WCIRB Classification Research Reports


One of the WCIRB’s core functions is ensuring that the Standard Classification System remains relevant to California’s ever changing business landscape. That’s why we have a unit dedicated to analyzing classifications to make sure that they continue to reflect distinct and identifiable industries comprised of employers engaged in a relatively similar set of operations. As industries grow, shrink, or significantly change the way they do business, the WCIRB’s classification research team will initiate a study to determine the extent to which the existing classification rules and procedures need to be updated to reflect the current state of the industry. Sometimes these studies are prompted by the WCIRB’s own field experience, research and analysis – other times they are conducted at the request of an employer association seeking a process that better reflects how they do business. 

Once initiated, a classification study involves an in-depth analysis of both the nature of the industry’s operations as well as of the industry’s historical payroll and loss experience. This research forms the basis of the study’s findings, recommendations and impact analysis. WCIRB staff present for approval any proposed classification changes first to the Classification and Rating Committee and then to the Governing Committee. Recommendations approved by these Committees will be included in the WCIRB’s regulatory filing with the California Department of Insurance. 

As an example of a recent classification study, the WCIRB initiated a multi-year effort in 2021 to holistically review the classification procedures for the restaurant industry. As a result of the study, the WCIRB recommended eliminating Classification 9079(1), Restaurants or Taverns, effective September 1, 2024, and establishing six new classifications for food and beverage service industry operations. This will allow for a more discreet analysis of the payroll and claim characteristics unique to each of these distinct and identifiable industry segments. See the WCIRB Report on the Food and Beverage Study to learn more about the findings and recommendations of this study.

Classification research reports provide an excellent view into both the classification process as well as the data that’s used in establishing advisory pure premium rates. Complete reports are available on the Classification Research Reports page in the Research section of wcirb.com.                                                                                    

Related Information  

Online Guide to Workers' Compensation: New Classifications 

Classification and Rating Committee Information