Are Day Laborers Covered Under my Workers’ Comp Policy?
Several months ago, our client, who we’ll call Joe, called us in a panic. He had hired a laborer to clean up a property, and the worker sustained an injury while removing fallen trees—on his very first day of work. Joe was very nervous. Would he now be hit with a big lawsuit and lose the business into which he had invested so much?
Our answer? No—if you have a workers’ compensation policy, you’re protected. And so is the worker.
Over the years, we’ve received many frantic phone calls from business owners wondering whether workers’ compensation covered them if the person injured were a day laborer, or paid in cash. And the answer is yes. Even if you hired a worker and later found out they were undocumented, you’re both still covered.
If you occasionally hire day laborers, here are three crucial facts you should know about workers' comp insurance:
Once an injury occurs, it’s too late to get workers' compensation insurance. It must be obtained proactively —even if you don’t expect to use it.
It’s not just salaried employees who are covered by workers' compensation insurance — contract workers and occasional day laborers may be covered as well.
The consequences of not having workers' compensation insurance are potentially quite damaging:
The injured employee and/or their family may be able to sue you for negligence. NYS law does not allow employees to sue their employer for injuries. Claiming workers comp insurance is the sole remedy.
You might face penalties for not having insurance in place at the time of hiring.
If the injured person was an undocumented worker, you may be investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Bottom line? No matter what type of business you operate, how many people you employ, or whether you employ them for one day or one hour, workers' compensation insurance is an essential protection for your business.
Contact the Adler’s Insurance team today if you’re in need of a workers' compensation insurance plan, and we’ll gladly assist you in finding a cost-effective option that meets your needs. Call us at (845) 356-5656. Or email us at email@example.com.