The Contact Center at the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) continues to receive questions relating to the payroll reporting rules surrounding COVID-19 as many of the policies subject to these rules are now being audited. In response to the needs of our customers, we’ve updated the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on wcirb.com with the most current information.
COVID-19 related changes to the payroll and claims reporting rules in the California Workers' Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan—1995 (USRP) were effective July 1, 2020. Those rules were an effort to respond to some of the issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic and California statewide stay-at-home order.
Governor Newsom’s June 11, 2021 Executive Order N-07-21 ended the stay-at-home order, which triggered the sunsetting of the two COVID-19 related payroll reporting rules. The updated FAQ section provides the effective periods for the two sunsetted rules.
The WCIRB has received numerous inquiries regarding the impact of California’s 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law, effective February 19, 2022, and whether the sick leave mandated by the new law is excluded when calculating total remuneration. This law does not specifically impact workers’ compensation payroll reporting as sick pay is generally included as remuneration. Payments made for sick time related to COVID-19 after July 11, 2021 (the rule’s sunset date) are includable as part of total remuneration.
COVID-19 claims with an accident date on or after December 1, 2019 are excluded from use in the calculation of experience ratings. In his Decision on the WCIRB’s September 1, 2022 Regulatory Filing, the Insurance Commissioner rejected a proposal to end the exclusion of COVID-19 claims incurred on or after September 1, 2022. As a result, COVID-19 claims remain excluded from the calculation of experience modifications.