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NY Woman Fined For No Workers’ Comp For In-Home Nurses


As a company, when you hire someone as an employee, you often have to have workers’ compensation insurance for them under state law. But there is where things become murky. What if you are an individual using in-home care? Do you have to have a workers’ compensation policy in place for the nurses?

The New York State Workers Compensation Bureau seems to think so. The agency is fining an 88-year-old woman for not having workers’ comp for the nurses she employs to care for her in her home.

The family of the Palmyra woman thought that the $5,000 fine was a mistake. However, the New York State Workers Compensation Bureau says the woman is at fault for not checking a box on a form.

It all started two years ago, when the woman’s husband went to a nursing home. That was when she started using their long-term care insurance to hire two nurses to come to her home. But in late January, New York State Workers Compensation Bureau sent her a letter stating that she was being fined $5,000 for not having a workers comp policy.

The woman and her family claim they were never told that they needed to pay workers’ compensation. Under state law, workers’ comp is required if a person works in a home for at least 40 hours a week. The woman’s daughter-in-law gets weekly emails asking her to approve the hours of the caregivers. The nurses usually work 15 hours a week combined and have never worked 40 hours a week.

In New York, there are 210,000 in-home care aides working every day. So do they all receive workers’ compensation? More than likely, that is not the case. The New York State Workers Compensation Bureau says it was notified in the fall that the woman was employing nurses. It is unknown how that happened or who informed them.

That was when the bureau sent the woman a letter with a 30-day deadline to get a workers comp policy. The letter allegedly included a box to check if the home employees worked under 40 hours. However, the woman’s family said they did not receive any such letter or any instruction to check a box. The box didn’t get checked and that is how this all came about.

As a result, the workers’ comp bureau started fining the woman $500 every two weeks. The fines currently stand at $5,000. That is more than what the woman pays the nurses, which doesn’t make any sense. If the woman is forced to get workers comp, it would cost more than what the nursing aides are making.

Contact Us for More Information About Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation regulations vary from state to state. New York law can be tricky. Who is considered an employer and when do they need insurance for employees?

If you have been injured while on the job, a White Plains workers’ compensation lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon can help you assess your legal rights and determine what options are available to you. Call (914) 228-1770 or fill out the online form to schedule a free consultation.



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