Workers' Compensation COVID-19 Reclassification of Employees

The California Department of Insurance has approved special rules proposed by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) to provide some relief to employers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The new rules will allow employers to temporarily reassign the payroll of qualified employees to 8810 Clerical and exclude the payroll for employees who are on paid leave during the Shelter In Place order.  Documentation will be important; below is a brief overview of the documentation that will be required.

The WCIRB expects auditors to review some documentation showing the changes that have been implemented due to the Shelter In Place order.  For employees that are being reclassified as 8810 Clerical, documentation of the change in employee duties, as well as the start and end dates of the change in duties, will be required. For furloughed employees on paid leave, documentation of the start and end dates of the furlough period will be required.

The regulations are being applied retroactively to the beginning of the Shelter In Place order and for this reason, the documentation does not have to be concurrent with the change in status. If the employer did not send an email or provide employees with a written memo at the time the changes occurred, a written notice addressed to the employee(s) after the fact acknowledging the effective date of the change in status will be required.

Instructions for temporary reassignment to 8810 Clerical Office Employees are as follows:

The insured must maintain records and the auditor will record on the audit:

  • the employee name
  • the employee payroll
  • the modified job duties
  • the effective dates the employee performed the modified work
  • the documentation used to determine modified duty (e.g. memo or email to the employee or special coding or department number shown in the payroll records)

Instructions for excluding wages paid to employees on leave are as follows:

The insured must maintain records and the auditor will record on the audit:

  • the employee name
  • the employee payroll for the Stay-at-Home Order
  • the documentation used to determine paid leave status:  memo or email to the employee or special coding or department number shown in the payroll records
  • effective dates of the paid leave

Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions.