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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions—New York Workers’ Compensation—Workers Covered

Under the New York workers’ compensation laws, there are only two prerequisites to eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits—you must have suffered an injury and you must have been working at the time. Implicit in the second requirement is the finding that you were an employee of the company from who you seek benefits. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about who qualifies as an employee for workers’ compensation purposes.

Q: What types of employees are covered under the New York workers’ compensation laws?

A: The term “employee” is broadly construed under the state’s workers’ compensation laws. It includes salaried and hourly employees, full-time and part-time workers, leased and borrowed employees, and even unpaid volunteers. It typically includes subcontractors, as well, unless those subcontractors qualify as “independent contractors.”

Q: How is an independent contractor defined for purposes of workers’ compensation?

A: To qualify as an independent contractor for purposes of a workers’ compensation claim, a worker must meet all criteria of a three-part test: 1) the person must not be under the control of any person within the company, either pursuant to contract or in fact; 2) the person must be established in an independently established trade; and 3) the person must be performing services that are not within the ordinary course of business for the company.

Q: Can a person be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, even though he or she works for a legally separate entity?

A: Yes. Especially in the construction trade, it’s not uncommon for a subcontractor to have set up a sole proprietorship, partnership or other entity, but to function like an employee of the contractor. In such situations, the Workers’ Compensation Board may look at a number of criteria to determine whether the subcontractor was truly an independent contractor or was in actuality an employee of the company. There’s a 12 part test, which looks at such things as who supplies tools and equipment for the worker, whether the worker provides similar services to others, and the level of control over the work schedule and product of the worker.

Q: Must a worker be on the company payroll to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?  

A: No. An employer cannot escape responsibility for providing workers’ compensation benefits to an injured worker by paying that worker “off the books” or “under the table.” As long as the worker can show that he/she was injured and that the injury occurred on the job, the worker qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits.

Proven Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Queens and across New York City

At Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, we bring more than 50 years of combined experienced to injured workers in New York , handling all types of workers’ compensation claims, including cases involving:

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

We built our practice through a commitment to provide the highest levels of personal service and attention to every client. We’ll take the time to get to know you and to learn the details of your injury, so that we can tailor our counsel to get the outcome that’s best for you. We take referrals from our colleagues in the legal profession, offering our experience, skills, knowledge and resources to your clients who have suffered a workplace injury.

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

Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys—Queens, New York