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TXANS Association of Responsible Nonsubscribers

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One of the most significant changes relates to the requirement that employers notify the TDI-DWC of their nonsubscriber status each year. At present, Texas nonsubscribers are required to file annually on the “anniversary date” of their initial filing. The annual filing requirement has been problematic because some employers have had difficulty keeping track of their initial filing date to know when the subsequent annual report was due. In an effort to improve the process, the new rules remove the anniversary date requirement and replace it with a universal time frame.

The TDI-DWC has instituted several changes to the requirement to report work-related injuries and occupational diseases.

First, new data fields have been added to the DWC Form 007, such as the employee’s wage, date of hire, first day of absence and expected date of return to work. According to the TDI-DWC, the new data elements “can assist the division is observing and monitoring system-wide return to work and workplace safety trends.”

Under the new regulations, nonsubscribers must continue to provide employees with written notification of their nonsubscriber status. The notice must be provided to the employee at the time of hire (when federal law requires the employee to complete a W-4 and an I-9) or when an employee returns to work after a break in service (and must again complete a W-4).

Nonsubscribers are required to post the Notice 5 in the personnel office (if the employer has a personnel office) and in the workplace where each employee is likely to see the notice on a regular basis.

If you opt to recreate the Notice 5, it must be printed with a title in at least 26 point bold type, subject in at least 18 point bold type, and text in at least 16 point normal type. The notice must be provided in English, Spanish and any other language common to the employee population.

The text must be that which is provided by the TDI-DWC on the sample notice, without any additional words or changes.

The new rules state specifically that employers are responsible for timely and accurate filings. Reports are only deemed filed when the filing contains accurate information (with all the specified data elements) and the applicable filing has been received by the TDI-DWC. Thus employers should carefully examine forms to ensure that accurate and complete information is submitted.

Employers will continue to be subject to administrative penalties of up to $25,000 per day for non-compliance.

In conjunction with the rule changes, the TDI-DWC has revised the related forms. As the January 1, 2013 effective date draws near, TXANS will distribute the new forms referenced above to TXANS members. In the meantime, the current nonsubscriber forms and notices are available on TXANS website.

Many TXANS members provided helpful information during development of the new regulations and TXANS staff worked with the TDI-DWC conveying this and other useful information. TXANS would like to thank those members that provided input as well as the TDI-DWC for the opportunity to work together in an effort to improve the regulatory environment for Texas nonsubscribers.

More information is available in the August 2012 issue of TXANS News.

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