Common Questions About Coronavirus (COVID-19) From Businesses With Workers' Compensation Insurance Through L&I

Will coronavirus (COVID-19) claims impact a business's experience modification factor and claim-free discount (if applicable)?

No.  All losses for allowed coronavirus claims, regardless of whether the virus is contracted, will not be included in the determination of a business's experience modification factor. A business will not lose their claim-free discount as a result of an allowed coronavirus claim.

What will the impact to retrospective rating calculations be for losses from coronavirus claims?

It's important that the claims included in experience factor calculation, retrospective rating adjustments, and for rating purposes align. Therefore, the losses for allowed coronavirus claims will not be included in the retro adjustment calculations.

If an employer has an employee on temporary light duty and their business is closed due to the pandemic, is the employee eligible for time-loss benefits? Will these losses be included in the employer's experience factor?

The employee is eligible for time-loss benefits unless the employer chooses to keep them on salary. The law is clear in situations where temporary or transitional light-duty work comes to an end, regardless of the reason it's ending. The law recognizes that these workers are restricted from being able to perform their regular employment or jobs, other than the light-duty one.  

Only losses for allowed coronavirus claims are being removed from the experience factor calculations.

Does an employer need to report hours when their business is closed during the pandemic, or when an employee is continuing to be paid or kept on salary but is not actually working?

If an employer continues to pay an employee while their business is closed during a coronavirus quarantine or to maintain the employee's salary on an open claim, the employee's hours don't need to be reported if the employee is not actually working. The employer must still file a quarterly report.

  • If you have hourly employees who are continuing to be paid and are not working as a result of the pandemic, you are not required to report hours and premium for the time they are not working.
  • If you have salaried employees reporting actual hours worked (hourly method), continue to do so.
  • If you have salaried employees and report 480 hours per quarter (salary method), you may report the actual hours they worked.

Note: Regardless of how you report, you are required to keep a record of these non-work hours in your payroll system. Please refer to WAC 296-17-35201 for recordkeeping and retention.

If you have further questions regarding reporting, contact your account manager at 360-902-4817.