California’s WCIRB USRP Manual Update – From The Webinar
The workers’ compensation rating bureau for California hosted a very thorough webinar on the WCIRB USRP Manual update yesterday. Wow, sounds boring? Then your company must have extra money to spend even if you are not located in California.
Last year, I attended this meeting in Oakland, CA. I had thought it was going to be at least a half-day conference. The networking and updates were still worth the trip. I took the BART to see a San Francisco-based client.
What is the WCIRB USRP Manual – Glad You Asked
The California Workers Compensation Rating Bureau at least yearly updates the WCIRB USRP Manual. A few definitions are needed –
- WCIRB – the acronym for the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau in Oakland CA. The organization provides all the rating information for California exclusively.
- USRP – Uniform Statistical Rating Plan – Think of it as the Classification Code manual + many other rules
Two updates directly from the manual – the manual is a 300+ page PDF.
Classification 8810, Clerical Office Employees, was amended too direct that Clerical Office Employees who work more than 50% of their time at their home or other office space away from any location of their employer are classified as 8871, Clerical Telecommuter Employees.
Classification 8871, Clerical Telecommuter Employees – N.O.C., was established as a Standard Exception classification applicable to Clerical Office Employees who work more than 50% of their time at their home or other office space away from any location of their employer.
These two classifications were included as I think that it will impact the most workers. The webinar pointed out that 50% of the time the employee must be working from their in-home office or non-employer provided remote office space.
Classification Code 8871 is already in use in most of the nation. That is why I always say to not ignore any California updates even if your company does not operate in the Golden State.
The WCIRB even included a cheat sheet for reference on the new changes to all the manuals.
Why Does the Update Concern Me?
Class Code 8871 has been around for quite some time. I find that sometimes the WCIRB definition of a term may help me better understand the NCCI and other rating bureau’s info.
To be consistent, let us look at 8871 for NCCI and the WCIRB. I do this often – compare their definitions.
Classification 8871, Clerical Telecommuter Employees, shall be applied only to the payroll of persons
herein described who work more than 50% of their time at their home or other office space away from
any location of their employer, and devote the balance of their time to clerical office or drafting duties
at any of their employer’s locations in areas that are separated from all other work places of the employer by buildings, floors, partitions, railings or counters and within which no work is performed other
than clerical office or drafting duties as defined in this Rule.
SCOPE Code 8871 is applied to qualified clerical telecommuter employees. To qualify for Code 8871, an employee must perform clerical duties in a residence office and meet other conditions described below.
For purposes of Code 8871, a residence office is a clerical work area located within the home of the clerical employee. Additional requirements are that the residence office must be separate and distinct from the location of the employer. In the event an employer operates a business from a residence and the employer has clerical staff at the employer’s business location residence, these clerical employees are classified to Code 8810.
Clerical duties of an employee classified to Code 8871 include but are not limited to creation or maintenance of financial or other employer records, handling correspondence, computer composition, technical drafting, and telephone duties, including sales by phone.
Telecommuter employees who also engage in duties away from the residence such as depositing funds at banks, the purchase of office supplies, and/or the pickup or delivery of mail are assigned to Code 8871 provided these duties are incidental and directly related to that employee’s duties in the residential office. Code 8871 is not applicable to telecommuting employees who engage in outside sales; any work which exposes the telecommuting employee to the operative hazards of the business; and any work, such as a stock or tally clerk, which is necessary, incidental, or related to any operations of the business and takes place in an area other than a residential clerical office.
Telecommuter employees are common to many businesses and are therefore considered to be Standard Exceptions unless they are specifically included within the phraseology of a basic classification.
Now, before the premium auditors reading this say – Hey, how about the basic manuals? Yes, you are correct, I am only pulling from the USRP and the Scopes manuals for readability and brevity.
The answer to the heading is your California or non-CA business may now have telecommuting employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is much better to separate out your Class Code 8871 employees now than have the employees moved into the classification at premium audit.
The WCIRB USRP Manual update webinar was worth the time spent. I will add a link to the video when the WCIRB adds it to their website on January 22nd.
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