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Workers Compensation – Reclassifying Employees Who are Working from Home

By Brooke Winslow - June 4, 2020

Worker’s Compensation is a state-based system that is generally administered in three different ways. In total there are thirty-five NCCI states, eleven independent bureau states, and four monopolistic states. Please see the illustration below which shows which states are NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance), independent bureau and monopolistic states. 

Why is this important?

As an employer, you must first determine where your employees are working and know which jurisdiction applies in context of allocating payroll to a given workers compensation classification. With the Covid-19 crisis, telecommuting has become necessary and in some cases permanent.  This may impact the appropriate workers compensation class code for workers that work from home or are telecommuting.

For organizations that have employees subject to NCCI jurisdiction, it may be appropriate to change their classification to Code 8810 – Clerical Office Employees or Code 8871—Clerical Telecommuter Employees, or other classifications based upon their specific job duties or situation. As an example, the NCCI has also proposed a new classification code – 0012 for employees who have been laid off or furloughed but are still being paid.

Some independent bureau states have adopted new classification codes while others are in the process of adopting new changes. For example, New Jersey is allowing employers to reassign telecommuting employees to code – 8810 during the duration of the stay-at-home order and up to 45 days after the order is lifted to give employers time to implement a plan to return to work.

Of the four monopolistic states Ohio has implemented a new class code, 8871 – clerical telecommuter for private employees as well as 9444 - public employee clerical telecommuter. Employers may classify their employees with the temporary classification codes during a declared state of emergency.

It is important that you work with your broker and insurance company to determine how to best classify your employees who are working from home or are telecommuting.