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Who is an “Employer” who requires Workers’ Compensation Insurance in New York?

Virtually all employers in New York State must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. WCL §§ 2, 3. An employer can be a natural person, an association or partnership, a corporation, or a municipal organization. Although circular, an employer is defined as “anyone who has employees.” Even just one.

Employers must post notice of coverage in their place(s) of business. WCL § 51. Employers must cover the following workers for workers’ compensation insurance:

  • Workers in for-profit employments, including part-time employees, borrowed employees, leased employees, family members and volunteers. WCL § 3 Groups 1-14-a.
  • Employees of counties and municipalities engaged in “hazardous” work. WCL § 3 Groups 15, 15-a and 17.
  • Employees of the State of New York.
  • Domestic workers employed forty or more hours per week by the same employer. This includes full-time sitters, companions, and live-in maids.
  • Farm workers. Farm workers are entitled to benefits if their employer paid $1,200 or more for farm labor in the preceding calendar year.
  • Any other worker determined by the Board to be an employee.
  • All corporate officers if the corporation has more than two officers and/or two stockholders. WCL § 54.
  • Officers of one-or-two person corporations if there are other individuals in employment. These officers may choose to exclude themselves from coverage. WCL § 54.
  • Most workers compensated by a nonprofit organization.
  • Volunteer Firefighters and Volunteer Ambulance Workers are provided benefits for death or injuries suffered in the line of duty under the Volunteer Firefighters’ Benefit Law and Volunteer Ambulance Workers’ Benefit Law.
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The 2023 edition of Gregory 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.

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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.

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