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Qualifying as an Employee Under NY Workers’ Comp Law

by | Apr 12, 2018 | Workers' Compensation

You may be wondering, “Who is covered under New York’s workers’ compensation law?” According to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, “Virtually all employers in New York State must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees.” So, the question is, who qualifies as an employee?

Under the state’s workers’ comp law, most people who work for a “for-profit business” are considered to be employees and in effect, the business they work for must cover the employee under their workers’ compensation insurance.

According to the Workers’ Compensation Board, an employee includes:

  • Day labor
  • Leased employees
  • Borrowed employees
  • Part-time employees
  • Unpaid volunteers
  • Unpaid volunteers who are family


Some companies pay people through a 1099 so they can avoid having to pay insurance and a percentage of the worker’s Social Security taxes. In these situations, a worker can automatically assume that he or she is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits but that is not always the case.

Even if you are paid by a 1099, it does not necessarily mean that you are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you were injured during the course of your work and you’re on a 1099, we recommend contacting our firm to see if you qualify for workers’ comp benefits. We will need to review your work situation and see if you meet the criteria of an employee – because you may.

We will want to ask you the following questions:

  • Does the company control how you perform your tasks? For example, do they tell you how they need to be done?
  • Is the work that you do for the business consistent with the primary work performed by the business?
  • Does the company control the time and manner that you do your work?
  • Does the business pay you for your services on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis?
  • Does the company retain the right to hire and fire you?

“All factors may be considered and no one factor alone determines whether a person will be considered an employee under the WCL,” says the Workers’ Compensation Board.

Are you concerned that you do not meet the requirements of an employee? If so, contact our firm right away to meet with a Long Island workers’ compensation attorney.