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Who is Covered under the New York Workers’ Comp Law

If you have been injured on the job, you may be confused about whether or not you are eligible for New York’s Workers’ Compensation.  According to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, most workers who provide services to a for-profit business will be considered an employee of that business and must be covered by the employer for workers’ compensation insurance.

Employees usually include day labor, leased employees, borrowed employees, part-time employees, unpaid volunteers and most subcontractors.  There are many criteria that are evaluated to determine if an individual was an employee at the time of the injury.  These factors are listed on the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board’s website and include:

 Right to Control – This factor refers to the employer’s direction and control of a person who is contracted to perform a task.  The right to control establishes the employer-employee relationship.

• Character of Work is the Same as Employer – If work being done is consistent with the employer’s type of business, then the individual performing the task is most likely an employee.  For example, an individual who installs tile for a flooring company is generally considered an employee of that business.

• Payment Method – Employees are typically paid by the hour, day, week or month.  If a business pays cash to a worker, it is an indication that the worker is an employee.  When a payment is made for the entire task performed, the worker may be considered an independent contractor and may not be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage.

• Furnishing Equipment/Material – An employee-employer relationship can be determined based on whether the employer provides the materials or the worker.

• Right to Hire or Fire – An employer who retains the authority to hire or fire an individual signifies an employee is performing the work.  An independent contractor retains some degree of control regarding how the work is completed and is therefore not considered an employee.

When determining if a worker is an employee, all of the above criteria are considered. Most non-profit employees are also covered under New York Workers’ Compensation and the same factors are used to determine the status of employment.  A workers’ compensation law judge is the one who determines if an individual is considered to be an employee of an organization, during a hearing that follows a work-related injury or illness.  There are some exceptions, which should be discussed with a New York Workers’ Compensation attorney.

Contact Markhoff & Mittman, P.C. at (866) 205-2415 or 866-205-2415 for legal advice regarding your New York workers’ compensation case.