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Workers Comp Classification Codes vs Employee Classifications


Employee Classifications vs WC Classification Codes

The Employee Classifications and WC classification codes are entirely different.  I had written about this subject late last year. I receive a few questions every time the online press starts publishing articles warning employers concerning classifications. There is a big difference in these two very similar sounding terms.

Vector Graphic Of Employee Classifications Holding Magnifying Glass

It has never been OK to purposely classify an employee as an independent contractor. We have never given the advice to classify employees as independent contractors. This method of cost savings will only backfire. If you are unsure whether a person that performs work for you is an employee or and independent contractor, please refer to this blog post on independent contractors.

Many states have clamped down on employee misclassification (contractor vs. employee) not the classification codes on your Workers Comp policies or E-Mod sheets. If you think some of your employees have been misclassified with the wrong Class Code, you can check on the codes and make a decision whether to dispute them or not.

Graphic Hand Holding Magnifying Glass Employee Classifications Concept

Employee misclassification does not mean classifying an employee under a classification (class) code such as 8810 Clerical. Those are the classification codes that are assigned by the carrier, NCCI, or State Rating Bureau. Disputing a classification code has never been illegal unless it is done to delay paying a Workers Compensation premium audit bill.

There are many more complications that can arise when an employer tries to reclassify the Classification Codes. Approximately 20% of the time, I have seen it actually cost the employer more premium. That discussion turns to the ELR or D-ratio that you will see on your rating sheets.

There are many articles in this blog on how to determine whether or not your employee or employees are under the wrong classification codes and the proper dispute process.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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