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    Danae Hammitt   

Employer Incentives News
Get informed, stay informed

SAVE MONEY! You may qualify to receive financial incentives for re-hiring injured workers. Employer Incentives News provides an overview of benefits you can receive when you participate in Oregon's Return-to-work programs, including the Preferred Worker Program and the Employer-at-Injury Program. Through these programs you can receive financial benefits that increase your bottom line. The articles below highlight some of the incentives you can receive.

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  Around the State -      employment news 

  Return to work basics

  Preferred worker poster

  Contact us

       Benefits available through the Preferred Worker Program
       Do I need workers' compensation insurance?
       DBA or FEIN - Use both when requesting PWP benefits
       The importance of ergonomics
       Q&A: Oregon return-to-work programs
  Benefits available through the Preferred Worker Program
Highlight: Premium exemption and claims cost reimbursement
What is premium exemption?
Premium exemption means an employer doesn't have to pay workers' compensation insurance premiums for a preferred worker during the three-year exemption period. It is important to note that employers still need to have an Oregon workers' compensation insurance policy during the exemption period. To take advantage of this benefit, you must contact your workers' compensation insurer within 90 days of hiring a preferred worker.

What is Claims Cost Reimbursement?
Claims cost reimbursement means you don't have to pay the costs of a claim if your preferred worker gets a new injury during the three-year premium exemption period. Claims cost reimbursement can save you tens of thousands of dollars in future workers' compensation claims costs.

For more detailed information about these benefits, click HERE.

  Do I need workers' compensation insurance?  

The State of Oregon requires almost all employers to carry workers' compensation insurance for their employees. If you employ "subject" workers, you need workers' compensation coverage.

What is a subject worker?
Every worker in Oregon is a subject worker unless the worker falls under an exemption. There are about 30 exemptions, including domestic servants (gardening, home maintenance, and repair workers around the home). Exemptions also include some sole proprietors, some partners, some company owners, some corporate officers, some volunteer workers, and some taxi drivers. See ORS 656.027 for a complete list of exemptions to the subject worker laws.

You can find the definitions of terms at
    Employer: ORS 656.005(13)
    Worker: ORS 656.005(30)
    Subject Employer: ORS 656.005(27)
    Subject Worker: ORS 656.005(28)

  DBA or FEIN - Use both when requesting PWP benefits  

When an employer hires a preferred worker and uses the wage subsidy benefit, the Preferred Worker Program will reimburse that employer 50 percent of the worker's wages for 183 calendar days. In order for the employer to qualify for this benefit, the employer must have active Oregon workers' compensation insurance and submit a wage subsidy agreement form within three years of the worker's date of hire.

When filling out the wage subsidy form, the employer must put both its legal business name and its DBA (doing business as) name on the form. Along with those two names, the federal tax identification number (FEIN) is also required. The state cannot reimburse the employer without the correct federal tax identification number.

It is important that the federal tax identification number and the employer's legal business name match the Internal Revenue Service records. Employers whose information does not match IRS records will not receive a reimbursement check until the correct legal name is matched to the correct federal tax identification number. If there is a discrepancy, the employer will receive a W-9 form and a letter explaining what is needed before a check will be issued.

If you are requesting reimbursement for a benefit other than wage subsidy, the same rules apply concerning the legal business name and the federal tax identification number.

  The Importance of Ergonomics  

What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the science of how people interact with their work and work environment. It is the study of how to improve the fit between the physical demands of the workplace and the employees who perform the work. Ergonomics takes into account that every worker is different. You can improve the work environment by selecting, designing, or modifying equipment, tools, and work tasks. Employees' abilities to perform physical tasks may vary because of differences in age, physical condition, strength, gender, stature, and other factors.

Why is ergonomics so important in my workplace?
The purpose of applying ergonomics is to keep workers safe, comfortable, and productive. The main benefit you get from ergonomics is that when proper ergonomics are observed, workplace injuries are reduced. However, if work is performed in awkward postures or with excessive effort, fatigue and discomfort may result. Under these conditions, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels can be damaged, leading to on-the-job injury.

On-the-job injuries directly and indirectly increase the cost of doing business. Direct costs may include medical services and higher workers' compensation premiums. Indirect costs may occur from increased employee turnover, absenteeism, and retraining. Productivity, product quality, and employee morale may also suffer.

By applying ergonomics in your workplace, you can greatly reduce the possibility for workplace injury.

  Q&A: Oregon return-to-work programs  
  Q: Our company was the employer at injury when one of our workers injured his knee. Since the date of injury, our company has been bought out by a larger corporation. Can we still use the Employer-at-Injury Program to bring this worker back to work, even though we have a different owner?

A: Maybe. OAR 436-105-0005(5) defines employer at injury as the "organization" where the worker was injured. If the business is essentially the same, under the new ownership, and the new owner assumed responsibility for the claims that occurred under the former ownership, the new owner could use the EAIP. If in doubt, you or your insurer should contact the division to discuss the particulars of your case.

If you have questions about this webpage, please contact Danae Hammitt, 503-947-7018.