Few states enjoy as much general prosperity as that seen in New York. The state consistently ranks at the top of the country in wealth, and it has more billionaires than any other state in the country. But all of that wealth hasn’t been distributed evenly. And such a booming economy has led to more growth of the government and its bureaucracies than in other states, a fact that disproportionately affects the middle-class and small business. Still, the inefficiencies of unchecked government growth and its heavy, stifling hand have been masked by the extreme levels of wealth.
One area in which the government overreach in New York is greater than, perhaps, any other state in the country is in the realm of workers’ compensation law. The New York Workers’ Compensation Law metes out some of the most crushing penalties of any similar law in the country. And the judgment amounts that are awarded against companies that have not complied with the minimum insurance requirement are so severe that they often result in the forced bankruptcy of small businesses and individuals.
Unlike many other states, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board has interpreted the meaning of employer to be so broad as to include nearly everyone who has ever hired anyone else for more than a couple days of labor. This tendency is now well-enshrined in decades of decisions by the board. If you hire someone for more than a single day’s work, you are very probably bound by law to ensure that they are compliant with the state’s minimum workers’ compensation insurance requirement. If they are not, you will be held liable under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Law.
This is a big and potentially life-changing deal. The penalties for doing something as simple as hiring a nanny without carrying the state-mandated minimum insurance for workers’ compensation can amount to as much as $2,000 per week. And these penalties are not like some phone bill that can simply be blown off. The state has the power to grant itself judgments, leading to the garnishing of wages, draining of bank accounts and attaching of liens to real property. Our law office has seen clients lose their homes due to nonpayment of workers’ compensation penalties.
Lest you think that the nanny example is an exaggeration, we have actually had clients that have hired long-term helpers of various kinds around their primary residence and who have ended up before the Workers’ Compensation Board trying to explain why they shouldn’t be held liable for tens of thousands of dollars in penalties. It is worth emphasizing that in New York State, if you hire someone for more than a single day, you are very probably bound by the state Workers’ Compensation Law as an employer. Ignoring this fact can have disastrous consequences.
As bad as the penalties of $2,000 per day sound, however, what is much worse is the prospect of actually being found liable for a workplace incident while not being adequately covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Each year, hundreds of employers are forced out of business by multi-million-dollar judgments against them. If you hire someone who is deemed by the Board to be your employee, and you fail to take out adequate workers’ compensation insurance, you could be found liable for their injury and forced to pay both their lost wages and their medical expenses, potentially for life.
The good news is that with a little help, most of these ruinous consequences are preventable. But if you find yourself being targeted by the Workers’ Compensation Board, a plaintiff or their insurance company due to an alleged failure to comply with the Workers’ Compensation Law, the first thing you need to do is to put yourself in contact with one of our experienced and proven lawyers. The sooner you contact our law offices, the greater the likelihood that we can negotiate a resolution that will leave you financially intact. However, it is important to understand that in cases of workers’ compensation claims, time is your greatest enemy.
Our skilled and highly experienced lawyers have collectively spent decades working in the realm of New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law. We have many solutions at our disposal to help clients to arrive at a fair resolution to their case. Our lawyers have handled hundreds of Article 32 settlements and have successfully drawn up for our clients stipulated agreements that didn’t send them into bankruptcy.
Our lawyers are experts at handling the Voluntary Binding Review process, which is a form of arbitration in which the parties voluntarily decide upon a negotiated settlement rather than relying on the whim of a trail judge. In all of these processes, our experience and skill can make the difference between ending up with a million-dollar liability and paying a relatively small fee and going on your way.
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
85 Broad Street, 30th Floor
New York, NY 10005
35-37 36th St,
Astoria, NY 11106
195 Montague St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201