any assistant presenting written authority from the director, shall subject the offending employer to a penalty determined by the director but not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars for each offense and the individual who personally gives such refusal is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(3) Any employer who fails to allow adequate inspection in accordance with the requirements of this section is subject to having its certificate of coverage revoked by order of the department and is forever barred from questioning in any proceeding in front of the board of industrial insurance appeals or any court, the correctness of any assessment by the department based on any period for which such records have not been produced for inspection.
[ 2003 c 53 § 282; 1986 c 9 § 9; 1985 c 347 § 5; 1961 c 23 § 51.48.040. Prior: 1911 c 74 § 15, part; RRS § 7690, part.]

NOTES:

IntentEffective date2003 c 53: See notes following RCW 2.48.180.



Liability for illegal collections for medical aid.

It shall be unlawful for any employer to directly or indirectly demand or collect from any of his or her workers any sum of money whatsoever for or on account of medical, surgical, hospital, or other treatment or transportation of injured workers, other than as specified in RCW 51.16.140, and any employer who directly or indirectly violates the foregoing provisions of this section shall be liable to the state for the benefit of the medical aid fund in ten times the amount so demanded or collected, and such employer and every officer, agent, or servant of such employer knowingly participating therein shall also be guilty of a misdemeanor.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date1977 ex.s. c 323: See notes following RCW 51.04.040.



Termination, dissolution, or abandonment of businessPersonal liability for unpaid premiums.

(1) Upon termination, dissolution, or abandonment of a corporate or limited liability company business, any officer, member, manager, or other person having control or supervision of payment and/or reporting of industrial insurance, or who is charged with the responsibility for the filing of returns, is personally liable for any unpaid premiums and interest and penalties on those premiums if such officer or other person willfully fails to pay or to cause to be paid any premiums due the department under chapter 51.16 RCW.
For purposes of this subsection "willfully fails to pay or to cause to be paid" means that the failure was the result of an intentional, conscious, and voluntary course of action.
(2) The officer, member, manager, or other person is liable only for premiums that became due during the period he or she had the control, supervision, responsibility, or duty to act for the corporation described in subsection (1) of this section, plus interest and penalties on those premiums.
(3) The officer, member, manager, or other person is not liable if that person is not exempt from mandatory coverage under RCW 51.12.020 and was directed not to pay the employer's premiums by someone who is exempt.
(4) The officer, member, manager, or other person is not liable if all of the assets of the corporation or limited liability company have been applied to its debts through bankruptcy or receivership.
(5) Any person having been issued a notice of assessment under this section is entitled to the appeal procedures under RCW 51.48.131.
(6) This section does not relieve the corporation or limited liability company of its liabilities under Title 51 RCW or otherwise impair other tax collection remedies afforded by law.
(7) Collection authority and procedures prescribed in this chapter apply to collections under this section.

NOTES:

Adoption of rules2004 c 243: See note following RCW 51.08.177.



Physician or licensed advanced registered nurse practitionerFailure to report or comply.

Any physician or licensed advanced registered nurse practitioner who fails, neglects or refuses to file a report with the director, as required by this title, within five days of the date of treatment, showing the condition of the injured worker at the time of treatment, a description of the treatment given, and an estimate of the probable duration of the injury, or who fails or refuses to render all necessary assistance to the injured worker, as required by this title, shall be subject to a civil penalty determined by the director but not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars.
[ 2004 c 65 § 14; 1985 c 347 § 6; 1977 ex.s. c 350 § 71; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 20; 1961 c 23 § 51.48.060. Prior: 1927 c 310 § 6(e), part; 1921 c 182 § 7, part; 1911 c 74 § 12, part; RRS § 7686(e), part.]

NOTES:

Report to legislatureEffective dateSeverability2004 c 65: See notes following RCW 51.04.030.
Effective datesSeverability1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.



Information and training on premium liability.

The department shall, working with business associations and other employer and employee groups when practical, publish information and provide training to promote understanding of the premium liability that may be incurred under this chapter.

NOTES:

Adoption of rules2004 c 243: See note following RCW 51.08.177.



Violation of rules.

Every person, firm or corporation who violates or fails to obey, observe or comply with any rule of the department promulgated under authority of this title, shall be subject to a penalty of not to exceed five hundred dollars.



Collection.

Civil penalties to the state under this title shall be collected by civil action in the name of the state and paid into the accident fund unless a different fund is designated.
[ 1961 c 23 § 51.48.090. Prior: (i) 1947 c 247 § 1, part; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 7676d, part. (ii) 1911 c 74 § 15, part; RRS § 7690, part. (iii) 1917 c 28 § 17, part; RRS § 7726, part.]



WaiverPenalty-free periods.

(1) The director may waive the whole or any part of any penalty charged under this title.
(2) Until June 30, 1986: (a) The director may, at his or her discretion, declare a penalty-free period of no more than three months only for employers who have never previously registered under RCW 51.16.110 for eligible employees under Title 51 RCW; and (b) such employers may qualify once for penalty-free status upon payment of up to one year's past due premium in full and satisfaction of the requirements of RCW 51.16.110. Such employers shall be subject to all penalties for any subsequent failure to comply with the requirements of this title.
[ 1985 c 227 § 1; 1961 c 23 § 51.48.100. Prior: 1947 c 247 § 1, part; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 7676d, part.]

NOTES:

Effective date1985 c 227: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1985." [ 1985 c 227 § 2.]



Engaging in business without certificate of coverageUnlawful actionsPenalties.

(1) It is a gross misdemeanor:
(a) For any employer to engage in business subject to this title without having obtained a certificate of coverage as provided for in this title;
(b) For the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, or other officer of any company to cause or permit the company to engage in business subject to this title without having obtained a certificate of coverage as provided for in this title.
(2) It is a class C felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW:
(a) For any employer to engage in business subject to this title after the employer's certificate of coverage has been revoked by order of the department;
(b) For the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, or other officer of any company to cause or permit the company to engage in business subject to this title after revocation of a certificate of coverage.
(3) An employer found to have violated this section shall, in addition to any other penalties, be subject to the penalties in RCW 39.12.055.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsSeverability2008 c 120: See notes following RCW 18.27.030.
IntentEffective date2003 c 53: See notes following RCW 2.48.180.



Failure to apply for coverage of employeesNot applicable, when.

The penalties provided under this title for failure to apply for coverage for employees as required by the provisions of Title 51 RCW, the worker's compensation law, shall not be applicable prior to March 1, 1972, as to any employer whose work first became subject to this title on or after January 1, 1972.



Decedent having no beneficiariesPayment into supplemental pension fund.

Where death results from the injury or occupational disease and the deceased leaves no beneficiaries, a self-insurer shall pay into the supplemental pension fund the sum of ten thousand dollars, less any amount that the self-insurer paid under RCW 51.32.040(2) as payment due for the period of time before the worker's death.

NOTES:

Effective datesSeverability1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.



Notice of assessment for default in payments by employerIssuanceServiceContents.

If any employer should default in any payment due to the state fund the director or the director's designee may issue a notice of assessment certifying the amount due, which notice shall be served upon the employer by mailing such notice to the employer by a method for which receipt can be confirmed or tracked to the employer's last known address or served in the manner prescribed for the service of a summons in a civil action. Such notice shall contain the information that an appeal must be filed with the board of industrial insurance appeals and the director by mail or personally within thirty days of the date of service of the notice of assessment in order to appeal the assessment unless a written request for reconsideration is filed with the department of labor and industries.



Notice of assessment for default in payments by employerAppeal.

A notice of assessment becomes final thirty days from the date the notice of assessment was served upon the employer unless: (1) A written request for reconsideration is filed with the department of labor and industries, or (2) an appeal is filed with the board of industrial insurance appeals and sent to the director of labor and industries by mail or delivered in person. The appeal shall not be denied solely on the basis that it was not filed with both the board and the director if it was filed with either the board or the director. The appeal shall set forth with particularity the reason for the employer's appeal and the amounts, if any, that the employer admits are due.
The department, within thirty days after receiving a notice of appeal, may modify, reverse, or change any notice of assessment, or may hold any such notice of assessment in abeyance pending further investigation, and the board shall thereupon deny the appeal, without prejudice to the employer's right to appeal from any subsequent determinative notice of assessment issued by the department.
The burden of proof rests upon the employer in an appeal to prove that the taxes and penalties assessed upon the employer in the notice of assessment are incorrect. The department shall promptly transmit its original record, or a legible copy thereof, produced by mechanical, photographic, or electronic means, in such matter to the board. RCW 51.52.080 through 51.52.106 govern appeals under this section. Further appeals taken from a final decision of the board under this section are governed by the provisions relating to judicial review of administrative decisions contained in RCW 34.05.510 through 34.05.598, and the department has the same right of review from the board's decisions as do employers.

NOTES:

Effective date1989 c 175: See note following RCW 34.05.010.



Notice of assessment for employer's default in paymentsWhen amount becomes finalWarrantExecutionGarnishmentFees.

If a notice of appeal is not served on the director and the board of industrial insurance appeals pursuant to RCW 51.48.131 within thirty days from the date of service of the notice of assessment, or if a final decision and order of the board of industrial insurance appeals in favor of the department is not appealed to superior court in the manner specified in RCW 34.05.510 through 34.05.598, or if a final decision of any court in favor of the department is not appealed within the time allowed by law, then the amount of the unappealed assessment, or such amount of the assessment as is found due by the final decision and order of the board of industrial insurance appeals or final decision of the court shall be deemed final and the director or the director's designee may file with the clerk of any county within the state a warrant in the amount of the notice of assessment. The clerk of the county wherein the warrant is filed shall immediately designate a superior court cause number for such warrant, and the clerk shall cause to be entered in the judgment docket under the superior court cause number assigned to the warrant, the name of such employer mentioned in the warrant, the amount of the taxes and penalties due thereon, and the date when such warrant was filed. The aggregate amount of such warrant as docketed shall become a lien upon the title to, and interest in all real and personal property of the employer against whom the warrant is issued, the same as a judgment in a civil case duly docketed in the office of such clerk. The sheriff shall thereupon proceed upon the same in all respects and with like effect as prescribed by law with respect to execution or other process issued against rights or property upon judgment in the superior court. Such warrant so docketed shall be sufficient to support the issuance of writs of garnishment in favor of the state in a manner provided by law in case of judgment, wholly or partially unsatisfied. The clerk of the court shall be entitled to a filing fee under RCW 36.18.012(10), which shall be added to the amount of the warrant. A copy of such warrant shall be mailed to the employer within three days of filing with the clerk.

NOTES:

Effective date1989 c 175: See note following RCW 34.05.010.



Notice of assessment for employer's default in paymentsNotice to withhold and deliver property due employer.

The director or the director's designee is hereby authorized to issue to any person, firm, corporation, municipal corporation, political subdivision of the state, a public corporation, or any agency of the state, a notice and order to withhold and deliver property of any kind whatsoever when he or she has reason to believe that there is in the possession of such person, firm, corporation, municipal corporation, political subdivision of the state, public corporation, or any agency of the state, property which is or shall become due, owing, or belonging to any employer upon whom a notice of assessment has been served by the department for payments due to the state fund. The effect of a notice and order to withhold and deliver shall be continuous from the date such notice and order to withhold and deliver is first made until the liability out of which such notice and order to withhold and deliver arose is satisfied or becomes unenforceable because of lapse of time. The department shall release the notice and order to withhold and deliver when the liability out of which the notice and order to withhold and deliver arose is satisfied or becomes unenforceable by reason of lapse of time and shall notify the person against whom the notice and order to withhold and deliver was made that such notice and order to withhold and deliver has been released.
The notice and order to withhold and deliver shall be served by the sheriff of the county or by the sheriff's deputy, by a method for which receipt can be confirmed or tracked, or by any duly authorized representatives of the director. Any person, firm, corporation, municipal corporation, political subdivision of the state, public corporation or any agency of the state upon whom service has been made is hereby required to answer the notice within twenty days exclusive of the day of service, under oath and in writing, and shall make true answers to the matters inquired of in the notice and order to withhold and deliver. In the event there is in the possession of the party named and served with a notice and order to withhold and deliver, any property which may be subject to the claim of the department, such property shall be delivered forthwith to the director or the director's duly authorized representative upon service of the notice to withhold and deliver which will be held in trust by the director for application on the employer's indebtedness to the department, or for return without interest, in accordance with a final determination of a petition for review, or in the alternative such party shall furnish a good and sufficient surety bond satisfactory to the director conditioned upon final determination of liability. Should any party served and named in the notice to withhold and deliver fail to make answer to such notice and order to withhold and deliver, within the time prescribed herein, it shall be lawful for the court, after the time to answer such order has expired, to render judgment by default against the party named in the notice to withhold and deliver for the full amount claimed by the director in the notice to withhold and deliver together with costs. In the event that a notice to withhold and deliver is served upon an employer and the property found to be subject thereto is wages, then the employer shall be entitled to assert in the answer to all exemptions provided for by chapter 6.27 RCW to which the wage earner may be entitled.



Revocation of certificate of coverage for failure to pay warrants or taxes.

If any warrant issued under this title is not paid within thirty days after it has been filed with the clerk of the superior court, or if any employer is delinquent, for three consecutive reporting periods, in the transmission to the department of taxes due, the department may, by order issued under its official seal, revoke the certificate of coverage of the employer against whom the warrant was issued; and if the order is entered, a copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place at the main entrance to the employer's place of business and shall remain posted until such time as the warrant has been paid. Any certificate so revoked shall not be reinstated, nor shall a new certificate of coverage be issued to the employer, until the amount due on the warrant has been paid, or provisions for payment satisfactory to the department have been entered, and until the taxpayer has deposited with the department such security for payment of any taxes, increases, and penalties, due or which may become due in an amount and under such terms and conditions as the department may require, but the amount of the security shall not be greater than one-half the estimated average annual taxes of the employer.



Emergency assessment and collection of taxes.

If the director or the director's designee has reason to believe that an employer is insolvent or about to cease business, leave the state, or remove or dissipate assets out of which taxes or penalties might be satisfied, and the collection of any taxes accrued will be jeopardized by delaying collection, the director or the director's designee may make an immediate assessment thereof and may proceed to enforce collection immediately under the terms of RCW 51.48.180 and 51.48.190, but interest and penalties shall not begin to accrue upon any taxes until the date when such taxes would normally have become delinquent.



Emergency assessment and collection of taxesDistraint and sale of property.

If the amount of taxes, interest, or penalties assessed by the director or the director's designee by order and notice of assessment pursuant to RCW 51.48.170 is not paid within ten days after the service or mailing of the order and notice of assessment, the director or the director's designee may collect the amount stated in said assessment by the distraint, seizure, and sale of the property, goods, chattels, and effects of the delinquent employer. There shall be exempt from distraint and sale under this section such goods and property as are exempt from execution under the laws of this state.



Emergency assessment and collection of taxesConduct of sale.

The director or the director's designee, upon making a distraint pursuant to RCW 51.48.170 and 51.48.180, shall seize the property and shall make an inventory of the property distrained, a copy of which shall be mailed to the owner of such property or personally delivered to the owner, and shall specify the time and place when the property shall be sold. A notice specifying the property to be sold and the time and place of sale shall be posted in at least two public places in the county wherein the seizure has been made. The time of sale shall be not less than twenty days from the date of posting of such notices. The sale may be adjourned from time to time at the discretion of the director or the director's designee, but not for a time to exceed in all sixty days. No sale shall take place if an appeal is pending. The sale shall be conducted by the director or the director's designee who shall proceed to sell such property by parcel or by lot at a public auction, and who may set a minimum price to include the expenses of making a levy and of advertising the sale, and if the amount bid for such property at the sale is not equal to the minimum price so fixed, the director or the director's designee may declare such property to be purchased by the department for such minimum price. In such event the delinquent account shall be credited with the amount for which the property has been sold. Property acquired by the department as herein prescribed may be sold by the director or the director's designee at public or private sale, and the amount realized shall be placed in the state of Washington industrial insurance fund.
In all cases of sale, as aforesaid, the director or the director's designee shall issue a bill of sale or a deed to the purchaser and the bill of sale or deed shall be prima facie evidence of the right of the director or the director's designee to make such sale and conclusive evidence of the regularity of the proceeding in making the sale, and shall transfer to the purchaser all right, title, and interest of the delinquent employer in said property. The proceeds of any such sale, except in those cases wherein the property has been acquired by the department, shall be first applied by the director or the director's designee in satisfaction of the delinquent account, and out of any sum received in excess of the amount of delinquent taxes, interest, and penalties the industrial insurance fund shall be reimbursed for the costs of distraint and sale. Any excess which shall thereafter remain in the hands of the director or the director's designee shall be refunded to the delinquent employer. Sums so refundable to a delinquent employer may be subject to seizure or distraint in the hands of the director or the director's designee by any other taxing authority of the state or its political subdivisions.



Search and seizure of property to satisfy tax warrant or assessmentIssuance and execution of search warrant.

(1) When there is probable cause to believe that there is property within this state not otherwise exempt from process or execution in the possession or control of any employer against whom a tax warrant issued under RCW 51.48.140 has been filed which remains unsatisfied, or an assessment issued pursuant to RCW 51.48.170, any judge of the superior court or district court in the county in which such property is located may, upon the request of the sheriff or agent of the department authorized to collect taxes, issue a warrant directed to the officers commanding the search for and seizure of the property described in the request for warrant.
(2) The procedure for the issuance, and execution and return of the warrant authorized by this section and for return of any property seized shall be the criminal rules of the superior court and the district court.
(3) The sheriff or agent of the department shall levy execution upon property seized under this section as provided in RCW 51.48.220 and 51.48.230.
(4) This section does not require the application for or issuance of any warrant not otherwise required by law.



Delinquent taxes.

If payment of any tax due is not received by the department by the due date, there shall be assessed a penalty of five percent of the amount of the tax for the first month or part thereof of delinquency; there shall be assessed a total penalty of ten percent of the amount of the tax for the second month or part thereof of delinquency; and there shall be assessed a total penalty of twenty percent of the amount of the tax for the third month or part thereof of delinquency. No penalty so added may be less than ten dollars. If a warrant is issued by the department for the collection of taxes, increases, and penalties, there shall be added thereto a penalty of five percent of the amount of the tax, but not less than five dollars nor greater than one hundred dollars. In addition, delinquent taxes shall bear interest at the rate of one percent of the delinquent amount per month or fraction thereof from and after the due date until payment, increases, and penalties are received by the department.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirementsSeverabilityEffective date1987 c 111: See notes following RCW 50.12.220.



Order of execution upon propertyProcedureSale.

The department may issue an order of execution, pursuant to a filed warrant, under its official seal directed to the sheriff of the county in which the warrant has been filed, commanding the sheriff to levy upon and sell the real and/or personal property of the taxpayer found within the county, or so much thereof as may be necessary, for the payment of the amount of the warrant, plus the cost of executing the warrant, and return the warrant to the department and pay to it the money collected by virtue thereof within sixty days after the receipt of the warrant. The sheriff shall thereupon proceed upon the same in all respects and with like effect as prescribed by law with respect to execution or other process issued against rights or property upon judgments of the superior court.
The sheriff shall be entitled to fees as provided by law for services in levying execution on a superior court judgment and the clerk shall be entitled to a filing fee as provided by law, which shall be added to the amount of the warrant.
The proceeds received from any sale shall be credited upon the amount due under the warrant and when the final amount due is received, together with interest, penalties, and costs, the judgment docket shall show the claim for taxes to be satisfied and the clerk of the court shall so note upon the docket. Any surplus received from any sale of property shall be paid to the taxpayer or to any lienholder entitled thereto. If the return on the warrant shows that the same has not been satisfied in full, the amount of the deficiency shall remain the same as a judgment against the taxpayer which may be collected in the same manner as the original amount of the warrant.



Order of execution upon propertyEnforcement.

In the discretion of the department, an order of execution of like terms, force, and effect may be issued and directed to any agent of the department authorized to collect taxes, and in the execution thereof such agent shall have all the powers conferred by law upon sheriffs, but shall not be entitled to any fee or compensation in excess of the actual expenses paid in the performance of such duty, which shall be added to the amount of the warrant.



Agents and employees of department not personally liableConditions.

When recovery is had in any suit or proceeding against an officer, agent, or employee of the department for any act done by that person or for the recovery of any money exacted by or paid to that person and by that person paid over to the department, in the performance of the person's official duty, and the court certifies that there was probable cause for the act done by such officer, agent, or employee, or that he or she acted under the direction of the department or an officer thereof, no execution shall issue against such officer, agent, or employee, but the amount so recovered shall, upon final judgment, be paid by the department as an expense of operation.



Liability of persons wilfully obtaining erroneous paymentsCivil penalties.

(1) No person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, agency, institution, or other legal entity, but not including an industrially injured recipient of health service, shall, on behalf of himself or herself or others, obtain or attempt to obtain payments under this chapter in a greater amount than that to which entitled by means of:
(a) A wilful false statement;
(b) Wilful misrepresentation, or by concealment of any material facts; or
(c) Other fraudulent scheme or device, including, but not limited to:
(i) Billing for services, drugs, supplies, or equipment that were not furnished, of lower quality, or a substitution or misrepresentation of items billed; or
(ii) Repeated billing for purportedly covered items, which were not in fact so covered.
(2) Any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, agency, institution, or other legal entity knowingly violating any of the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall be liable for repayment of any excess payments received, plus interest on the amount of the excess benefits or payments at the rate of one percent each month for the period from the date upon which payment was made to the date upon which repayment is made to the state. Such person or other entity shall further, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, be subject to civil penalties. The director of the department of labor and industries may assess civil penalties in an amount not to exceed the greater of one thousand dollars or three times the amount of such excess benefits or payments: PROVIDED, That these civil penalties shall not apply to any acts or omissions occurring prior to April 1, 1986.
(3) A criminal action need not be brought against a person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, agency, institution, or other legal entity for that person or entity to be civilly liable under this section.
(4) Civil penalties shall be deposited in the general fund upon their receipt.



Liability of persons unintentionally obtaining erroneous payments.

Any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, agency, institution, or other legal entity, but not including an industrially injured recipient of health services, that, without intent to violate this chapter, obtains payments under Title 51 RCW to which such person or entity is not entitled, shall be liable for: (1) Any excess payments received; and (2) interest on the amount of excess payments at the rate of one percent each month for the period from the date upon which payment was made to the date upon which repayment is made to the state.



Criminal liability of persons making false statements or concealing information.

Any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, agency, institution, or other legal entity, but not including an injured worker or beneficiary, that:
(1) Knowingly makes or causes to be made any false statement or representation of a material fact in any application for any payment under this title; or
(2) At any time knowingly makes or causes to be made any false statement or representation of a material fact for use in determining rights to such payment, or knowingly falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact in connection with such application or payment; or
(3) Having knowledge of the occurrence of any event affecting (a) the initial or continued right to any payment, or (b) the initial or continued right to any such payment of any other individual in whose behalf he or she has applied for or is receiving such payment, conceals or fails to disclose such event with an intent fraudulently to secure such payment either in a greater amount or quantity than is due or when no such payment is authorized;
shall be guilty of a class C felony: PROVIDED, That the fine, if imposed, shall not be in an amount more than twenty-five thousand dollars, except as authorized by RCW 9A.20.030.



Kickbacks, bribes, and rebatesRepresentation feesCriminal liabilityExceptions.

(1) It is a class C felony for any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, agency, institution, or other legal entity to solicit or receive any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe, or rebate) directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind:
(a) In return for referring an individual to a person for the furnishing or arranging for the furnishing of any item or service for which payment may be made in whole or in part under this chapter; or
(b) In return for purchasing, leasing, ordering, or arranging for or recommending purchasing, leasing, or ordering any goods, facility, service, or item for which payment may be made in whole or in part under this chapter.
(2) It is a class C felony for any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, agency, institution, or other legal entity to offer or pay any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe, or rebate) directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind to any person to induce such person:
(a) To refer an individual to a person for the furnishing or arranging for the furnishing of any item or service for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under this chapter; or
(b) To purchase, lease, order, or arrange for or recommend purchasing, leasing, or ordering any goods, facility, service, or item for which payment may be made in whole or in part under this chapter.
(3) A health services provider who (a) provides a health care service to a claimant, while acting as the claimant's representative for the purpose of obtaining authorization for the services, and (b) charges a percentage of the claimant's benefits or other fee for acting as the claimant's representative under this title is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
(4) Any fine imposed as a result of a violation of subsection (1), (2), or (3) of this section shall not be in an amount more than twenty-five thousand dollars, except as authorized by RCW 9A.20.030.
(5) Subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall not apply to:
(a) A discount or other reduction in price obtained by a provider of services or other entity under this chapter if the reduction in price is properly disclosed and appropriately reflected in the costs claimed or charges made by the provider or entity under this chapter; and
(b) Any amount paid by an employer to an employee (who has a bona fide employment relationship with such employer) for employment in the provision of covered items or services.
(6) Subsections (1) and (2) of this section, if applicable to the conduct involved, shall supersede the criminal provisions of chapter 19.68 RCW, but shall not preclude administrative proceedings authorized by chapter 19.68 RCW.

NOTES:

IntentEffective date2003 c 53: See notes following RCW 2.48.180.



Written verification by health services providers.

The director of the department of labor and industries may by rule require that any application, statement, or form filled out by any health services provider under this title shall contain or be verified by a written statement that it is made under the penalties of perjury and such declaration shall be in lieu of any oath otherwise required, and each such paper shall in such event so state. The making or subscribing of any such papers or forms containing any false or misleading information may be prosecuted and punished under chapter 9A.72 RCW.