New policies and procedures to address COVID-19 are being created almost daily. For businesses in New York that have been paying workers’ comp premiums for employees who are not currently working due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is now some relief. The New York Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Board (NYCIRB) recently approved an amendment establishing a new workers’ comp code for Telecommuter Reassigned Employees.
Classification code 8873 must be applied to the payroll of employees who are either not performing any work duties at all, or are performing clerical work duties at home, due to the state’s stay-at-home order during the coronavirus outbreak. This code mirrors the rate for clerical office employees (Classification Code 8810).
The new code took effect on Friday, May 1, 2020 and applies to workers’ comp policies from March 16, 2020 until up to 30 days after the stay-at-home orders no longer apply.
The new workers’ comp code for Telecommuter Reassigned Employees also applies to businesses that received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. If your business received a PPP loan and you are using part of the loan to pay employees who aren’t working, those employees won’t be counted in the insurance premium costs for that timeframe when PPP funds are being used to pay them. You must reclassify those workers using the new code and demonstrate that to your carrier to receive this benefit.
The NYCIRB has also stated that COVID-19 diagnosis claims made on or after December 1, 2019 will not impact a business’ experience modification factor rating, which compares your workers’ compensation claims experience to other employers of similar size operating in the same type of business.
GTM advises all employers to track any reclassified employees’ payroll during this time period to prepare for any upcoming audits.