Many people have questions regarding Workers Compensation policies and out of state employees. The New York Workers Compensation Board (NYWCB) has “clarified” that:
Out-of-state employees (excluding those involved in construction or WCL §57 activities) that are ONLY attending infrequent (fewer than one per month) meetings, seminars, conferences or conventions in New York State are not required to be covered for penalty purposes under a full, statutory New York State workers’ compensation insurance policy. Such coverage is highly recommended, however. Because if a claim is filed a law judge may find coverage is required.
Out-of-state truck drivers just driving through New York State (not making any deliveries or picking up any loads in this state) are also not required to be covered for penalty purposes under a full, statutory New York State workers’ compensation insurance policy. Such coverage is highly recommended, however. Because if a claim is filed a law judge may find coverage is required.
What does this clarify?
Nothing. The last sentence says it all. Basically, regardless of the clarification to the reinterpretation of the ridiculous law, judges can still penalize a company. That goes along with their explanation of the penalty “a penalty of $1,000 per 10-day period of noncompliance, plus the actual award (including both compensation and medical costs), plus any other penalties the Board assesses for noncompliance.” I do love the “any other penalties the Board assesses” part. Why not just say “You don’t HAVE to add full, statutory NY coverage to your policy, but if you don’t we’re going to find a way to penalize you and get as much as we can in additional penalties. Still, it’s not mandatory for you.”
So what’s the point?
If you ever step foot in New York for any reason resembling business, you should have them on your Workers Compensation policy. It’s free; ask your agent to add them into the “3A” section of the policy. This saves a whole lot of hassle and potential penalties (and anything else they decide to charge).