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Not everyone is covered by workers’ compensation insurance

When you set up your New York company, you purchased workers’ compensation insurance. It gave you peace of mind, knowing that if an employee has an accident, the insurance would take care of them. If an accident does happen, it can come as a shock to find someone may not be covered.

When purchasing workers’ compensation insurance, it is vital to understand who it covers and who it does not. Much depends on how New York labor laws define employees.These are some of those who may be excluded from coverage:

  • Nonprofit volunteers: If they are genuinely volunteers who receive no perks or stipends, then they are not covered. If you give them room and board, they probably are covered.
  • Religious officials: If people are ordained, licensed or commissioned, they may not be covered, regardless of their religion.
  • Those covered by other schemes: Specific workers’ compensation schemes already cover those in certain industries or posts. For example, railroad workers or federal government employees would be covered under their own programs, not yours. New York City firefighters and police also have a separate cover.
  • Some independent contractors: This can include those in real estate and insurance brokers. Those subcontracting to you through their own business are also unlikely to be covered by your insurance.
  • Certain charitable workers: It depends on the role they perform and the organization they perform it for.
  • Certain casual workers: Someone hired for a day to cut the grass would probably not be covered.

If you need to defend a New York workers’ compensation claim, seek the help of an attorney with experience representing employers in this field. The laws governing this are complicated.