In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of New Jersey has announced changes that may affect workers’ compensation insurance class codes and premium payments:
Allow exclusion of payroll of employees who are not working but still receiving pay from the premium calculation. For businesses that continue to pay employees while they are not working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the affected employees’ payroll may be excluded from workers’ compensation premium charges. The class code for these employees would be temporarily changed to 0012.
Allow assignment of classification 8810 for a temporary change in duties. For businesses that reassign employees to a clerical job, the employees’ payroll may be reclassified to the clerical class code of 8810. The payroll that is reclassified will be charged at the lower workers’ compensation rate the state has assigned to this class code. This does not apply to employees already in a class code that includes clerical work in the description.
These changes are retroactive to March 21, 2020, or when the business was first affected, whichever is later. For example, when employees ceased working, but continued to be paid wages, or when employees were reclassified to a new class code. Clients should work with their insurance representative to identify when their exposure began. It will be important to keep separate, accurate, and verifiable records that track this information. The changes will remain in effect during the stay-at-home emergency order, and, if appropriate, for such limited time thereafter as is necessary for the employer to return to standard business operations, not to exceed 45 days after the emergency order has been lifted. Businesses should reach out to their payroll specialist or contact the Oasis Workers’ Compensation department for information on their specific situation.