NYCIRB Establishes New Workers’ Compensation Classification Code in Response to COVID-19

In uncertain and unsettled times, we have seen employers paying employees who are either not working or working in a different role due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, relief for worker’s compensation premiums is here. 

Last week, the New York Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Board (NYCIRB) filed a new release. In summary, this newly approved amendment established classification code 8873, “Telecommuter Reassigned Employees,” and requires that it be applied to the payroll of employees who, during New York’s stay-at-home order related to the COVID-19 pandemic, are reassigned to either (a) not perform any work duties (idle), or (b) perform clerical work duties at home. The rate for Classification Code 8873 will mirror the rate for Classification Code 8810 (clerical office employees). This provision is applicable at the start of New York’s stay-at-home order and for up to 30 days after its conclusion.

View the full text of these bulletins here:

The new code became effective Friday, May 1, 2020 and is applicable to policies from March 16, 2020 up to 30 days after stay-at-home orders are lifted. Additionally, the NYCIRB says that claims involving a COVID-19 diagnosis made on or after December 1, 2019 will not be factored into the business’ experience modification factor rating.

Also, this new release benefits employers who have secured Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to keep employees on the payroll but with no active work. While idled employees are still on the payroll, they have less exposure to being injured on the job. Now, they are assigned a less expensive classification.

The team at Rose & Kiernan, Inc. would like to highlight the importance of recordkeeping during this time. Employers should track all payroll assigned to reclassified employees throughout this time period to help when it is time for auditing.

We will continue to follow the development of this story as it unfolds. If you have any questions about this topic, please contact us here or by calling (800) 242-4433. You can also view our COVID-19 resources page for important information about Rose & Kiernan’s response to the virus outbreak.

Please note that news and events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are changing quickly. The information provided in this blog post represents where things stand on the date of publication. 

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