The Preferred Worker Program is designed to encourage the re-employment of North Dakota's injured employees. It offers cost-saving incentives to participating employers and benefits for preferred workers.
To be eligible to participate in the PWP, an injured employee must have:
- Sustained a compensable work injury in North Dakota, resulting in an inability to return to their pre-injury position
- Completed the vocational rehabilitation process
- Not released to pre-injury occupation
- Not refused an offer of appropriate employment with the employer of injury
- Meet the above eligibility requirements
- Register to participate in the program by completing a registration form
North Dakota Employers
- Be in good standing with WSI
- Have and maintain an account providing WSI coverage
Note: The employer of injury is eligible for program participation if the injured employee has returned to work in a permanent, alternate position. Alternate employment is a new position with pre-injury employer.
- Out-of-state employers must submit proof of worker’s compensation insurance at the time the ID card is submitted
- Work Search Allowance: When the injured employee is eligible and actively searching for employment, a work search allowance will be provided in the amount of $250. This allowance may be used for appropriate clothing for interviews, uniforms, travel expenses, or other needed items. Maximum benefit is $250
- Certification, Licensure or Related Testing Costs: Testing for certifications, licensure or related testing requirements for employment may be reimbursed. This includes physical examinations or membership fees required for the job. Maximum benefit is $2,000
- Moving Expenses: Relocation expenses to move the household to the locale where the preferred worker has actually located work and the distance is greater to or equal than 35 miles from the primary residence. Moving expenses shall be paid in accordance with North Dakota Century Code § 65-05.1.
- Reimbursement for Lodging, Meals and Travel Expenses Relating to On-The-Job Training: Upon WSI approval, the preferred worker or employer my be reimbursed for lodging, meals and travel expenses (public transportation or mileage) to attend required employment training. Reimbursement is paid at North Dakota's state rate at the time of travel
- Tools and Equipment: Upon WSI approval, the preferred worker or employer may be reimbursed for tools, equipment or starter sets mandatory for employment. Maximum benefit is $2,500
- Job Analysis / Ergonomic Assessment: An on-site job analysis and/or ergonomic assessment may be conducted at no cost to the employer.
- Worksite Modification Reimbursement: With WSI approval, costs for modifications necessary for employment or retraining may be covered
- Premium Exemption: Employers may not be assessed premiums on a preferred worker’s salary for up to 3 years. (This benefit is not available to the employer of injury or out-of-state employers.)
- Wage Reimbursement: WSI may reimburse the employer up to 50% of gross wages (not to exceed North Dakota’s average weekly wage) at the time of employment start date; the wage reimbursement period is 26 consecutive weeks. If a preferred worker has a catastrophic injury as defined in North Dakota Century Code § 65-05.1-06.1(2)(1), reimbursement is 75% of gross wages for 52 consecutive weeks. (This benefit is not available to employer of injury.)
- Claim Cost Exemption: If the preferred worker sustains a new compensable injury during the 3-year premium exemption period, WSI may not charge claim costs to the employer. (This benefit is not available to the employer of injury or out-of-state employers.)
- Worksite Modification Reimbursement: WSI may approve costs for modifications necessary for employment or retraining.
- On-site job analysis and/or ergonomic assessment: May be conducted at no cost to the employer.
- Experienced Workers: Preferred workers give employers the benefit of having an experienced worker on the job
WSI thanks all North Dakota employers participating in the Preferred Worker Program. This list is to provide injured employees with a starting point in their search to return to work; do not limit your work search to only this list. The list is updated as new employers join the program. Any employer that has a current account with WSI is eligible for the program.
- Parts Logistics
- Phoenix International
- Sanford Health
- Express Personnel Services
- Strategic Fundraising
- IC Systems
- City of Fargo
- Cardinal IG
- US Bank Call Center
- Fargo Dome
- Standard Parking
- Sam's Club
- Magnum Trucking
- Swanson Health Products
- Sanford Health
- Pepsi Americas
- Preference Employment Solutions
- Fargo Assembly Company
- First International Bank
- Gateway Chevrolet
- Professional Transportation, Inc.
- St. Catherine's Living Center
- North Dakota State College of Science
- Marvin Windows
These links are for informational purposes only and are separate from WSI.
Job/Career Fair Links
Government Resources for Persons with Disabilities
Job Search Links