Changes to work comp dual wage classification thresholds!

The change to work comp dual wage classification thresholds takes effect on 9/1/2022 for all new and renewed policies.

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The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) of California changed dual wage classification thresholds for the first time since 1/1/2020. Please read for more information, and don’t forget to review our video on timecard requirements for dual wage classifications by clicking here. We also suggest our BLOG on final workers’ compensation audits since dual wage thresholds are a significant factor in premium costs.

NEW work comp dual wage classification thresholds by CLASS CODE

Below is a link to a document with a table of changes to each class code by year.


Of course, if you paid employees => the threshold and classify them in the high-wage code, the changes will increase your costs. Either your workers’ compensation costs or your payroll costs will increase. Regardless, this change is not good news for businesses in an already inflated environment.

It would help if you considered a few strategies while planning for the change.

If an employee is paid close to the new threshold, you may want to consider giving them a raise. By doing so, you are investing in your employee rather than paying workers’ compensation premiums. You will need to crunch the numbers and calculate the differences in costs by factoring in payroll, payroll taxes, and other payroll-related fees.

However, if the raise is significant, for example, increasing pay from $35 per hour to $39 per hour, it may cost you less to classify the employee in the lower wage threshold. Again, you should calculate the numbers and decide which option makes more sense for your business.


The increase in dual wage classification thresholds is out of your control. So, let’s focus on ways to save on costs within your control.

First and foremost, safety is paramount. Please read our BLOG on implementing a construction safety program. You will gain insight into safety programs and how they can affect your work comp rates.

An active safety culture correlates to better Experience Modification Factors (EMOD). If you are not familiar with EMODs, you MUST educate yourself. Experience Modification Factors have a tremendous impact on construction companies’ compensation rates and costs. We have videos on EMODs to help you better understand.


If you are a client of Fusco Orsini & Associates, you know that we stay ahead of trends in all lines of insurance to ensure you receive cost-effective programs. But, aside from the insurance itself, we can help you position your company for success!

We can help you strategize on your employee pay to plan for dual wage threshold changes.

More importantly, we help implement risk management and safety programs to place you in the best position for aggressive underwriting. Now is the time to set goals for long-term and short-term risk management objectives and to work to meet them.

The increase in dual wage classification thresholds is just the beginning. We forecast the hard-market workers’ compensation cycle to begin in 2023, which means carriers will tighten their program guidelines, increasing rates.

Reach out to your agent to plan for these changes before it’s too late. Thank you again for visiting!

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