The State of New York is one of the most beautiful in the country. It is also the most prosperous. However, all that prosperity has enabled decades of steep taxation and heavy-handed government policies to be enacted. The extreme levels of wealth throughout the state have acted as a buffer, hiding the damage that draconian employment laws and outrageous levels of taxation have on the middle class and on small business.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the area of workers’ compensation law. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Law ranks as one of the harshest anywhere in the United States. It treats everyday people and informal employers as if they were Fortune 500 companies, with the prospect of assessing bankruptcy-inducing fines for the simple failure of normal people to understand the complexities of New York labor laws. Unfortunately, thousands of people find themselves crushed under the weight of the New York Workers’ Compensation Board and its nearly unlimited power to impose finance-destroying penalties.
If you find yourself the target of the Workers’ Compensation Board’s depredations, the best thing you can possibly do is to get in touch with our law firm. Our lawyers have decades of experience handling appeals of Board rulings and helping our clients successfully navigate the perilous waters of New York’s Worker’s Compensation Law. With the right legal team at your side, it is possible to reach a workable solution to your problems with the Board. However, time is of the essence. The faster you contact us, the greater the chance that we can help bring about a satisfactory resolution.
The state of New York has one of the broadest definitions of what constitutes an employer of any state in the country. If you hire someone for more than a single day, and the specific type of work they are performing is not explicitly exempted from the Workers’ Compensation Law, then it is almost certain that you will be considered an employer under New York state law. There are exceptions for independent contractors that carry their own insurance. But the person doing the hiring is legally bound to accurately determine whether or not all subcontractors working for them have insurance that meets legal requirements. If they do not, then the person doing the hiring will be liable and subject to penalties.
And the penalties that can be assessed are truly horrific. The Workers’ Compensation Board is authorized to assess up to $2,000 per week in penalties to anyone who it deems to be an employer merely for not complying with the insurance requirement. Unfortunately, if you have any regular help for your home or business, it is very likely that you will be considered their employer. And due to the fact that so many employers have flouted the law in the past, the Board has an itchy trigger finger when it comes to enforcement.
But as bad as the penalties may sound, they are nothing compared to the liabilities that de-facto employers open themselves up to. In the event that someone who is deemed to be your employee gets injured while performing work on your behalf, you could end up being liable for lifetime medical costs and lost wages. Typical amounts in these cases can easily exceed the defendant’s expected lifetime income by many times. In such cases, the only recourse left for the people who have been found liable is to declare bankruptcy.
If you have been notified of an action against you by the Workers’ Compensation Board, all is not lost. Contacted in time, our law firm can help you find a workable resolution to your dispute with the board. In fringe cases, the Board is often open to arguments regarding the genuine misunderstanding of the laws governing workers compensation and minimum insurance requirements. They understand that someone hiring a nanny may not be an expert in labor law. And they are often willing to work to come to reasonable conclusions to those cases.
However, not acting in time can result in default judgments. At that point, the riskier appeals process must be entered into. While our lawyers are experts at appealing penalty cases and can very likely get a much-reduced penalty instated, it is always better to take care of a Workers’ Compensation Board case the right way by immediately moving to have it dismissed or the fines sharply.
Regardless of what stage your case may be in, the best thing to do is to get in touch with our experienced and skilled lawyers. With the right legal counsel, it’s possible to resolve even the most serious cases in a way that allows everyone to walk away financially intact.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
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