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Date: August 1, 2012
Workers’ Compensation Law § 2(9) defines wages as "the money rate at which the service rendered is recompensed under the contract of hiring in force at the time of the accident, including the reasonable value of board, rent, housing, lodging or similar advantage received from the employer…" Such items will be included in the calculation of average weekly wage if they are provided by the employer as remuneration for work, labor or services of the employee in the employment (see McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York, annotated, Vol. 64, page 22, Practice Commentaries by Martin Minkowitz. See also O'Neil v William Randolph Dairy Farm, et al., 65 AD2d 907 ). The value of the board, rent or lodging is calculated as agreed to by the parties or by decision of the Workers’ Compensation Law Judge based on a factual inquiry (see e.g. Matter of Carlave Realty, 2006 NY Wrk Comp 40405372). Such value is included in the calculation of average weekly wage.
Robert E. Beloten