Ohio BWC recently amended a portion of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) as it applies to employers’ experience periods. A subsection was added to 1423-17-03 (subsection 4 of Section G) with the following language:
“Actual losses where COVID-19 was contracted by an employee arising during the period between the emergency declared by Executive Order 2020-01D, issued March 9, 2020 and July 2, 2021 which is fourteen days after the executive order was repealed, shall be excluded from employer's experience for the purpose of experience rating calculations.”
BWC’s Board of Directors noted in its Executive Summary on the proposal that pandemics are typically considered catastrophes due to scope and severity, and are typically excluded from the experience rating process. This comes as a huge relief to thousands of Ohio employers who had workers’ compensation claims filed to their policy as a result of employees presumably contracting COVID-19 while on the job. Even with contact tracing, it is difficult to determine where an employee may have contracted the virus – therefore difficult to determine the employer’s level of liability.
Experience Rating refers to the calculation of an employer’s payroll and loss history within a certain period of time, and is used to determine future rates (insurance premiums) as well as EMR (experience modifier rate).
You can view the entirety of the ORC entry here: https://casetext.com/regulation/ohio-administrative-code/title-4123-bureau-of-workers-compensation/chapter-4123-17-general-rating-for-the-state-insurance-fund/section-4123-17-03-employers-experience-rating-plan