Ohio: Law may lower workers' comp costs for 40,000 employers, officials say
According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, businesses operating across state lines are expected to save on future workers' comp costs after a law change (S. 334) that allows them to reduce the payroll they report to the agency. Under the legislation, employers are no longer required to include employees working outside of Ohio on their payroll report, if they are carrying workers' comp coverage in the other states.
"Ohio-based businesses, with employees working in multiple states, often find they are paying twice for workers' compensation insurance coverage," said Marsha Ryan, BWC administrator. "By eliminating this duplication of coverage, approximately 40,000 Ohio employers will now be on a level playing field with their out-of-state competitors."
The law is in effect and allows employers to now pay premiums to the BWC based on payroll for labor and services performed only in Ohio. Officials said Ohio businesses can begin to take advantage of this change when they file their payroll report and pay their premiums for the Jan. 1 to June 30, 2009, payroll period.
Law prevents claims filed in multiple states for same injury. Another provision of the law prevents injured workers from receiving workers' comp benefits on claims filed in multiple states for the same injury or occupational disease. Injured workers must now select a specific state from which to file a claim and receive workers' comp benefits.
The law also requires out-of-state employers, with employees working in Ohio, to provide workers' comp coverage for their employees when they come into Ohio to perform their duties. Previously, the state did not require out-of-state employers to obtain coverage in Ohio for temporary workers (less than 90 days). With the implementation of S. 334, employers based in another state with employees working temporarily in Ohio must obtain workers' comp coverage from the BWC unless their state affords Ohio employers some degree of reciprocity. Ryan said this applies even if they have workers' comp coverage in their home state.
BWC officials said the agency is in the process of contacting other states to encourage participation and cooperation.
November 4, 2008
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