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Workshop Set For Injured Hispanic Workers In Yakima

Silverio Arenas
Psychologist Silverio Arenas sits in front of a sign that criticizes the Washington Department of Labor and Industries.

An activist plans to hold a workshop in the Yakima Valley Saturday for injured workers who are Hispanic. It’s part of an effort to make sure more Spanish-speaking workers benefit from state services. 

???The workshop will be run by Silverio Arenas, a psychologist and activist who has tangled with the Washington Department of Labor & Industriesas a treatment provider.

He’s critical of their system that evaluates claims of injured workers.

“It’s a whole process that very few people really know about in terms of its details that in our opinion is oppressive, discriminatory, and arbitrary,” Arenas said.

Labor & Industries Director of Community Relations Uriel Iniguez called it a “complicated system.” He says Arenas and L&I have the same goal, but due to the number of agencies that oversee claims and appeals, people can often lose hope in the system.

“Through the process there’s going to be people that are not going to be happy about it,” Iniguez said. “They’re not going to get the results that they wanted. That’s kind of how it goes.”

Most L&I claims every year are approved. Workers with limited proficiency in English appeal their denials less often.

The workshop will be held at Radio KDNA in Granger, WA from 1-4 PM on July 15.