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Classification 8870, Fitness Instruction Programs or Studios

Updated: Jan 15, 2019

The WCIRB is conducting a comprehensive, multi-year review of Classifications 8868, Colleges or Schools – private – not automobile schools – professors, teachers or academic professional employees, and 9101, Colleges or Schools – private – not automobile schools – all employees other than professors, teachers, or academic professional employees – including cafeterias. As part of the first phase of the study, the WCIRB reviewed the operations of employers assigned to Classification 8868 that provide athletic or fitness instructional programs, such as martial arts, gymnastics, dance, yoga and tennis instruction, and compared them to the operations of employers assigned to Classification 9053(2), Exercise or Health Institutes.

As a result of this study, the WCIRB proposed new Classification 8870, Fitness Instruction or Studios – all employees – including receptionists, for employers engaged in operating fitness instruction programs or studios, which was adopted by the Insurance Commissioner and included in the California Workers’ Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan—1995(USRP) effective January 1, 2018.

Many of the employers assignable to Classification 8870 were previously assigned to Classifications 8868 and 9101, Colleges or Schools, and a smaller number were previously assigned to Classification 9053(2), Exercise or Health Institutes. The study found that instruction-based fitness classes are not academic classes and are therefore dissimilar from other operations classified as 8868 and 9101. While instruction-based fitness classes and the operations of employers assigned to Classification 9053(2) are both athletic in nature, they differ in that employers assigned to Classification 9053(2) are engaged primarily in providing an athletic facility or gym for clients to use at-will, while employers offering athletic or fitness instructional programs provide an instruction-based class with little or no at-will use of an athletic facility or gym.

Classification 8870 specifies that it applies to fitness instruction programs or fitness studios that provide scheduled fitness or training classes, including but not limited to martial arts, gymnastics, dance and yoga. In addition, it is limited to fitness instruction where facility space and exercise equipment is not available for use by clients on an at-will basis during the majority of operating hours. It also applies to fitness-based classes or training sessions by employers not engaged in any facility operations, such as independent golf or tennis instructors and personal trainers.

Classification 9053(2), Health Clubs or Gyms applies to health clubs or gyms operating facilities that provide space and exercise equipment for at-will use by clients for the majority of operating hours, including scheduled classes and fitness training programs provided in connection therewith.

The complete 2018 description for each classification is available in the Classification Search on

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