Certain protections exist in New York to ensure that workers are fairly compensated after a workplace accident. The main way this is done is through workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation covers expenses incurred by the employee and pays for lost wages due to the accident. If injured workers are permanently disabled, workers’ compensation will provide them with the income they need to support their families.

In order to ensure that workers’ compensation is available for employees who need it, New York law requires employers to pay for workers’ compensation insurance. By paying these premiums, workers will then be able to apply for benefits following a workplace accident.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many businesses in New York may have been unable, for one reason or another, to pay their workers’ compensation premiums to the state-run New York State Insurance Fund. In an effort to give these businesses time to pay, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that the state would extend the deadline for payment for employers in certain counties. Originally, these payments were due to the fund between Oct. 26 and Dec. 26. With the extension, employers have until Jan. 26 to pay without facing penalties.

When New York state employers choose not to pay their workers’ compensation fees, they can face penalties and policy cancelations. In addition to the deadline extension, the fund also stopped penalties to 8,903 policyholders following the hurricane.

Despite the hurricane, and other extenuating circumstances, employers are required to have workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. Employees deserve this protection and should fight for their right to use it when necessary.

Source: Newsday, “Hudson Valley businesses hurt by Sandy get more time for workers’ comp,” John Dyer, Nov. 28, 2012