New workers’ comp law provides relief for Ohio nonprofit organizations

Staff report

COLUMBUS – A new law effective last week helps reduce workers’ compensation costs for Ohio’s nonprofit organizations. The law, sought by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) in its biennial budget, removes the requirement for nonprofit organizations to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their unpaid corporate officers.

“From local boosters to statewide charities, volunteers are the lifeblood of the nonprofit community,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “By allowing officers who volunteer their services to nonprofit corporations not to be covered by BWC, we are freeing up money for these organizations to provide services that help local communities throughout the state.”

Previous law required BWC to treat corporate officers of nonprofit organizations as if they were earning an income regardless of whether they were paid. This practice meant nonprofits with volunteer corporate officers had to pay workers’ comp premiums, placing an increased burden on already tight budgets.

Under the new law, BWC will no longer require nonprofits to have coverage for their volunteer corporate officers, meaning they will no longer need to pay premiums for these individuals.

If it wishes, a nonprofit may still cover a volunteer officer by reporting any amount of payroll for that individual. This payroll reporting will trigger minimum reporting requirements and associated premiums for the employee.

Staff report