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The value of gasoline provided to an employee for the employee’s use of a company van is not “fuel,” as that term is used in Wash. Rev. Code § 51.08.178, since it is not “critical to the worker’s health or survival,” held a Washington state appellate court. The statute indicates that for purposes of determining loss of earning power benefits an injured employee’s “wages” shall include the reasonable value of board, housing, fuel, or other consideration of like nature received from the employer. Moreover, only core, non-fringe benefits such as food, shelter, fuel, and health care provided by the employer are included within the “like nature.” The court added that injury-caused deprivation of the reasonable value of fringe benefits that are not critical to protecting a worker’s basic health and survival do not qualify as the kind of “suffering” that the Washington Industrial Insurance Act was designed to remedy.
Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.
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See Yuchasz v. Department of Labor & Indus., 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 2394 (Oct. 6, 2014) [2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 2394 (Oct. 6, 2014)]
See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 93.01 [93.01]
Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.
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