Starting on January 1, 2010, some New York state livery companies will have to either provide proof of workers’ compensation coverage for all of their drivers or join a new Livery Drivers Benefit Fund.
This change is being implemented because livery drivers have historically had trouble getting compensation after a work-related injury, sometimes going for years without compensation. If livery companies don’t purchase workers’ compensation coverage for each of their employees, they can join the newly created Independent Livery Drivers Benefit Fund.
This new fund is intended to provide full workers’ compensation coverage for injured livery drivers who are independent contractors. The fund will allow these drivers to receive full workers’ compensation coverage in case they are hurt while working.
Only drivers on dispatch from an independent livery base are covered by the new fund. Other livery employees including dispatchers and office workers have to be covered by a different workers’ compensation policy.
New York Governor David Patterson signed this new law into effect this past July. In order to obtain or renew a new license, each livery base will have to provide the Taxi and Limousine Commission with proof of insurance or proof of membership in the new fund.