Tag Archives: DLI Investigation

KING 5 – Moratorium on Office Careers

Washington State’s Department of Labor and Industries has issued a moratorium on Office Careers retraining plans after KING 5 Investigations’ Susannah Frame reported on the company’s practices. Ms. Frame’s investigation reports, “School of Broken Promises,” have aired over the past few weeks. Links to all prior segments of Ms. Frame’s reporting are included, below.

Susannah Frame is the Chief Investigative Reporter and Specialty Reporting Coach at KING 5.  Ms. Frame’s investigation of Office Careers, an unaccredited training facility in Renton, WA, has finally drawn the attention of the Department of Labor and Industries.

Following a KING 5 investigation, Department of Labor and Industries officials said they will no longer approve requests to send injured workers to Office Careers.

Part 4: State orders halt on sending injured Washington workers to unaccredited online school

KING 5 Investigations by Susannah Frame | Aired March 3, 2020

Watch the Video

In the fourth segment of the series, “School of Broken Promises, Ms. Frame meets with an injured worker who completed a training plan at Office Careers. After 103 applications, she received 7 rejection letters, and not a single job offer.

Ms. Frame explains that, under Washington law, the Department of Labor and Industries is only supposed to utilize training facilities that demonstrate a minimum 50% placement rate – at least half of people retrained must go on to obtain jobs. Office Careers does not publish data on placement rates, yet they receive more funding from the Department of Labor and Industries than any other training facility in the state.

Ms. Frame interviewed David Johnson, owner of Office Careers. He continues to defend the practices of Office Careers instructors and the value of retraining received through their programs. He states that he has not received any complaints about it’s programs or practices.

DLI’s Moratorium on Office Careers Retraining Plans

Brian Wright received the following in an email from DLI today, March 3, 2020. We presume this is a public release.

Local media recently aired a series of investigative reports on Office Careers, a private vocational school. The allegations center on whether the school is adequately preparing students with the skills they need for employment.

L&I initiated an audit last year based on similar complaints. The audit is still in progress. Additionally, the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (Workforce Board) opened an investigation into the school last week.

Effective immediately, L&I is instituting a moratorium on approving any new retraining plans for Office Careers. This will remain in effect pending the results of our audit and/or the Workforce Board investigation. We will announce any changes to this process.

Please share this message with your staff. Thank you for your partnership in helping workers heal and return to work.

Current, ongoing retraining plans are not addressed in this notice. Those plans, at this point, are allowed to continue.

Have Questions? Get Answers.

We have worked with many, many clients who successfully complete retraining programs and return to work in a new career. For many injured workers, quality vocational retraining programs bring the greatest, long-term benefit after an injury. Restoring earning capacity and/or finding satisfying work goes a long way towards making an injured whole after an accident.

If you, or a friend or family member, have any questions or concerns about a workers’ compensation claim, please feel free to contact our firm. We offer a free case analysis and are happy to discuss your questions and concerns with you. 

Prior Posts with Related Content

KING 5 INVESTIGATION OF OFFICE CAREERS – Includes Parts 1 & 2 of the series, “School of Broken Promises.”

KING 5 – STATE LAUNCHING AN INVESTIGATION INTO OFFICE CAREERSPart 3 of the series, “School of Broken Promises.”

RETURN TO WORK – VOCATIONAL SERVICESInformation about the overall process.

Mukilteo, WA Company Fined $645,000+ for Exposing Roofers to Fall Hazards

The WA Department of Labor and Industries issued a press release noting that a Mukilteo, WA roofing company faces large fines for multiple safety violations that exposed workers to potential falls from more than 30 feet high and other hazards at job sites in Issaquah and Vancouver.

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has cited America 1st Roofing & Builders Inc., for 21 safety violations in all, found during four separate inspections. In total, the company faces $645,540 in penalties.

During the inspections, L&I discovered eight violations of rules that require proper fall protection equipment and work plans to protect employees working 10 feet off the ground or more. L&I inspectors saw employees working 11 to 18 feet off the ground. Based on the company’s history and prior knowledge of the hazards and regulations, these violations were cited as “willful,” each with a penalty of $66,000.

A ninth violation was also cited as willful with the maximum legal penalty of $70,000, after one inspection found an employee working unprotected on a rooftop 32 feet off the ground.

The inspections began in August 2016, when an L&I investigator saw a worker on the roof of a three-story home under construction. America 1st has been cited for repeat-serious violations of fall protection rules at least six times in the last three years.

“Seven construction workers fell to their deaths last year in our state,” said Anne Soiza assistant director for L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. “Falls are the leading cause of construction worker deaths and hospitalizations, and yet they’re completely preventable by using proper fall protection and following safe work practices.”

Along with the fall protection violations, America 1st was cited for unsafe ladder use; not ensuring walk-around safety inspections at the beginning of each job and weekly; not requiring hard hats when working under overhead hazards; scaffold safety; not having an accident prevention program; and for not having someone with first-aid training at the worksite.

The company has appealed, and the appeals are pending.

A serious violation exists when there’s a substantial probability that worker death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition. A willful violation can be issued when L&I has evidence of plain indifference, a substitution of judgment or intentional disregard of a hazard or rule.

For a copy of the citation, contact Public Affairs at 360-902-5413.


Photo credit: Sailing “Footprints: Real to Reel” (Ronn ashore) via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND