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FAQs—What Employers Need to Know about Workers’ Compensation—Part One

Answers for Business Owners to Common Questions about Workers’ Compensation

If you are starting a new business in New York, one of the most important issues you need to address is workers’ compensation insurance. It can be a pretty confusing subject, so we’ve put together a couple pages of frequently asked questions to help you understand your rights and responsibilities.

Q: Are all businesses required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance?

A: No. If you are a sole proprietor or operate as a partnership, there is no requirement that you carry workers’ compensation insurance. In addition, if your company has less than three individual shareholders who own all company stock and hold all company offices, you do not have to provide any coverage, provided you don’t have any other employees.

Q: When is workers’ compensation insurance required?

A: There are generally five situations where companies must provide workers’ compensation benefits. With the exceptions stated above, employers in any for-profit business must provide benefits for all employees. In addition, most employees of non-profit entities are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Nannies, maids and similar live-in workers must be provided with benefits if they work at least 40 hours a week at a residence. Farm workers who earn more than $1,200 in a prior calendar year are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage. Finally, the Workers’ Compensation Board may determine that a worker is an employee—if so, the worker is entitled to workers’ compensation coverage.

Q: What about independent contractors?

A: Under the New York workers’ compensation laws, almost any worker providing services to a business will be considered an employee and, therefore, entitled to workers’ compensation coverage, unless the services are of a type specifically excluded under state statute. This generally includes day laborers, leased employees, unpaid volunteers, subcontractors, borrowed employees and part-time workers. A worker’s tax status generally has no bearing on his or her workers’ compensation status.

Results-Oriented Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Queens, New York

At Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, we bring more than a half a century of combined workers’ compensation experience to injured workers in Queens and across the New York City metropolitan area. We built our reputation on personal service and attention, always taking the time to learn the details of your situation, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you deserve. Many of our new cases come to us as referrals from our colleagues in the legal profession or from satisfied clients.

We handle all types of work-related injury claims, including cases involving:

Occupational Disease or Illness | Hip, Leg, Foot and Toe Injury| Burns | Paralysis | Spinal Cord Injury | Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement | Amputation or Loss of Limb | Hearing or Vision Loss | Accidental Death | Back and Neck Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) | Fractures | Shoulder, Arm, Hand and Finger Injury

For more information about the services we provide, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys—Queens, New York