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Classifying Information Technology and Help Desk Operations

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Classifying Information Technology and Help Desk Operations

May 27, 2015

The WCIRB often receives questions asking how to classify IT and computer help desk operations. Classifying such operations depends on the overall business of the employer and the duties of each employee.

Some IT employees may fit the California Workers Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan–1995 (USRP) definition of clerical office employees. For example, employees who install software, maintain websites and configure computer settings, but do not install or repair computer hardware, may qualify for assignment to Classification 8810(1), Clerical Office Employees, provided all work is clerical in nature and performed within a clerical office workspace. The definition of clerical office employees is provided in the USRP at Part 3, Standard Classification System, Section III, General Classification Procedures, Rule 4a, Clerical Office Employees (Rule 4a)Of course, if the employer is assigned to a classification that includes clerical office employees, such as 8839, Dentists and Dental Surgeons – all employees – including Clerical Office Employees, that classification will apply to the employer’s clerical IT employees.

Some IT employees have non-clerical operations or exposures that preclude assignment to Classification  8810. Examples include operations such as computer hardware installation or repair, or exposure such as working in an area that is not separated from the employer’s non-clerical operations. Rule 4a directs that the entire payroll of any employee who is engaged in operations performed by clerical office employees and also is exposed to any operative hazard of the business shall be assigned to the highest rated classification of work to which the employee is exposed. If the employee is engaged in computer hardware repair, the employee is assigned to the employer’s governing classification based on Rule  5, General Inclusions, as it includes maintenance or repair of the employer’s equipment as a General Inclusion operation.

If the basic business or operation of the employer is assignable to Classification 8810, IT or computer help desk employees who engage in the installation or repair of computer hardware (non-clerical operations) are assignable to Classification 5191(2), Computer or Computer System Installation or Repair, in accordance with Part 3, Section III, Rule 1, Classification Description, paragraph c., shown below.

Any business or operation described by a classification defined as a Standard Exception shall be classified in the Standard Exception classification. However, when a Standard Exception is assigned to the basic business or operation, all employees not specifically included in the definitions for such Standard Exceptions shall be separately classified, all other conditions contained herein notwithstanding.

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Classification Information

Online Guide to Workers' Compensation: The Standard Classification System