That's right. Employers are only obligated to pay Workman's
Compensation for their employees, independent contractors are not
"Once a worker converts to independent contractor status, the former
employer no longer has a legal obligation to withhold and pay income,
Social Security and unemployment taxes or workman's compensation
"On the other hand, an "employee" usually must comply with the boss's
instructions, renders personal service, works at his employer's place
of business and uses tools or equipment the employer provides. He also
can be fired or quit at any time. Another difference: an injured
"employee" is covered by statutory workman's compensation laws, but an
"independent contractor" is not."
"Under a variety of laws, if the person being hired is an employee,
the employer must withhold federal and state income taxes1 and the
employee's share of social security taxes2, in addition to paying the
employer's share of social security taxes3 as well as unemployment
insurance taxes and workman's compensation insurance4. On the other
hand, if the person you've hired is an independent contractor, you
don't have these obligations5. Because the liabilities can be large
when the government comes along later to collect what you should have
withheld or paid in the first place6, whether the people you hire are
employees or independent contractors may mean virtually the world to
"At the bare minimum the independent contractor agreement should
contain the following:
b) that she will pay her own income taxes and social security taxes,
as well as her own unemployment and workman's compensation insurance;"
SUBCONTRACTOR (OR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR) AGREEMENT
"Subcontractor acknowledges that the Contractor does not supply any
benefits of any kind, be it hospitalization, workman's compensation,
automobile or liability insurance, life insurance, or any retirement
I hope this hits the nail on the head for you. If not, or if you have
any questions, please post a clarification request *before*
closing/rating my answer and I'll be happy to reply.
Google Search Terms Used:
"workman's compensation" "independent contractor"
Clarification of Answer by
21 Jan 2005 07:56 PST
Phew, I finally found it, just when I was about to give up (it's
easier to find something that is covered by the law rather than
something that is not).
Who is and is not covered by the law (WC)?
" Sole proprietors, partners, and one/two person corporate officers
with no employees (although coverage may be obtained voluntarily).
Note: The employer is required to post notice of compliance with the
Workers' Compensation Law."
Affidavit For New York Entities... With No Employees, That New York
State Workers? Compensation And/Or Disability Benefits Insurance
Coverage Is Not Required:
"That the above named business is certifying that it is NOT REQUIRED
TO OBTAIN NEW YORK STATE SPECIFIC WORKERS? COMPENSATION INSURANCE
COVERAGE for the following reason..."
4a.) the business is owned by one individual and is not a corporation.
Other than the owner, there are no employees, leased employees,
borrowed employees, part-time employees or unpaid volunteers
(including family members)."
That said, the best thing to do would be to phone the New York State
Workmans' Compensation Board and give them all the particulars of your
NY WCB District Offices:
New York State Insurance Department Contact:
"Hiring firms do not provide workers' compensation coverage for ICs.
If a work-related injury is an IC's fault, he or she has no recourse
against the hiring firm."
Insurance Company Search
Kinds of insurance covered by Section 1113(A) of New York Insurance
Law (Numbers refer to paragraphs of law):
The following table shows the Power Number in Column One, the
Description of Power/Line in Column Two and Special Notes in Column
15 Workers' Compensation and Employers' Liability Insurance
A list of 134 insurance brokers in NY who handle Worker's Compensation
Insurance (# 15):
NEW YORK STATE WORKERS' COMPENSATION: SOME BASIC SOURCES
Please let me know if you need anything else. Given that you work from
your car, you are covered by New York's "No Fault" law so it's not as
if you don't have any coverage.
You might find this interesting (for bicycle carriers):
Know Your Rights Manual for NYC Messengers: