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Glossary of WCB Terms

Workers' Compensation
(On-the-Job Injury or Illness)


Who Is Not Covered By The Workers' Compensation Law?

  1. Individuals who volunteer their services for nonprofit organizations and receive no compensation. Please note that compensation includes stipends, room and board, and other "perks" that have monetary value (WCL §3 Group 18). Money used solely to offset expenses incurred while performing activities for the nonprofit is not counted as a stipend (WCL §2 [9]);
  2. Clergy and members of religious orders that are performing religious duties (WCL §3 Group 18);
  3. Members of supervised amateur athletic activities operated on a nonprofit basis, provided that such members are not otherwise engaged or employed by any person, firm, or corporation participating in such athletic activity (WCL §3 Group 18);
  4. People engaged in a teaching capacity in or for a nonprofit religious, charitable or educational institution (Section 501(c)(3) under the IRS tax code). (WCL §3 Group 18) To be exempt, the teachers must only be performing teaching duties;
  5. People engaged in a non-manual capacity in or for a nonprofit religious, charitable or educational institution (Section 501(c)(3) under the IRS tax code (WCL §3 Group 18). Manual labor includes but is not limited to such tasks as filing; carrying materials such as pamphlets, binders, or books; cleaning such as dusting or vacuuming; playing musical instruments; moving furniture; shoveling snow; mowing lawns; and construction of any sort;
  6. Persons receiving charitable aid from a religious or charitable institution who perform work in return for such aid and who are not under any express contract of hire (WCL §3 Group 18), and certain persons receiving rehabilitation services in a sheltered workshop (Mental Hygiene Law §33.09);
  7. People who are covered for specific types of employment under another workers' compensation system such as those employed in certain maritime trades, interstate railroad employees, federal government employees and others covered under federal workers' compensation laws;
  8. The spouse and minor children (under 18 years old) of an employer who is a farmer as long as they are not under an express contract of hire (WCL §2 [4]);
  9. Certain employees of foreign governments and Native American Nations (Foreign Government Employees and Native American Enterprises);
  10. New York City police officers, firefighters, and sanitation workers who are covered under provisions of the New York State General Municipal Law. Uniformed police officers and firefighters in other municipalities may also be excluded;
  11. People, including minors, doing yard work or casual chores in and about a one-family, owner-occupied residence or the premises of a nonprofit, noncommercial organization (WCL §2 [4]). Casual means occasionally, without regularity, without foresight, plan or method. Coverage is required if the minor handles power-driven machinery, including a power lawnmower;
  12. Certain real estate salespersons who sign a contract with a broker stating that they are independent contractors (WCL §2 [4]) (Real Estate Brokers);
  13. Certain media sales representatives who sign a contract stating that they are independent contractors (WCL §2 [4]) (Media Sales Representatives);
  14. Certain insurance agents or brokers who sign a contract stating that they are independent contractors (WCL §2 [4]) (Insurance Agents); and
  15. Sole proprietors, partners, and certain one/two person corporate officers with no other individuals providing services integral to the business (although coverage may be obtained voluntarily) (WCL §2 [4]). (Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, and Corporate Officer Coverage Requirements). Also read Independent Contractors and Subcontractors for exceptions.