Every so often I get this call from an attorney I know:
“Hi Dan, my client has a small business in New York. One of his workers got into an accident at work. Now the employee has filed a claim against him. Even worse, the NYS Workers’ Comp Board has hit the company—and my client— with thousands of dollars in penalties and fines for not having comp insurance. What should we do?”
My answer is: “THEY SHOULD HAVE HAD WORKERS’ COMP INSURANCE IN THE FIRST PLACE. NOW YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE MONTHS OF AGGRAVATION AND HAVE TO PAY UP THE WAZOO TO GET OUT OF THIS MESS.”
Wazoo’s a legal term, isn’t it?
Of course, uninsured employers have rights, and they should be adequately represented and advised when they deal with the s—storm that ensues from not having comp insurance. But believe me, it is a full-blown s—storm—something to be avoided like the plague. The State WILL make the uninsured employer miserable.
So here’s the moral to my story. IF YOU OWN A BUSINESS, AND HAVE ANY EMPLOYEES WHATSOEVER, WHETHER ON THE BOOKS OR OFF THE BOOKS, AND YOU DON’T HAVE WORKERS’ COMP INSURANCE, YOU ARE INVITING DISASTER.
State law requires that the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) MUST give you a policy of comp insurance if you cannot obtain a policy from a private carrier like Liberty Mutual, Hartford, etc. The NYSIF’s website is at www.nysif.com. Do yourself a favor. For a few hundred dollars, protect yourself from untold grief. Take it from an attorney who sees the aftermath of companies and employers having no comp insurance—-way too often.