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Workers' Comp Anti-Retaliation Bill Introduced

  • State: New York
  • Topic: NORTH
  • - Popular with: Legal

New York lawmakers have filed legislation that would bar employers from threatening to report to federal officials the immigration status of people filing workers’ compensation claims.

Senate Bill 1488, introduced Thursday, would expand on a statute that prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against those who file work comp claims.

The bill would add language explicitly prohibiting retaliation, and it would define retaliation and discrimination to include threatening to call or calling immigration authorities to report a claimant’s status or the status of a member of the claimant’s household.

According to a statement of justification in the bill, the Workers’ Compensation Board and state courts have already made clear that people injured in the course and scope of employment are entitled to benefits regardless of their immigration status. And state law already explicitly prohibits employers from threatening to report the immigration status of someone who reports wage theft, sexual harassment, misclassification and other workplace violations.

“This bill would clarify that employers in New York state are also prohibited from using such actions in order to avoid providing compensation and other benefits under the workers’ compensation law or discouraging employees from participating in related proceedings,” the measure says.

The bill would also increase the penalty to between $500 and $2,000 from the current range of $100 to $500 for retaliation.

Penalties have not been updated since they were set in 1973 and “have lost much of their deterrent effect,” the bill says.

The bill was sent to the Senate Labor Committee.

Business Insurance is a sister publication of WorkCompCentral. More stories are here.

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