New York Workers' Compensation laws & safety compliance analysis

New York Workers' Compensation: What you need to know

Who Is Covered?

Virtually all employees must be covered by workers' compensation insurance. The only exceptions are the following types of workers, who are not covered (NY Work. Comp. Law Secs. 2, 3; NY Comp. Codes R. & Regs. Tit. 12, Ch. V):

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• Domestics employed less than 40 hours per week by one employer

• Teachers and nonmanual laborers for religious, charitable, or educational institutions

• Volunteer workers

• Real estate independent agents

• Public schoolteachers and school aides in New York City

• Babysitters

• People who do casual yard work, household chores, repairs, or painting in or around a one-family, owner-occupied residence

• Federal employees and other workers covered under federal workers' compensation

• County and municipal employees not engaged in hazardous employment

• Interstate railroad employees

• City of New York sanitation workers, firefighters, and police officers

• Clergy and members of religious orders

What Is Covered?

"No-fault" system. Workers' compensation is a "no-fault" system. Unlike traditional legal mechanisms for compensating accident vvictims—which limit recovery to cases in which the victim's injuries result from some other person's negligence—workers'compensation laws allow employees to collect without regard to fault, simply by showing that the injury arose "out of and in the course of employment." Compensation is guaranteed in such cases. It neither matters that the employee (or a coworker) was partly at fault, nor does it matter that the employee knew the job was risky. "Contributory negligence," "assumption of risk," and other defenses normally used by defendants in accident cases do not apply to on-the-job injuries. In return for this guarantee of compensation, employees give up the ...

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