201-880-7213

News & Articles

Explainer: Who is NOT Covered by New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law?

Almost all workers in New York are covered by the Workers’ Compensation Law. of course, for every broad generalization like that one, there are exceptions. What are the exceptions to coverage requirements under New York’s law? Generally, see § 3 of the Workers’ Compensation Law. Here’s a non-exclusive list of some of the most commonly-excepted employments in New York:

  • Independent contractors.
  • Individuals who volunteer their services for nonprofit organizations and receive no compensation.1
  • Clergy and members of religious orders.
  • Members of supervised amateur athletic activities operated on a nonprofit basis (i.e., Little League coaches, etc.).
  • People engaged in a teaching capacity in or for a nonprofit religious, charitable or educational institution (Section 501(c)(3) under the IRS tax code).
  • People engaged in a non-manual capacity in or for a nonprofit religious, charitable or educational institution (Section 501(c)(3) under the IRS tax code).
  • Persons receiving charitable aid from a religious or charitable institution who perform work in return for such aid and who are not under any express contract of hire and sheltered workshop workers. New York Mental Hygiene Law § 33.09.
  • People who are covered for specific types of employment under another workers’ compensation system (such as maritime trades, interstate railroad employees, federal government employees and others covered under federal workers’ compensation laws).
  • Farmers’ spouses and minor children (under 18 years old).
  • Employees of foreign governments and Native American Nations.
  • New York City police officers, firefighters, and sanitation workers who are covered under provisions of the New York State General Municipal Law. Uniformed police officers and firefighters in other municipalities may also be excluded.
  • People, including minors, doing yard work or casual chores in and about a one-family, owner-occupied residence or the premises of a nonprofit, noncommercial organization. “Casual” means occasional.
  • Certain real estate salespersons who sign a contract with a broker stating that they are independent contractors. WCL § 2 (4)
  • Certain media sales representatives who sign a contract stating that they are independent contractors. WCL § 2 (4)
  • Certain insurance agents or brokers who sign a contract stating that they are independent contractors. WCL § 2 (4)
  • Sole proprietors, partners, and certain one/two person corporate officers with no other individuals providing services integral to the business (although coverage may be obtained voluntarily).
Download the New York Workers’ Compensation Law Handbook

Download Our New York Workers’ Compensation Law Handbook

The 2023 edition of Greg Lois’ practical, up-to-date, and easy-to-understand guide to workers’ compensation claims in New York.

This book is designed for employers, attorneys, claim adjusters, physicians, self-insured employers and vocational rehabilitation workers.

Download Now

Learn More About New York Workers’ Compensation Defense at LOIS

We represent insurance carriers, self-insured employers, third party claim administrators, and employers before the New York State Workers' Compensation Board. We handle cases from cradle-to-grave. We want to be by your side, moving cases aggressively to closure from the start of litigation all the way through to settlement.

We only assign one attorney and one paralegal to each case. This means that your team members always have one contact to go to for any questions. We do not have 'hearing attorney' or a 'negotiation attorney' or 'appeal department' or anything else! All of our attorneys handle all of those roles – meaning cases are not 'passed around' as they move through the litigation process. Your risk professional or adjuster always knows who is assigned – because the attorney does not change.

Learn More

Get articles delivered to your inbox, once a month.

Subscribe Today!