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Private Schools: Academic Professionals and Clerical Office Employees

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Private Schools: Academic Professionals and Clerical Office Employees

July 28, 2020

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) often receives questions concerning when a “professional” employee of a private school assignable to Classification 8868, Colleges or Schools – private – not automobile schools – professors, teachers, or academic professional employees, meets the requirements for assignment to Classification 8810, Clerical Office Employees. While Classification 8868 specifically includes academic professional employees, many academic professional employees have job duties that are primarily clerical in nature.

To assist with the administration of Classification 8868, the classification includes examples of academic professional employees and a description of their typical responsibilities, as shown below:

Academic professional employees consist of, but are not limited to, deans, chancellors, vice chancellors, directors, principals, assistant principals, presidents, vice presidents, librarians, registrars, curriculum developers, psychologists, speech therapists and counselors. The responsibilities of such employees typically include planning, directing, administering, counseling or curriculum development.

This classification also applies to teachers’ aides and tutors, athletic team coaches and library employees.

Clerical office employees are defined, in pertinent part, in the California Workers' Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan—1995 (USRP) as, “... employees whose duties are confined to keeping the books, records, or cash of the employer; conducting correspondence; dispatching; recording weights; or who are engaged wholly in general office work or office drafting, having no regular duty of any other nature in the service of the employer.”

Accordingly, with respect to private schools, Classification 8810(1) applies to clerical employees, such as receptionists, bookkeepers, accountants and administrative support staff who are solely engaged in general office work and are not academic professional employees as described previously.

School recruiters who do not work as academic professionals may qualify for assignment to Classification 8742, Salespersons – Outside.

Note that the assignment of Classification 8868 to academic professional employees is not predicated on employee interaction with students; some academic professional employees do not interact with students yet are assigned to Classification 8868 based on the scope of the classification as described in the USRP. Further, some private school employees engaged wholly in general office work may have interaction with students yet remain assignable to Classification 8810.

Note also that Classification 8868 is a Companion Classification with Classification 9101, Colleges or Schools – private – not automobile schools – all employees other than professors, teachers, or academic professional employees – including cafeterias. School employees who are not academic professionals and do not qualify for assignment to a standard exception classification must be assigned to Classification 9101. Common examples of employees assignable to Classification 9101 include bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers, although employees such as IT support staff at a college or school are also assignable to Classification 9101 as they are not academic professionals.

Each classification referenced in this newsletter can be reviewed at the links below:

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