Revisited – Premium Audits and Bathroom Breaks
The question on bathroom breaks and premium audit required a revisit. I have received a large number of responses to the questions that I posed on this post. One of the independent auditors that I have known for quite some time added a comment to that post. I agree with it for the most part.
I think the main concern here is that at what point does one draw the line between “incidental duties” and a part of the job function. There may be other considerations that a premium auditor would take into account. That is why the audit work papers or auditor’s comments are so important. Always request a copy regardless of your premium audit looks to be OK or not.
You can usually ask for them when the premium auditor is at your place of business or by writing the audit department that is listed on your audit report or premium bill. Even if you decide to have a consultant look at the audits for your company, this is a very important piece of information. It can be very difficult to obtain them from a few months or years in the past.
Asking for the work papers within two months after the audit should be good timing.
The one thing to make sure is that the premium auditor understands what every person does in your company – no more, no less. That is why I always recommend fully documented job descriptions for all employees.
Job descriptions can also come in handy when you are trying to return an injured employee to work. They are very tedious to pull together but will save your company $ in the long run.
The injured employee’s treating physician will appreciate having a full job duty listing for a successful return to work.
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Lets set some more parameters to some of your examples from your first post.
Parking in the towing company lot by a clerical employee and walking through the lot to get to the office and when leaving work. The key here is that you have yet to clock in to work when arriving, and you have clocked out when you leave. Therefore there is no WC exposure before starting work, or after leaving work.
I did an audit years ago where clerical employees who only took phone orders during the lunch rush of a pizza joint worked in a physically separated office on the 2nd floor of the building. The restaurant operations were on the first floor.
The auditor reassigned the clerical employees to the restaurant code because they walked in the front door of the restaurant to punch in to the time clock. From there they went up the stairs next to the clock to their second floor office.
I reassigned them back to the clerical code, as they were not on the clock until they clocked in or clocked out. Anything done prior to starting work or after leaving work in not a legitimate basis for reassigning these clerical employees.