New York State Workers’ Compensation Program Stifles Growth

Why the Partnership and our Manufacturers Council continue to advocate for workers’ comp reform in New York State.

New York has earned a reputation over the years of being a difficult state in which to do business. High taxes and regulations are a big piece of this issue, and with the potential drastic increase in minimum wage, New York businesses face an uphill battle.

One regulatory issue that has a serious impact on manufacturers is workers’ compensation. Manufacturers have made great strides recently to improve the safety of their facilities by investing in better training and safer machinery. However, it is no secret that you can still get hurt while operating equipment – any environment with many moving parts is going to have a higher risk than a desk job.

As a result, manufacturers file more workers’ compensation claims than other types of businesses. Here in New York though, manufacturers pay much more than their peers – New York State ranks 4th out of all states for the highest workers’ compensation premiums. The problem has not gotten better recently; in 2008, New York was ranked 19th most expensive, much closer to the middle of the pack.Workers Comp

Joseph Dunlop, Vice President at Switzer, a member of our Manufacturers Council Executive Committee, said that their increased costs for workers’ compensation have taken away from other investments to grow their business. “We would have more to invest in workforce training and skill enhancements if the high cost of workers’ comp were reduced in New York State,” said Dunlop.

Another Buffalo manufacturer member added that they have to pay for a broker due to the difficulty of navigating the workers’ compensation landscape and regularly-changing subject matter. This causes increased expenses and frustration that would be unnecessary with a cheaper, more straightforward system.

The current workers’ compensation system is expensive, overcomplicated and stifles growth for local manufacturing companies. Join the Partnership and our Manufacturers Council as we continue to advocate for workers’ compensation reform in New York State.

The Manufacturers Alliance of New York is hosting its 8th annual Manufacturing Day in Albany, where manufacturers from across the state will meet with members of the Assembly and Senate. The Partnership will be joining to represent Western New York manufacturers. You can register for the event on March 15th by clicking here.