New York State Workers’ Compensation Law (WCL) has specific coverage requirements for businesses contracting with New York State and additional requirements which provide for the debarment of vendors that violate certain sections of WCL. This section provides guidance to State contracting entities regarding their obligations relative to these requirements.
The WCL requires, and has required since introduction of the law in 1922, the heads of all municipal and State entities to ensure that businesses have appropriate workers’ compensation and disability benefits insurance coverage prior to issuing any permits or licenses, or prior to entering into contracts.
Workers’ compensation requirements are covered by WCL Section 57, while disability benefits are covered by WCL Section 220(8). The Workers’ Compensation Benefits clause in Appendix A – STANDARD CLAUSES FOR NEW YORK STATE CONTRACTS states that in accordance with Section 142 of the State Finance Law, a contract shall be void and of no force and effect unless the contractor provides and maintains coverage during the life of the contract for the benefit of such employees as are required to be covered by the provisions of the WCL.
Under provisions of the 2007 Workers’ Compensation Reform Legislation (WCL Section 141-b), any person, or entity substantially owned by that person1: subject to a final assessment of civil fines or penalties, subject to a stop-work order, or convicted of a misdemeanor for violation of Workers’ Compensation laws Section 52 or 131, is barred from bidding on, or being awarded, any public work contract or subcontract with the State, any municipal corporation or public body2 for one year for each violation. The ban is five years for each felony conviction.
PROOF OF COVERAGE REQUIREMENTS
The Workers’ Compensation Board has developed several forms to assist State contracting entities in ensuring that businesses have the appropriate workers’ compensation and disability insurance coverage as required by Sections 57 and 220(8) of the WCL.
Please note – an ACORD form is not acceptable proof of New York State workers’ compensation or disability benefits insurance coverage.
Proof of Workers’ Compensation Coverage
To comply with coverage provisions of the WCL, the Workers’ Compensation Board requires that a business seeking to enter into a State contract submit appropriate proof of coverage to the State contracting entity issuing the contract. For each new contract or contract renewal, the contracting entity must obtain ONE of the following forms from the contractor and submit to OSC to prove the contractor has appropriate workers’ compensation insurance coverage:
On forms where a certificate holder can be indicated, the State contracting entity should ensure the carrier has entered the name of the State contracting entity in this field, as the insurance carrier will notify the certificate holder if a policy is canceled.
Proof of Disability Benefits Coverage
To comply with coverage provisions of the WCL regarding disability benefits, the Workers’ Compensation Board requires that a business seeking to enter into a State contract must submit appropriate proof of coverage to the State contracting entity issuing the contract. For each new contract or contract renewal, the contracting entity must obtain ONE of the following forms from the contractor and submit to OSC to prove the contractor has appropriate disability benefits insurance coverage:
For additional information regarding workers’ compensation and disability benefits requirements, please refer to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board website at:
Except for contracts with municipalities, contracting entities must include all necessary proofs of insurance, as outlined above, with the procurement record for new contracts and contract renewals submitted to OSC for approval. Contracts will not be approved without such proof. OSC may immediately reject any contract submitted without such proof.
REQUIREMENTS RELATED TO CONTRACTOR DEBARMENTS
Contracting entities must ensure that for any public work contract subject to Article 8 of the New York State Labor Law, including amendments or renewals that extend the term of an existing contract, no bid is accepted from, or contract or subcontract awarded to, a vendor or any substantially owned affiliate of a vendor, that is debarred pursuant to WCL Section 141-b. The contracting entity must check the Workers’ Compensation Board Debarment List at http://dbr.labor.state.ny.us/EDList/searchPage.do to verify that no contractor or subcontractor is debarred pursuant to WCL Section141-b.
Contracting entities should include in all public work contracts subject to WCL Section 141-b, a provision that provides notice to the contractor that the contract may be terminated if it is later determined that at the time of either the bid submission or contract award, the contractor was, in fact, debarred by WCL Section 141-b, or was the substantially owned affiliate of a debarred contractor. Additionally, the contract should include a provision that allows the State to require the contractor to replace, at no additional charge to the State, any subcontractor who the State or the contractor subsequently learns was debarred.
Note: For contracts which are subject to the prevailing wage laws, the contracting entity is also reminded to check the debarment list maintained by the New York State Department of Labor at http://dbr.labor.state.ny.us/EDList/searchPage.do to ensure that bids are not accepted from, nor awards made to, vendors who have been debarred for violations of those laws. Although WCL debarment applies only to public work contracts covered by Article 8 of the Labor Law, prevailing wage debarments apply to public work contracts governed by Articles 8 and 9 of the Labor Law.
Any questions regarding workers’ compensation coverage requirements or debarments should be directed to:
Workers’ Compensation Board
Bureau of Compliance
1Pursuant to WCL Section 2(17), a “substantially owned affiliated entity” means the parent company of the person, any subsidiary of the person, or any entity in which the parent of the person owns more than fifty percent of the voting stock, or an entity in which one or more of the top five shareholders of the person individually or collectively also owns a controlling share of the voting stock, or an entity which exhibits any other indicia of control over the person or over which the person exhibits control, regardless of whether or not the controlling party or parties have any identifiable or documented ownership interest. Such indicia shall include: power or responsibility over employment decisions; access to and/or use of the relevant entity’s assets or equipment; power or responsibility over
2“Public bodies” include any New York State or local judiciary, any New York State or local regulatory, administrative or public agency or authority or instrumentality thereof, or any New York State or local law enforcement agency, prosecutorial office or police or peace officer.
3The business’s insurance carrier will send this form to the State contracting entity upon the business’s request.
4The business calls the Workers’ Compensation Board’s Self-Insurance Office at 518-402-0247 to obtain the form.
5The business’s Group Self-Insurance Administrator will send this form to the State contracting entity upon the business’s request.
6This certificate is used to attest to the State contracting entity that the applicant requesting a contract from that contracting entity is not required to carry New York State specific workers’ compensation and/or disability benefits insurance. Applicants may obtain the application for the CE-200 and instructions for completing the application at http://wcb.ny.gov/. A new CE-200 is required for each and every new or renewed contract. Each CE-200 will specifically list the contracting entity and the specific contract requested by the applicant. Contracting entities should ensure that form CE-200 is signed and dated by the applicant, and that the legal entity name on form CE-200 exactly matches the legal entity name applying for the contract. Contracting entities can also verify that the CE200 provided by the applicant was actually issued by the WCB by checking the printed certificate number on the Board’s website at http://www.wcb.ny.gov/.