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Workers’ Comp COVID-19 Payroll Reporting Rules Sunsetting


The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has announced that two temporary payroll reporting rules to reflect changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders will sunset.

The move comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s June 9 executive order which revoked the statewide stay-at-home order that had been in place since March 19, 2020.

You may recall that after the stay-at-home order took effect, the Rating Bureau issued new rules for classifying staff who were suddenly working remotely, as well as payroll reporting for staff who were at home but not working.

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) rules that are set to expire are:

A. Classifying remote workers in the Classification 8810 – Clerical Office Employees – As a result of the California stay-at-home order, many employers have altered employees’ duties so they could be accomplished from home, and often those duties are clerical-like in nature.

Under the rule, an employee could be assigned payroll Classification 8810 if:

  • Their duties meet the definition of a “clerical office employee” while working from home,
  • Their payroll for the balance of the policy period is not assignable to a standard classification that specifically excludes clerical office employees.

Expiration: This rule expires 60 days after the end of the stay-at-home order, or Aug. 10.

B. Salaries of non-working staff – Salaries paid to workers who were at home not working, yet still collecting a paycheck, would be excluded from payroll for workers’ comp premium calculation purposes when the payments were less than or equal to the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Expiration: This rule expires 30 days after the end of the stay-at-home order, or July 11.

The takeaway

What this means is that if you have been classifying remote workers under Classification 8810, they will need to be returned to their original classification.

Also, the rules still require that you maintain records that document any changes in duties for your staff during the period these rules were in effect and they were working from home. The rules also require you to maintain records of their payroll during that period.