NY Reforms: Chaos Postponed?

September 25th, 2007 by

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America has issued a bulletin to its members, announcing the deferment of the onerous new comp coverage requirements in NY (see our recent blog here). At this point it appears that carriers do not have to specifically name New York on any policy where an employee from out of state might possibly do business in the state. That’s good news.
Or is it? Here is the actual language of the “deferment” posted by the NY Workers Comp board:

The 2007 Workers’ Compensation Reform Legislation includes coverage requirements for out-of-state employers with employees working in NYS. The Workers’ Compensation Board is currently reviewing this provision, along with the comments and concerns of its stakeholders, and seeking appropriate assistance to develop the rules implementing the section of the new law.
This web site will be updated with the implementation rules as soon as they are promulgated.

Perhaps it is my training as an English major, but I cannot find any specific deferment of the law in this passage. To be sure, they are “reviewing” the statute and “seeking assistance” in developing rules. But nowhere does the posting say that implementation of the statute has been postponed. Perhaps the board does not have the authority to issue such a deferment. Carriers apparently don’t have to worry about being held accountable to the new statute at this time. But the statute is still on the books and technically is still in effect. The WCB has stated verbally that they will not enforce the law, but when it came time to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), they balked. Does it matter? Let’s hope not.
Meanwhile, we reiterate the Insider’s position: this particular part of NY reform does not need rules for implementation. It needs to be tossed out. We’ll keep you posted.