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COVID-19: Ohio BWC Payroll Reporting Guidelines

Classification Code Changes for Reporting Teleworkers

The current classification rule 4123-17-08: Classifications according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) does not allow for a division of payroll between an operational classification and a standard exception classification, such as classification code 8871-Clerical Telecommuter Employees, under any circumstances. The NCCI methodology requires all wages associated with operational employees be reported to the operational class code, no matter if the operational employee performs clerical duties as well.

However, NCCI supports a change in the methodology during the COVID-19 crisis to allow operation staff currently teleworking the class code 8871- Clerical Telecommuter during a declared state of emergency.  This will ease the economic impact of the COVID-19 state of emergency on the Ohio Business Community.

Guidelines/Requirements

  • The employer must contact BWC to request classification code 8871-Clerical Telecommuter Employees to be added to their policy.  This will allow the employer to report wages to class code 8871 during the True-up period.
  • The Employer is responsible for recording, tracking and documenting the wages associated with the operational employers now teleworking for premium audit purposes.
  • An exclusion to this revision involves employees working from home and performing the same duties/tasks for the employer. The employer will continue to report those wages to the appropriate operational classification code.
    • For example: the employer manufactures surgical masks.  The employees have been sent home with the equipment and materials to continue to sew these masks to meet customer demands.  These employees are not 8871 Clerical teleworking employees.  The classification assigned to these employees remain 2501Cloth, canvas and related products manufacturing. The exposures for the employees do not change.
  • The temporary revision to the class code assignment rule only applies during the time of Governor DeWine’s “Stay at home” order, which was initiated on March 15, 2020.
  • The employer is to cease reporting operational employees’ wages to class code 8871 once the state of emergency has ended or if the operational employee(s) return to performing their previous job duties.

Exclusion of Reportable Payroll associated with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Emergency sick leave and expanded FMLA paid to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will not be reportable to BWC for premium purposes.  While regular paid sick leave (including third party sick pay) is reportable to BWC, we have decided to exclude emergency sick leave and expanded FMLA paid under this act as reportable.

Effective 4/1/20 through 12/31/20, wages paid by companies under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for sick leave related to COVID-19 and leave time to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for COVID-19 related reasons are not reportable to BWC.   Employers will follow the guidelines established by the Federal Government to exclude these wages from their reportable payroll and premium calculation.  Wages reported to BWC for premium calculation purposes is subject to audit.

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