Employer’s rights in NY comp claims? What might those be?
The NY Workers Comp Board has, on its website an “Employer’s Handbook”. On page 53 is a section called “Employer’s Rights”. The section doesn’t list anything as promising as, say, the US Bill of Rights, of course, but it clearly lists two rights of which employers should be aware.
Right of the Employer to Attend Hearings
The first is the right of the employer to attend hearings. If that comes as a surprise, your author remembers times (two years ago!) when a judge tried to keep an employer out of a hearing by saying it had no right to attend since the employer was not a party in interest. (That was double wrong. The employer is a party in interest and does have a right to be present.)
The judge was doing what others have done for years – limit the number of people in the room, especially one who might express dismay at the proceedings. The presence of the employer has a tendency to force everyone else to stick to the law, not Board “custom”.
Therefore, employers should attend, and it wouldn’t hurt to download page 53 of the handbook and bring several copies to the hearing. Don’t argue. Just distribute copies to the other attendees.
Right of the Employer to View The Documents At Board Hearing Points
The other significant right is the right of the employer to view the documents in claims against the employer on a computer screen at Board hearing points. Every file may now be seen at any hearing point. Just go to the nearest hearing point, even if it not the one where hearings are being held. Bring photo ID and proof that your company is the employer. (Type the request to review the file on company stationery.)
The first time you review an e-file the contents won’t make much sense (every new comp attorney knows that feeling). Be patient. A Board employee will assist you and answer questions.
You Want to View The Worker’s C-3 Form
What you really want to see is the worker’s C-3 form, which is completed in order to file a comp claim. Does this form contain anything that you dispute? After reviewing, discuss with your carrier.
Review The Decisions After Each Hearing
Also review the decisions after each hearing. You can get the Board to send you these automatically after each hearing if you send a request in writing. That would be a good idea since you might want to have the carrier appeal or challenge the findings.
Attending Hearings & Reviewing Documents Can Bring Claim Disasters To a Halt
Another “right” that is listed is the right to request a carrier to appeal or contest, but the carrier has the co-equal right to ignore your request, which is why your author did not list your requests as a right.
Attending hearings and reviewing documents may not seem to be game changers but in fact these acts can bring claims disasters to a halt. Claims are all about information and the employer won’t be hurt by gathering as much as possible.
Author: Attorney Theodore Ronca is a practicing lawyer from Aquebogue, NY. He is a frequent writer and speaker, and has represented employers in the areas of workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, employee disability plans and subrogation for over 30 years. Attorney Ronca can be reached at 631-722-2100. firstname.lastname@example.org
©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.
SALES TO PAY FOR ACCIDENTS CALCULATOR: http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com/sales-to-pay-for-accidents-calculator/
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR: http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculators/
SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.