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State Ex rel. Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Govts. V. Bur. Of Workers’ Comp. Slip Opinion No. 2022-Ohio-3058

Monday, October 2, 2023

The Court found that the BWC abused its discretion classifying OKI as a special public authority without explaining why the classification change. In 2018, the BWC reclassified OKI as a “special public authority” which resulted in a much higher premium. Historically, OKI had been assigned two manual classifications, 1) 8742 “council of government staff members office and away from office and 2) 8810 “clerical office employees, no outside duties for others.

The BWC advised OKI that its prior classifications were for private employers only and OKI should be moved to manual classification 9443 which would result in a workers’ compensation premium 14 times higher than it had been. OKI appealed because it was neither a public employer nor a taxing district, both of which are required as criteria for the new classification. The BWC order did not specifically address why OKI’s employees are exposed to similar hazards to those which fall in the new 9443 classification. The Court issued a limited writ of Mandamus for the BWC to address the degree of hazard which supported the new classification. 

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