Business

Late filing penalties waived following computer slowdown

TUMWATER — Employers will not be penalized for late online filing of an industrial insurance quarterly report following a recent computer slowdown at Labor & Industries.

Last week, an L&I computer server was unable to handle the volume of traffic, which prevented some businesses from filing their reports by the Aug. 1 deadline.

“This is not the experience we want for our employers, especially first-time filers,” said Beth Dupre, assistant director for insurance services. “We’re upgrading our equipment right away, so users should once more find our services fast and easy to use.”

If an employer files his or her quarterly report by Aug. 5, any penalties or interest will be credited back to the employer’s account.

The fastest way to file is at www.QuickFile.Lni.wa.gov. There’s no password required and employers can pay with paper or e-check (without any fees), sign up for an email reminder and print out a copy of their report. For access to account details, employers can file through the online Claim & Account Center.

To help businesses inconvenienced by last week’s computer slow-down, L&I customer service staff answered calls and helped businesses file their reports. The agency is also phoning individual employers who have expressed concerns to let them know that their accounts are in good standing.

Technicians said last week’s slowdown was a result of a high volume of large reports coming in from a variety of sources at the same time — all of them going into the same server.

The popularity of L&I’s online services has been growing steadily with employers, injured workers, and health-care providers. In June, use of L&I’s online Claim & Account Center, one of the agency’s most popular applications, was more than 22 percent higher than during the same period one year ago.

Requests for information through the secure online center have increased more than 300 percent since June 2007.

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