Workers' compensation laws and decisions are made by each state, so while some states have systems that are fair and seem to work well for businesses, others are poorly run and managed. Unfortunately, some feel that New York seems to fall in the latter category. The state created numerous self-insured trusts so that small business owners could take advantage of low workers' compensation rates. These trusts have run up millions of dollars in debt and are now asking small businesses in the state to pay up.
A point of contention is that these are no small bills. Some businesses are being asked to pay up to $20,000, $30,000, even $50,000. The Contractors Trust has run up debts totaling $30 million and has asked Syracuse-based company Potter Heating and Air Conditioning to pay $30,000 -- money that could be possibly better spent on new employees or equipment, says management. After the Transportation Trust racked up too much debt, Van Slyke Trucking was billed $47,000.
The New York Workers Compensation Board has assumed all these debts through its fund and is asking all the employers under the trusts to chip in. The agency is offering long repayment periods, but businesses still worry that the large bills will negatively impact their company.
Workers' compensation is clearly a complex issue and one that continues to develop and change over time. While there are bound to be different opinions on the issue, the program does exist to help workers out in times of need. Because of these disagreements and complexities, when a workers' compensation arises, it may be beneficial to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney in order to more confidently navigate the path.
Source: CNY Central, "Workers comp controversy grows as more business owners complain of bills from the state," Jim Kenyon, Nov. 7, 2014