Why was I fined for not having Worker’s Compensation in NY? What can I do about this fine? Do I have to pay a worker’s compensation fine from the State Board?
Those are probably the questions you are asking yourself after receiving a fine from the New York State Worker’s Compensation Board. The answers can be quite a bit more complex. There are a number of reasons that you received this fine:
-You did not have workers compensation coverage during the time period listed on the fine.
-The insurance company did not send notification of coverage to the Board or other error.
-You did not pay the premium and the policy cancelled
-Did not realize you needed Workers Compensation
-Are self-insured or other exemption from obtaining workers compensation.
The first course of action would be to determine if you were required to have insurance. As a general rule most for profit companies or nonprofits that have paid or compensated employees are required to purchase a workers compensation policy. If you were supposed to have a policy in place and didn’t there are a few thing you can do.
First- contact your agent or insurance company and see if they will backdate coverage. Most companies may backdate up to 30 days without incurring a fine from the Board. However, you will need a good reason or some clout to get them to backdate at all.
Second- if the insurance company won’t backdate coverage and you still have a lapse of coverage you can look at your books and determine when you actually had payroll expenses. If you are an established business and had employees last year it will be difficult to make any changes to your books to accommodate the fine’s time period. If it is a startup you will have more flexibility.
Third- contact the Board and request to lower the fine. The fines run up to $2000.00 for every 10 day period. You may be able to get the penalty reduced.