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.
In New York, the law states that business owners are required to have workers compensation coverage. Business owners pay for workers compensation insurance that provides cash benefits as well as medical care to those who have been harmed while performing the duties of their job. The Workers Compensation Board is a New York State agency that processes workers compensation claims. When it comes to workers compensation cases, New York usually holds no party at fault. The amount that is to be received by an injured employee will not be influenced by how the injury occurred or who was at fault. However, it is important to keep in mind that when an employee was injured due to drug or alcohol intoxication, he or she will lose the ability to file for workers compensation.
In the event you receive a New York workers compensation penalty review notice or a notice of judgement, it is crucial that you take legal action as soon as possible to avoid serious liabilities. There are severe consequences for non-compliance that may include monetary penalties that result in hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, you could also face criminal liability as well as a Stop Work Order that will prevent your business from operating. According to Section 26 of the New York Workers Compensation law (Enforcement of Payment in Default), an employer must issue payment of compensation within 30 days of when payment was due or it will go into default.
An experienced New York State Workers Compensation Board attorney can defend small businesses as well as homeowners. A skilled attorney can save his or her clients thousands of dollars in fines, and they can also help to remove notice of judgements. For homeowners, this will help if they want to sell or refinance property.
If you are issued a judgement, fine, or penalty by the New York State Workers Compensation Board, be sure to read the notice carefully and don’t respond until you speak with a New York Workers Compensation Board attorney. If you make admissions without an attorney by your side, it could cost you thousands of dollars in future fines.
What Happens if a Workers Compensation Notice is Ignored?
You should never ignore a notice from the New York State Workers Compensation Board. If you do not respond to the notice in a timely manner, a judgement may be issued against you and your business. Not only will you be subject to costly fines, you may also have to pay higher insurance premiums for many years. However, in certain situations, a New York State Workers Compensation Board attorney can prevent this from occurring. In some cases, a Stop Work Order will be issued if you ignore the notice, which will cause financial problems for your business.
What is a Workers Compensation Judgement?
A judgement will address all the contested matters and will terminate a claim. This is the official decision by law. As a result, New York State has the ability to put a hold on your company’s bank accounts, a lien could be placed on your business property and equipment, and it will have a negative impact on your credit report. In addition, this could have a negative influence on your future ability to work with vendors.
What if the Business was Closed?
If you have recently closed your business, several circumstances will influence if you are responsible for judgement or penalty. For more information, we advise that you contact our law offices and speak with one of our legal experts.
How Our Law Firm can Help
We are a skilled team of New York Workers Compensation Board lawyers that have extensive experience handling judgement, penalty, and Stop Work Order cases. We have an in-depth understanding of the New York Workers Compensation statues as well as other administrative actions.
In recent years, New York State has elevated its resources and takes great efforts to penalize business that have not been in compliance with New York State Workers Compensation laws. As part of this effort, New York State has drastically increased these penalties. When New York State has attained a judgement against you, they now have the power to seize your bank accounts and place liens on other assets until fines are paid. If the fines are are not paid, interest may be added to the original balance.
If you have been issued penalty, fine, judgement, or Stop Work Order from the New York State Workers Compensation Board, contact our law offices today.
New York Workers’ Compensation Board Penalty Appeal Process Lawyers
While the state of New York ranks as one of the most prosperous and opportunity-filled places in the United States, unfortunately, New York has some of the more draconian workers’ compensation laws that can be found anywhere in the country. If you have hired anyone to do anything that could be described as work on a recurring basis in the state of New York, you may be setting yourself up for potentially devastating liabilities if you have not followed the state’s workers’ compensation laws to the letter.
Many people who hire outside help for their businesses or their personal lives, including regular nannies or landscaping help, are completely unaware of the fact that, in most circumstances, they have just become employers under New York law. The Workers’ Compensation Law of New York requires all employers that are not explicitly exempt from maintaining workers’ compensation insurance through approved carries and at or above minimum levels. Failure to follow this law can lead to catastrophic penalties and judgments being handed down against these employers. And the fact that you may not think that you qualify as a bona fide employer is, unfortunately, no defense.
Many people who hire others to help them with their business and personal activities are unaware of just how broad the definition of employee is with regards to the state’s Workers’ Compensation Law. With a few exceptions, which are explicitly laid out in the law itself, almost any recurring relationship where a party is hired to perform a task that could be described as routine will put that party in an employee-employer relationship with the person or entity that has hired them. This automatically binds the hiring party to the Workers’ Compensation Law. This means that the party doing the hiring is required to have sufficient levels of workers’ compensation coverage from an approved insurance carrier. Failure to comply with this mandate may result in shockingly steep penalties and potentially uncapped personal liabilities that could easily end in financial ruin.
The potential penalties for simply failing to comply with the insurance law, should a given entity’s non-compliance come to the attention of the Workers’ Compensation Board, are fines up to $2,000 per week. And these fines carry the same legal weight as any other government-imposed penalty. Should they go unpaid, the State of New York will almost certainly have a judgment issued against the fined party. At that point, the government can follow all normal collections procedures, including putting liens on real estate, garnishing wages and draining bank accounts. This is a bad situation that can quickly ruin most middle-class New Yorkers.
But the fines for non-compliance are only the tip of the worker’s-compensation iceberg. The real horror stories start when someone deemed by the Board to be a de-jure employee ends up getting seriously injured. At that point, the person or entity deemed to be the employer can become liable for the full costs of medical treatment and lifetime lost wages. At our law firm, we’ve seen individuals and companies ruined from these cases. Often times, any such judgment levied against an ordinary person or small business will immediately force them into bankruptcy, with devastating consequences for their quality of life and future prospects.
Because of the highly complex and counterintuitive nature of New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law, each year, thousands of people become ensnared in the potentially life-altering trap that the law lays out for them. While it isn’t possible to undo mistakes and oversights, hiring the right attorney can make the difference between financial cataclysm and finding a workable resolution.
Our law firm has decades of experience handling some of the most challenging aspects of worker’s compensation law. We know how the board responds to many factors, and we have helped dozens of business owners and individuals dramatically reduce the penalties that they were initially assessed by the board for non-compliance with insurance requirements.
While ignorance of the law is no defense, our law firm has successfully helped many clients mitigate the damages from penalties that they have been assessed through accurately conveying to the Board that there was no intent on the part of our clients to violate the letter or the spirit of the Workers’ Compensation Law. When combined with factual and legal challenges to the bases for assessing the penalties, we have proven that this approach can radically reduce the amount of penalties that someone is assessed.
If you have been assessed penalties related to non-compliance with the Worker’s Compensation Law, the best move you can make is to quickly get in touch with our skilled and experienced lawyers. We can help you successfully appeal your case and find a viable solution.
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