In New York, employees who are injured on the job or who contract a work-related illness are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp pays for a wide range of medical bills, and in cases of serious injury, may also replace portions of lost wages or pay for rehabilitation and job retraining.
Only “employees” are covered under New York workers’ compensation law. Independent contractors are not covered. While there are no set rules for determining who is and is not an employee, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) provides a list of criteria for determining who is likely an employee – a question that matters a great deal if you have been injured on the job.
Who has the right to control the work, conditions, and tools used?
- The more you have to take specific direction and do your work at a certain place and time using the boss’s tools or equipment, the more likely it is that you are an employee.
Is the work you’re doing consistent with the employer’s primary work?
- What is the business primarily “in business” to do – and are you involved in doing it? If so, you are more likely to be considered an employee.
How are you paid?
- Independent contractors are often paid by the project; employees are often paid by the time period (hour, day, week, month). If the boss withholds taxes from your paycheck, you are more likely to be an employee. The mere presence of a W-2 or 1099 does not by itself prove you are an employee or independent contractor, however.
Additional factors may also be involved in determining whether you are an employee or an independent contractor. Your experienced New York workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether you count as an employee in your particular circumstances. If you have any questions about New York workers’ compensation laws, contact us immediately.