State meets with employers on workers' comp assessment

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, July 30, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Earlier this month, the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) held a large stakeholder meeting to discuss employer assessments and how those dollars are spent. Employers are assessed a fee every year that is used to administer several divisions within DIR. Among other things, the revenue is used to fund activities within the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, fraud fighting activities and some additional benefits for injured workers.

The meeting was called as a result of a large hike in the assessment last year that caught many employers off guard.  Although the increase was discussed during the state’s budget process, very few employers or individuals were made aware of the changes. The administration pushed the increase on employers to pay for a portion of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as CalOSHA, activities citing strains on the State’s general fund to provide CalOSHA with new revenue needed to maintain their same level of activity.  However, 41% of CalOSHA’s budget is now funded directly by workers’ compensation premium assessments.

During the stakeholder meeting DWC Director Carrie Nevans outlined their activities and the implementation of their new electronic claims system.  Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet spoke of their efforts to curb the underground economy and noted their successful joint lawsuit with the Attorney General against a janitorial company breaking a series of labor laws.

Overall the meeting was an opportunity for employers, safety and health representatives and others to hear firsthand how their assessment dollars are being invested.  DIR Director John Duncan said that the meeting was the first step toward an informal advisory process where employers can have input on priorities for the Department.

CMTA will continue to actively participate in any process that enhances the efficiency of the system and DIR’s ability to make cost effective decisions.

Capitol updates archive 989898989