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California Workers Compensation – Classifications for Dual Hourly Wage Thresholds

In California, many construction classifications are divided into separate classifications based on the hourly wage of the employee for each classification. In the industry this is referred to as dual wage classification. Each pair of dual wage classifications is divided into two “high wage” and “low wage” classifications. The “high wage” classification generally has a substantially lower rate than the “low wage” classification.

The California Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) has adjusted the hourly wage thresholds for certain dual wage classifications beginning in 2018. The new hourly wage thresholds are for policies with effective dates 1/1/2018 and after.

The WCIRB website also has a PDF document with historical dual wage thresholds by year (including 2018). Please always refer to WCIRB documentation before preparing your payroll reports for auditing purposes.

Classification for Dual Hourly Wage Threshold Class Codes Hourly Wage Threshold
Automatic Sprinkler Installation 5185
5186
Less Than $27
Equal or More Than $27
Carpentry 5403
5432
Less Than $32
Equal or More Than $32
Concrete or Cement Work 5201
5205
Less Than $25
Equal or More Than $25
Electrical Wiring 5190
5140
Less Than $32
Equal or More Than $32
Excavation NOC 6218(1)
6220(1)
Less Than $31
Equal or More Than $31
Gas Mains or Connections Construction 6315(2)
6316(2)
Less Than $31
Equal or More Than $31
Glaziers 5467
5470
Less Than $31
Equal or More Than $31
Grading Land NOC 6218(2)
6220(2)
Less Than $31
Equal or More Than $31
Heating and Air Conditioning Ductwork 5538(2)
5542(2)
Less Than $27
Equal or More Than $27
Heating and Air Conditioning Equipment 5183(3)
5187(3)
Less Than $26
Equal or More Than $26
Land Leveling 6218(3)
6220(3)
Less Than $31
Equal or More Than $31
Masonry 5027
5028
Less Than $27
Equal or More Than $27
Painting 5474
5482
Less Than $26
Equal or More Than $26
Plastering or Stucco Work 5484
5485
Less Than $29
Equal or More Than $29
Plumbing 5183(1)
5187(1)
Less Than $26
Equal or More Than $26
Refrigeration Equipment 5183(2)
5187(2)
Less Than $26
Equal or More Than $26
Roofing 5552
5553
Less Than $25
Equal or More Than $25
Sewer Construction 6307
6308
Less Than $31
Equal or More Than $31
Sheet Metal Work 5538(1)
5542(1)
Less Than $27
Equal or More Than $27
Steel Framing 5632
5633
Less Than $32
Equal or More Than $32
Wallboard Application 5446
5447
Less Than $34
Equal or More Than $34
Water Mains or Connections Construction 6315(1)
6316(1)
Less Than $31
Equal or More Than $31
Waterproofing 5474(2)
5482(2)
Less Than $26
Equal or More Than $26

When maintaining payroll records for dual wage classification, be aware that the assignment of a high wage classification to an hourly employee is contingent on verification and reconciliation of the total number of hours the employee worked against the employee’s time cards or time sheets that documents the operations performed, the daily start and stop times and total hours worked each day for the employee. If total number of hours cannot be verified, the employee will be assigned the low wage classification.

It is critical to maintain proper payroll records to avoid a large additional premium resulting from a workers compensation audit. If you need assistance with preparing your payroll records in compliance with WCIRB requirements, please contact us!

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