Master the independent contractor relationship
Not only does your brain play tricks on you, so does the media. I cringe when otherwise helpful business advisors recommend that you build your business with independent contractors. Please don’t take legal advice from a non-lawyer who you’ve only “consulted” by reading about them in a magazine, listening to their podcast, or seeing them on television or the Internet.
I represent a lot of small business owners and out-of-state employers who get the independent contractor classification wrong. If you get a penalty notice, I can usually help you:
- Stay open and get in compliance
- Reduce penalties for not providing disability (“DB”), unemployment (“UI”), and workers’ compensation (“WC”) insurance
- Build a better business
Frequently-asked questions about penalty negotiations
Should I appeal the Workers’ Compensation Penalty issued against my business?
Probably. The goals of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board’s Compliance Unit are to ensure:
a) injured workers are properly compensated for the lost earnings and medical expenses caused by their work-related injuries and
b) employers are in compliance with WCL Section 50, which mandates WC coverage.
The Board knows that honest mistakes are made in lapses in coverage or the classification of workers. Call me at 212.804.7041 to see if you have grounds to appeal.
Do I need a lawyer?
Probably. If you are relying on non-lawyers and the Internet to guide you through the legal process, I recommend that you consult an attorney or one of the many legal clinics at local bar associations and law schools. For more guidance on this decision, see the below blog posts:
- Frequently-Asked Questions about NYS Workers’ Compensation
- Five Issues the NYS WCB Doesn’t Care About in the Claim Against You
- Three Considerations When Seeking a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Representative penalty negotiations
- Attained reduction of penalties against film producers, publishers, and other creative professionals who mistakenly believed their sole proprietors and freelancers were independent contractors
- Defended many domestic employers who mistakenly believed their homeowners’ insurance policies covered injuries to live-in housekeepers, nannies, and elderly companions
- Achieved rescission or reduction of penalties against business owners who forgot to cover non-owner family members after age 18 and out-of-state businesses unfamiliar with New York State (“NYS”) coverage requirements
- Accomplished closure of all penalties against businesses that failed to file appropriate forms notifying the Board they had ceased operations
- 45-minute consultation, summary, and action plan – $300.00
- Application for Review of Penalties and penalty negotiations – $300.00 per hour (Your total legal fees are typically $1,000.00, plus $100.00 for each worker.)
[Her] attention to detail and [her] assistance and follow-up throughout this entire process was so welcoming. ~ K.S., Bookkeeper
Nance is an excellent lawyer with a heart! She loves working with entrepreneurs and is one herself, so she completely understands the challenges and needs that one faces when launching a small business. I really couldn’t recommend Nance more highly. ~ B.S., Business Owner, NY
She also has a way of putting you at ease, so that sanity prevails in the legal process. ~ N.K., Attorney, NY