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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 20292
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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I'm the only employee in my small business and I just got

Customer Question

I'm the only employee in my small business and I just got sent a letter for penalty for not having worker's compensation insurance. I thought you didn't have to if you were the only employee. What do I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for the information and your question. Can you tell me if you are incorporated and if so if there are other officers of the corporation? Have you ever used independent contractors or paid someone under the table? Did the State give you an indication about what was wrong with your declaration form you sent in and what the basis was for the bill? Have you tried to call them?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No not incorporated. Never hired a contractor. No indication. I tried calling them today but they were closed so have to try again on Monday. Is it possible that it's just a mistake on their part and easily fixable?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello again and thank you for your reply. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you but I had logged out before you had chance to respond last night. In any event, as long as you are a sole proprietor who has had no employees, or contractors who might have made a claim against your business, or someone off the books, you are excluded under NYS WC law from having to have coverage. You can see a restatement of the law at the following link (it sites the specific provision):

This is the main employer information menu as well:

You have, as you may know, 30 days to appeal a penalty finding and should have no trouble in being successful based on what you have shared with me. I would though, if I were you, go ahead an try to speak to them too, in addition to your appeal, just for peace of mind.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 24th. For some unknown reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.

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