COVID-19 California Workers Compensation Update

Masha Keylin
Director of Marketing

On June 15, 2020, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara approved a special regulatory filing in response to the impact of COVID-19 on California employers and workers.  As a result, the following changes may apply to you:

  1. Retroactively effective March 19th, the day Governor Newsom issued Stay-at-Home Executive Order N-33-20, and concluding 60 days after the order is lifted, carriers are permitted to assign classification 8810, Clerical Office Employee, for a temporary change in duties. This re-assignment applies to employees who formerly worked in a non-clerical capacity, but whose duties have changed to being clerical in nature, as long as their payroll for the balance of the policy period is not assignable to a standard classification that already includes clerical work. If applicable to you, this change may lower your premium.
  1. Retroactively effective March 19th and concluding 30 days after the order is lifted, employees who are not working, but continue to receive payments including but not limited to sick or family leave payments, are excluded for the basis of payroll.   However, the excluded amounts shall be no greater than the employee’s regular rate of pay. As a result, this change may also lower your premium by reducing the amount of payroll assessed.
  1. All claims directly arising from a diagnosis of COVID-19 will be excluded from the employer’s experience modification calculation.  However, if a COVID-19 diagnosis is a compensable consequence of another workplace injury, then the claim is not excluded. In order to be excluded, the claim must have an accident date on or after December 1, 2019.  As a result, your experience mod will not be adversely affected due to COVID-19 claims.

Employers must maintain appropriate records for the time frames specified above in order to effectively demonstrate that the conditions have been met. In addition, the following should be considered:

Payroll Reporting: Customers utilizing a payroll reporting plans should review the rule changes in detail and, if applicable, re-classify impacted payroll to 8810, or completely exclude as needed when reporting employee compensation. Making this change will help avoid premium overpayments.

Final Audit: Customers who have employee compensation that needs to be re-classified to 8810 (clerical) or excluded completely per the above rule changes will need to communicate the re-classified and excludable payroll to their auditor during the final audit process.

Commercial Insurance, Workers Compensation