Home > Field Audits, Prime Contractor Liability, workers compensation compliance > Introduction to Compliance Reporting

Introduction to Compliance Reporting

A lot has been said about employee workers’ compensation, but very little about what affects the employer. Most conversations talk about business risk classes, but nothing on how to save money on workers’ compensation premiums payable to the State or insurance company. In Washington State, premiums are paid directly to the government on a quarterly basis. But no one checks to see if the assigned classifications are correct. Most employers consider this tax a burden to the company and tolerate it.

Part of the problem in this new classification compliance industry is the nomenclature. The same words and phrases are similar when talking about employees and the employer. When I applied for membership in a business organization describing that I represent employer’s compliance issues only, the human resource member disallowed my approval stating he did the same work.

Since implementation of the new record keeping reporting requirements in 2009, accounting programs do not have the capability to capture all the new and revised compliance rules and regulations. Most payroll company programs cannot capture multi-classification reporting that can save you money. Most accounting professionals do not survey their clients to ask if they have been audited, nor do associations. Because most state workers’ compensation funds are underfunded, they will use aggressive auditing methods to generate new taxes.

Since 2008, the independent contractors in Washington State have to prove they hire helpers to retain their independent status. This was not the audit policy during the six years I worked for the Department of Labor & Industries. In essence, there is no deference in prevailing wage job reporting in the private sector anymore.

If you know anyone who has been recently audited, you know the pain they went through screaming: “I had the right hours but they penalized me on how they were kept!” It is time to learn about the usage side of business classifications assigned to your companies and ensure regulatory compliance.

A home installation satellite company did not keep sufficient records for their most hazardous business classification: tower work. During the audit, all their hours were assessed in this one classification that was six times the reported amount. The auditor did not know the tower work required State safety training before the work could take place and ignored this documentation.

Our CARS program ensures your compliance.

So do our Suite of compliance calculators.

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