RBS News

Written By: Evelyn P. Schonberg | 2020-04-16

BWC Adopts Two Additional Payroll Changes

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BWC is making a few changes with regard to payroll reporting.  These changes could impact how employers will report payroll for the upcoming policy year 2019 true-up period.

First, the 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, emergency sick leave and expanded FMLA paid under this act is not 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 must follow the eligibility and documentation guidelines established by the Federal Government to exclude these wages from their reportable payroll and premium calculation at true-up. As always, wages reported to BWC for premium calculation purposes are subject to verification by a premium audit.

The second change involves employees who are now “teleworking”.  Employers are permitted to report operational staff currently teleworking to class code 8871- Clerical Telecommuter during a declared state of emergency.

Please keep in mind that not everyone who teleworks will be eligible for the 8871 manual code.  If an employee is performing the same job at home as he or she would have been performing in the work setting, the employee would be reported under the normal operational code (i.e., 8871 would not apply).

However, if there are employees teleworking, performing a different job than the position they would have normally performed, 8871 would apply.  (Example:  a painter is now home making sales calls and performing clerical type of duties.).

In order to have this code added to the policy, employers can either contact the BWC (800-644-6292 or via email RTSclass@ohiobwc.com) to request the code or feel free to contact me and I can take care of it for you.  The only way to report payroll under this code is by having it added to your policy.  Also, employers are responsible for recording, tracking and documenting the wages associated with the operational employers now teleworking for premium audit purposes.

This change is temporary and 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.  Employers are 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.

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