What is the one class code that has caused more arguments and disputes than any other?
You guessed it: 8810 Clerical Office Employees.
Many employers would sell their first born to be able to use this code for all of their employees.
Because there are so many different types of businesses—and therefore, situations—the assignment of the clerical office employee class code may seem arbitrary and inconsistent.
So let’s try to clarify this rule once and for all.
According to the WCIRB Unit Statistical Reporting Plan, the definition for code 8810 says:
- The duties for clerical employees are limited to keeping the books, general office work, or drafting for the employer.
- Clerical employees cannot regularly perform any duties in the business operations of the employer.
- Any employee who is “exposed” to the operations of the business is assigned to that class code.
- Likewise, supervisors are not considered clerical employees, even if they might spend the majority of their time performing clerical duties. This is because their role is necessary to the business operations of the employer.
- Lastly, the definition describes the separation of the workspace. Clerical employees can only perform their duties in areas separated from the operations of the business.
Retail Clothing Store
Suppose the employer is a retail clothing store. There are store cashiers, warehouse employees, store supervisors, and an office manager.
The office manager primarily performs bookkeeping. However, when any of the store cashiers are out sick, she will help out in the store and ring up purchases.
Since cashiering is part of the store operations, the office manager’s entire payroll is assigned to the store class code, not 8810.
Suppose the office manager exclusively performs bookkeeping and other general office work. But let’s say that, because the store is small, her desk is in the corner of the warehouse. She does not open any boxes, stock the shelves with the merchandise, or otherwise handle the products.
Because her desk is located in the warehouse and is not separated by any walls or partitions, her entire payroll is assigned to the store class code, not 8810.
Let’s assume that the employer is an engineering firm that designs and builds prototype products for their clients. They do not manufacture anything in volume; they just build single prototypes by hand.
An engineer is working on a project to create an MP3 player for a client. She works in her office and uses a software program to create a visual representation of the product.
She then assembles a small prototype by hand to show the client her idea. Since the parts are small, she performs this at her desk.
Some people may argue that because her “assembly” work is so minor—she could be handling a USB flash drive—and she’s not doing any major manufacturing work, she should still be included in code 8810.
But because she is performing work in the business operations of the employer—creating prototypes for clients—her payroll is not assigned to code 8810, no matter how minor the work is.
Sorry! I didn’t make the rules.
If it’s not obvious by now, code 8810 is very strict. I’ll use more examples for when 8810 can and cannot be used in future posts. But for now, you can pretty much assume that if your employee is performing any work other than pure clerical office work, s/he probably doesn’t qualify for 8810.
For more class code tips, see Class Codes 101!