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About BIIA

Our mission

The mission of the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals is to serve the public by resolving appeals in a consistent, impartial, timely, and efficient manner.

Our vision

We are committed to providing:

  • A respected, unbiased forum for the resolution of disputes.
  • A desirable place to work, supportive of our mission and consistent with our values.

Our values
  • Dedication to public service.
  • Honesty, integrity, loyalty, and fairness.
  • Respect for all persons.
  • Diversity and teamwork in the workplace.
  • Our employees' well-being and safety.
  • Professionalism in performance and demeanor.
  • The contribution of each employee.
  • Personal and professional growth.
  • Dedication to excellence and continued improvement.

The Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA) is a state agency that is independent from the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). The BIIA hears appeals from decisions made by L&I in several areas. The three principal types of appeals are:

  • Industrial insurance (workers' compensation)
  • Safety citations under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA)
  • Employer Premium (tax assessments and classifications)

Board members

The BIIA is administered by three full-time Board members appointed by the Governor. The role of a Board member can be divided into two major parts.

  • First, the Board members issue the final decision in every dispute appealed to the agency.
  • Second, the Board members act as managers of the agency itself. This second role is somewhat unusual in that the three Board members act as a singular executive to administer the agency as an organization.

Each Board member serves an overlapping six-year term and is appointed by the Governor.

David E. Threedy

David E. Threedy is the Chairperson and public member of the Board. Dave came to the Board in 1985 and has served as a hearing judge, mediation judge, Assistant Chief Judge responsible for new appeals, and was Executive Secretary when appointed to the Chair position in March 2010. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (1973) and his Juris Doctor from the University of Puget Sound/Seattle University School of Law (1982). His term expires on June 17, 2015.

Frank E. Fennerty, Jr.

Frank E. Fennerty, Jr. is the labor member of the Board. He has served on the Board since 1981. Prior to coming to the Board, he was the Business Representative of Office and Professional Employees, Local #23, from 1974 to 1981. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Seattle University. His term expires on June 17, 2019.

Jack S. Eng

Jack S. Eng is the business member of the Board. He was appointed by Governor Gregoire in October 2011. Prior to coming to the Board he was a Senior Legal Counsel for Weyerhaeuser Co. from 1994-2009, and served as an Assistant Attorney General from 1979-1985 and 1987-1994, where he represented numerous state boards and agencies, including L&I. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington and his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the Santa Clara University School of Law. His term expires on June 17, 2017.

Chief Industrial Insurance Appeals Judge

Janet R. Whitney

Janet R. Whitney is the Chief Industrial Appeals Judge for the BIIA. Prior to coming to the agency, Janet was an attorney in private practice and an Assistant Attorney General in the L&I division. She started at the BIIA in 1986 and has served as a hearing judge, mediator, and review judge. In 1991 Janet was promoted to Chief Judge for the Mediation section. In September 1994 she was named Chief Industrial Appeals Judge, responsible for the agency's entire legal division covering new appeals, mediation, hearings, and review sections. Janet received her Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University, and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Puget Sound/Seattle University School of Law.

Executive Secretary

Brian Watkins

Brian Watkins is the Executive Secretary to the Board and Assistant Chief Judge in charge of Review. Before coming to the agency, he served as an administrative law judge and later senior administrative law judge with the Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings. He previously worked as an attorney in Seattle, and is a former board member of the National Association of Administrative Law Judges, and former president of the Washington Administrative Law Judges Association. Brian was appointed Executive Secretary in 2016. The Executive Secretary serves as legal counsel to the Board. Brian is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A&M University School of Law) and the University of Texas at Arlington.