We have been advised that a new Workers’ Compensation classification code (0012) has been created for Massachusetts employee pay to workers on furlough due to COVID-19. There is no premium for payroll reported under this classification. If this rule may apply to you, please carefully review the following.Employers must maintain separate, accurate, and verifiable records that include:

  1. A list of all paid furloughed employees
  2. Their normal Workers’ Compensation classification
  3. Their actual weekly wage
  4. Their furloughed date
  5. Their anticipated date of return to work

“Paid Furloughed employees” is defined as employees who continue to receive payments during a temporary layoff or an involuntary leave and never perform any work for an employer during that time. If the separate, accurate, and verifiable records are kept, and if the information is reported by the later of the following, there will be no premium charge for those furloughed workers:

  • Within 60 days of July 10, 2020, which is the date this rule was approved, or September 7, 2020
  • Within 25 days after the employer begins making payments to furloughed workers

If separate, accurate, and verifiable records are not maintained, the employee’s normal Workers’ Compensation classification will apply.

The furlough classification cannot be assigned to employees at the time of suffering a compensable Workers’ Compensation injury. If an employee suffers an injury that is deemed a compensable loss, the employee pay will be rated under their normal classification.

This change is effective March 1, 2020. The anticipated expiration date of this rule is December 31, 2020 but may be amended as circumstances change.