Tina Fey challenges New York State’s Workers' Compensation Board

New York State's Worker's Compensation Board issued a judgment against comedic actress Tina Fey for $79,000, early in 2014. Representatives of the actress, of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock fame, were quick to issue statements that the judgment was based on a "clerical error with the NYS WC Board," according to a report in the NY Daily News.

Ultimately, the Insurance Journal reported that the Board agreed. The Board originally contented that the actress failed to carry workers' compensation insurance between November 20 of 2012 and February 2 of 2014. NYS WC Board is now considering the issue a mix-up in paperwork. Fey's representatives and the Board are working together to clear up the issue.

Workers' compensation, New York law and employer responsibilities

Regardless of the outcome of Fey's battle, the case draws attention to the responsibility of employers in New York to carry workers' compensation insurance. New York State's Workers' Compensation Board notes that almost all employers in the state are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. Employers are then required to post the name, address and phone number of the insurance provider used for coverage in a place the employee can easily locate.

Employers are also required to keep adequate records of the employees they hire. This information should include the number of employees and the classification of workers. The employer should also keep a record of any accidents that occur within the business over the last four years. Violation can lead to criminal convictions with a monetary penalty ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.

It is also illegal to discriminate against an employee who filed or is in the process of filing a workers' compensation claim. Employers who fire, demote or otherwise negatively treat an employee in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation suit can face additional penalties.

Even with these responsibilities, getting benefits can be difficult

The law also provides employers the right to challenge an employee's claim for workers' compensation coverage. The employer may argue the injury was not related to work, that the employee was not working when he or she received the injury, or that the injury is not as serious as the employee claims.

These challenges, along with the difficulty of properly filling out a claim in the first place, can lead to a denial of benefits. As a result, those injured in a workplace accident should contact an experienced New York workers' comp claims and benefits attorney. This legal professional will be able to help guide you through the process and better ensure your right to coverage is not denied