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OhioBWC - Basics: (Policy library) - File

Contract coverage state, political subdivision (U-69)

 

Policy Name:

Contract for Coverage of State Agency or Political Subdivision

Policy #:

EP-03-02

Code/Rule Reference:

Ohio Revised Codes (ORC) 4123.03 and 4123.01

Effective Date:

January 11, 2016

Origin:

Employer Policy

Supersedes:

U-69 Workers’ Compensation Contract Coverage of the State and Political Subdivisions Policy issued on February 1, 2008.

History:

New policy issued February 1, 2008; revised January 11, 2016.

Review Date:

January 11, 2021

 

 

I.       Policy Purpose

 

The state or a political subdivision may contract with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to provide workers’ compensation coverage for individuals who are not considered employees according to ORC 4123.01.

 

II.     Applicability

A.     This policy applies to state agencies and institutions, political subdivisions, authorized representatives, and BWC Policy Processing.

B.     This policy does NOT apply to:

1.     Private employers. ORC 4123.03 is limited to public employers.

2.     Self-insuring public employers. Employers who elect to cover volunteers and probationers performing service for the political subdivision as employees must include those employees under the self-insurance policy, as set forth in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 4123-19-03(N).

3.     Public Works Relief Employees. These individuals perform services in exchange for welfare benefits. Welfare recipients are covered under each county’s welfare program and wages are reported to that county’s Public Works Relief Employee policy number, as set forth in ORC 4127.01.

 

III.    Definitions

 

A.     Inmate: An individual convicted of a criminal offense and serving a sentence in confinement. Other terms used to describe these individuals include prisoner, offender, and resident. This term may also pertain to a pre-trial detainee.

B.     Inmate worker program: A program in which an inmate is allowed to leave confinement for community service work or work in or about the jail. 

C.    Juvenile: An individual under age eighteen (18) controlled by the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Division of Common Pleas Court.

D.    Non-emergency volunteer: An individual who chooses freely to perform community service work and usually does not receive wages or remuneration for services rendered. For the purpose of this policy, non-emergency volunteer will be referred to as volunteer. Examples of volunteers are individuals picking up trash in parks, clearing walk trails, or planting flowers. Volunteer does not mean members of volunteer auxiliary police or patrolmen and fire departments, including emergency medical technicians.

E.     Political subdivision: A public employer within the state, usually referred to as public employer taxing district (PEC). These employers consist of the counties and every taxing district within the county such as cities, villages, townships, local school districts, public libraries, public hospitals, public transit authorities and special taxing districts, which includes port authorities and joint vocational schools.

F.     Probationer: An individual convicted of a criminal offense and serving any portion of the sentence by performing community service.

G.    Public employer: The state, including state hospitals, each county, municipal corporation, township, school district, and hospital owned by a political subdivision or subdivisions other than the state. (ORC 4123.01(B)(1))

H.    Resolution: An official action of a political subdivision that authorizes the execution of a contract for workers’ compensation coverage with BWC. The resolution specifically defines all categories of individuals for which the contract covers.

I.       Roster: A verifiable list including the names, addresses and types of work performed or position descriptions of all individuals qualifying for the extension of workers’ compensation benefits by reason of services rendered. The roster also must document the period of time over which the services are rendered and when the services are terminated.

J.      State: Referred to as state agency in this policy, is any institution or agency of the state of Ohio, usually referred to as public employer state (PES). These include, but are not limited to, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, University of Akron, and the Ohio State University Hospitals.

K.     Contract for Coverage of State Agency or Political Subdivision (U-69): A BWC form which becomes a contract between a state agency or political subdivision and BWC.

IV.   Policy

A.     Only public employers may contract with BWC to provide workers’ compensation coverage for individuals who are not considered employees according to ORC 4123.01.

B.     Initiating coverage.

1.     State agencies.

a.     To initiate contract coverage, an institution or agency administrator, director or other top official, who is authorized to execute contracts on behalf of the institution or agency, shall sign and date the U-69 contract.

b.     The state agency must provide a list of specific categories of individuals (see IV.B.4.a through e below) the contract covers.

c.      A copy of the U-69 contract shall be submitted to BWC.

2.     Political subdivisions.

a.     To initiate contract coverage, a U-69 contract shall be signed and dated by the employer.  

b.     The employer’s appointing authority must pass a resolution authorizing the political subdivision to enter into a contract for workers’ compensation coverage with BWC. The resolution must identify specific categories of individuals the contract covers.

c.      A copy of the resolution and U-69 contract shall be submitted to BWC.

3.     The employer must mail the U-69 contract (PES and PEC), resolution (PEC only), and the specific categories of individuals the contract covers to:

Bureau of Workers Compensation

Attention: Policy Processing

30 West Spring Street

Columbus, Ohio 43215

4.     The contract must be signed by the BWC Administrator before coverage can take effect. The contract shall be in effect from and after the date BWC receives the contract. The employer will only have active coverage for the categories specified under the individual contract, which may include the following:

a.     Volunteers rendering service.

b.     Probationers performing court ordered community service.

c.      Inmates performing work or providing services.

d.     Juveniles performing community service.

e.     Jurors.

C.    Reporting payroll for premium purpose.

1.     Volunteers.

a.     For political subdivisions, payroll for a volunteer is based on the total number of hours worked times the current Ohio minimum wage, and never less than twenty (20) hours a week for each volunteer.

b.     For state agencies, no payroll is to be reported for a volunteer for premium rate making purposes due to state agencies rate making methodology that calculates a rate representing paying dollar-for-dollar for claims costs.

2.     Jurors: Payroll is based on the total number of hours worked times the current Ohio minimum wage, and never less than twenty (20) hours a week for each juror. If a juror’s weekly wages exceed the minimum wage times twenty (20) hours, then actual wages must be reported.

3.     Probationers, inmates, and juveniles: Reportable payroll is based on the total number of hours worked by each probationer, inmate, or juvenile times the current Ohio minimum wage.

4.     Ohio minimum wage.

a.     The Department of Commerce, Division of Labor and Worker Safety, is responsible for establishing the Ohio minimum wage according to an amendment, Ohio Constitution, Article II, Section 34a, which was passed in 2006.

b.     The amendment requires the minimum wage rate to increase each year in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.

5.     National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) manual codes.

a.     Wages calculated for the work hours of a volunteer, probationer or inmate worker must be reported to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) manual of the political subdivision.

 

NCCI Manual Number

Political Subdivision

9430

Counties

9431

Cities

9432

Villages

9433

Townships

9434

Schools

9435

Libraries

9436

Special Public Universities

9437

Special Vocational Schools

9440

Public Hospitals

9441

Special Public Institutions

9442

Public Transit Authority

9443

Special Public Authority, two or more taxing districts involved. (Excluding Transit Authority)

 

b.     There will be no separate policy number for contract coverage.

6.     The wage estimates provided by the political subdivision shall be construed as the minimum premium amount and are therefore nonrefundable, except in the event that there is an adjustment in the premium rate by BWC.

D.    Keeping and maintaining records.

1.     State agencies and political subdivisions must create and maintain a roster at the outset of the contract and update the roster throughout the entire term of the contract. The roster must list names, addresses, termination dates, and any other information needed to identify and verify persons covered under the contract.

2.     The roster will not be submitted to BWC. The employer must keep the roster at the employer location as a component of recordkeeping and make the roster available to BWC upon request.

3.     State agencies and political subdivisions must maintain records to support the reporting of wages, allowances, or any other type of remuneration.

E.     Participating in BWC discount programs.

1.     Political subdivisions are eligible to participate in BWC discount programs. Employers must comply with all program laws, rules and procedures.

2.     State agencies are not eligible for BWC discount programs.

F.     Terminating coverage.

1.     Either party may terminate the contract.

2.     The intent to terminate the contract must be in writing and sent by certified mail. The termination shall take effect on the date in the written notification, but not less than thirty (30) days after the mailing of the notification.

3.     Upon termination, the rights, duties, and liabilities of the state agency or political subdivision and BWC shall cease except as to injuries occurring before the date of termination and as premiums accrued prior to the date of termination.

4.     Employers must mail the terminating notification to:

Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

Policy Processing

30 West Spring Street

Columbus, Ohio 43215

G.    Scenarios.

1.     Juvenile performed community service.

a.     A political subdivision initiated U-69 workers’ compensation contract coverage. A completed U-69 contract was on file at BWC. A resolution, which authorized extending workers’ compensation coverage for juveniles and probationers performing community service as assigned to the Alternative Community Outreach Program, was on file at BWC. Juvenile Center administration recorded juvenile community service work hours and communicated those hours to Juvenile Court. Juvenile Court Employer maintained an electronic record of work hours and roster of juveniles’ names, types of work being done and hours worked. In case of a juvenile’s work related injury or illness, the Court verified that the specific juvenile was on the roster.

 

An eleven (11) year old juvenile, confined in a Juvenile Center, was ordered by the Court to complete seventy-five (75) hours of community service in the public employer’s Alternative Community Outreach Program. On one occasion, the juvenile performed community service under supervision by pulling weeds and picking up trash in a park. The juvenile inadvertently stepped in a hole, fell and fractured a wrist.

b.     Was the juvenile covered under the U-69 contract for coverage? Yes. Workers’ compensation coverage was active as a result of the public employer appropriately completing contract coverage initiation procedures.

2.     Juvenile performed community service. (Different fact pattern)

a.     A political subdivision believed a U-69 contract and resolution, which authorized extended workers’ compensation coverage for inmates performing work, has been filed with BWC. Juvenile Court, the employer that maintained an appropriate roster, ordered five juveniles, ages fourteen (14) to seventeen (17) years old, to individually complete one hundred (100) hours of community service. The juveniles were confined to the Juvenile Center and would be released under Juvenile Center staff supervision to do community service work.

 

While doing community service work by sweeping sidewalks and pulling weeds, one juvenile tripped on the edge of a curb and broke an ankle.

b.     Was the juvenile covered under the U-69 contract for coverage? It cannot be determined if the juvenile was covered. This scenario presents two questionable issues:

i.       The employer believed the material was filed with BWC; however, the employer did not confirm that it had active U-69 coverage.

ii.      This scenario deals with juveniles, not inmates as described in the resolution.  Potential questions include:

a)     Is a resolution and U-69 contract actually on file with the employer and BWC?

i)       An employer should verify that a resolution and contract are in its files.

ii)      The employer is required to maintain a resolution and U-69 contract as a component of recordkeeping. The employer also must submit a resolution and U-69 contract to BWC.

iii)    BWC representative should confirm that the employer’s resolution and contract are in BWC files.

iv)    BWC stores the resolution and U-69 contract in its electronic file room. A BWC representative may access the electronic file room and view the materials in order to verify that a resolution and U-69 contract exist for the specific employer. Also, the resolution should be reviewed to determine the specific category of individual under coverage.

v)     When a resolution and U-69 contract cannot be found in the electronic file room by a BWC representative, the employer probably does not have contract coverage. However, the representative must contact Policy Processing Division to confirm the employer has no contract coverage. A delay with posting the materials in the electronic file room may have occurred.

b)     Is the employer paying premiums on those individuals under contract coverage?

i)       BWC will conduct research and fact finding to answer the question.

ii)      Employers are required to maintain payroll reports as a component of recordkeeping. These reports may be used to verify payment of premiums on individuals under contract coverage.

iii)    When an employer fails to comply with U-69 contract requirements, such as keeping records of payroll reports or paying premiums on individuals under contract coverage, the contract may be terminated by BWC.

3.     Probationer performed community service.

a.     A political subdivision had U-69 contract workers’ compensation coverage. A completed U-69 contract was on file at BWC. A resolution, authorized extending coverage for probationers performing community service in the Service Assistance Program, also was on file at BWC. The Court maintained an electronic roster, which listed probationers’ names, types of work being done and hours worked. In case of a probationer’s work related injury or illness, the court verified that the specific probationer was on the roster.

 

A probationer agreed to court ordered community service in lieu of jail confinement and a fine. Community service was directed through the public employer’s Service Assistance Program. The probationer did housekeeping, pulling weeds, spreading mulch, and painting at the public employer’s nursing home and Senior Citizen’s Community Center. During one workday, the probationer fell from a ladder and injured the left kneecap while cleaning windows.

b.     Was the probationer covered under the U-69 contract for coverage? Yes. Workers’ compensation coverage was active as a result of the public employer appropriately completing contract coverage initiation procedures. The court verified that the probationer was on the roster.

4.     Inmate in Inmate Worker Program.

a.     A political subdivision did not provide U-69 workers’ compensation contract coverage for inmates working in an Inmate Worker Program. The employer decided to cover inmates in the Inmate Worker Program under its general liability insurance.

 

An inmate, serving a six month sentence, participated in an Inmate Worker Program. The inmate worked in the jail laundry room. The inmate received a lower back injury from a fall after slipping on a damp floor.

b.     Was the inmate covered under a U-69 contract for coverage? No. The employer opted not to provide workers’ compensation contract coverage for inmates in the Inmate Worker Program.

5.     Volunteers worked for state agency.

a.     A state agency employer had workers’ compensation contract coverage. The agency’s director signed and dated a U-69 contract to extend workers’ compensation coverage to park volunteers. Extension of workers’ compensation coverage for volunteers was documented in a memorandum and signed by the director. An electronic roster of volunteers’ names, addresses, position descriptions, and services and termination dates was kept and updated on a regular basis. In case of a volunteer’s work related injury or illness, the employer verified that the specific volunteer was on the roster.

 

Two volunteers worked to clear brush, tree limbs and debris from walking trails in a park. One volunteer received a bee sting which caused a severe adverse health reaction. The volunteer was hospitalized for 8 days.

b.     Was the volunteer covered under the U-69 contract for coverage?

i.       Yes. Contract workers’ compensation coverage was active as the result of a U-69 contract being on file at BWC and the ill volunteer was verified as being on the roster.

ii.      The memorandum specified that volunteers were covered by workers’ compensation.


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