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Classify the Business of the Employer

June 19, 2019

The WCIRB is often asked how to classify specific operations or job duties. However, the Standard Classification System, found in Part 3 of the California Workers' Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan—1995, directs us to classify the business of the employer:

Section I – Introduction

The objective of the classification system is to group employers into classifications so that each classification reflects the risk of loss common to those employers. With few exceptions, it is the business of the employer within California that is classified, not the separate employments, occupations or operations within the business.

If you are asked to classify a specific operation, such as repairing a leaky faucet, it is first necessary to determine the context for this operation, which is the business of the employer.

Call a Plumber!

If the employer is a contractor that performs plumbing operations, the business is described by Classification 5183(1)/5187(1), Plumbing. However, other types of businesses could also have an employee repairing leaky faucets.

Maybe the Janitor Can Fix It

Employers that provide contract janitorial services at commercial and industrial buildings and facilities are described by Classification 9008, Janitorial Services – by contractor. This classification states that it “… includes incidental maintenance operations, such as changing light bulbs and touch-up painting when performed in connection with the janitorial services.” So, fixing a faucet in the context of providing contract janitorial services is included in Classification 9008.

It’s Just a Small Repair

Some employers specialize in “handyperson” repairs, minor property repairs for which no contractor’s license is required, on a fee basis. Classification 9015(1), Building Operation, includes a footnote stating: “Classification 9015(1) also applies to employers that perform a variety of minor property repairs for other concerns on a fee basis for which no contractor’s license is required. Such repairs include but are not limited to patching walls, touch-up painting, faucet repair, door hardware repair and replacement of electrical switches.”

We Can Fix It Ourselves

In addition, Section III, General Classification Procedures, Rule 5, General Inclusions, lists a number of operations that are included in all classifications other than Standard Exception classifications. One of these operations is, “Maintenance or ordinary repair of the employer’s buildings or equipment when performed by employees of the employer.” For example if an employer operates a restaurant, assigned to Classification 9079(1), Restaurants, an employee of the restaurant fixing the leaky faucet in the context of maintaining or repairing the restaurant is included in Classification 9079(1).

Previous Webinars

Mod Talk: How to Read a Ratesheet
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Learn how to navigate and interpret the WCIRB experience rating worksheet, also known as a ratesheet.
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Class Talk: What You Should Know About Property Management
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 
Unravel the rules of property management classifications and how they are applied.
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Learn more about the WCIRB webinar series here.

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