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Are You Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

If you have been injured on the job, it is important to know whether you are covered by workers’ compensation or not. If so, there are important timelines and procedures you must follow in order to secure your right to benefits. If not, you will need to find other ways to make sure you are compensated for the negligence of another.

In New York, almost all employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for the following employees:

  • Employees in all for-profit businesses, including part-time employees, family members, volunteers, and others
  • Most employees of nonprofit organizations
  • City and county employees engaged in “hazardous” work
  • State employees
  • Public school teachers and aides (teachers in New York City are excluded, but aides are not)
  • Full-time domestic workers
  • Certain farm laborers
  • Other workers as determined by the Workers’ Compensation Board

Workers who are specifically excluded from New York workers’ compensation coverage include:

  • Unpaid volunteers for nonprofits
  • Clergy
  • Non-manual laborers and teachers teaching for 501(c)(3) nonprofit religious, charitable or educational institutions
  • Workers who are covered under a federal or other workers’ compensation system
  • Certain family members of farmers
  • Certain employees of foreign governments and Native American Nations
  • Certain New York City police officers, firefighters, and sanitation workers
  • People doing casual yard work in certain circumstances
  • Certain real estate salespersons, media sales representatives, insurance agents and brokers acting as independent contractors
  • Sole proprietors, partners, and certain other corporate officers

Note that the general rule is that employees are covered unless specifically excluded, and the list of those excluded is not as clear-cut as the list of those who are clearly covered. Also, the difference between employee and independent contractor is a major distinction. Generally speaking, employees are covered and independent contractors are not. There are many factors that go into determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. We hope to cover these factors in another blog. In the meantime, anytime you have been injured in the workplace, you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible to secure your rights. Regardless of whether you are covered by workers’ comp or not, a third party may also be liable for causing your injuries. To maximize your potential for recovery, in New York City contact the law offices of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C.

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