Workers’ Compensation Remains an Issue for Buffalo Niagara Employers

Workers’ Compensation remains a prominent issue facing Buffalo Niagara employers. While New York State’s Workers’ Compensation program was substantially reformed in 2007, many of the reforms have not been fully implemented and, as a result, employers’ costs continue to rise. Today, New York State has the fourth highest Workers’ Compensation premiums in the country, up from the 19th highest in 2008.

To better understand the impact of Workers’ Compensation costs on employers, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership partnered with Unshackle Upstate and other Upstate business groups, to conduct a survey.worker comp

The survey revealed that 84% of participants view Workers’ Compensation costs as a significant concern to their organization. The survey also indicated that over the past 5 years, costs have risen an average of 22.5%, with an average rise of 9.5% this past year alone. This increase has impacted businesses in different ways, with 51% re-examining employee benefits and 34% hiring fewer new employees. Other businesses said they were forced to increase product and service prices and reduce labor costs through the use of automation and technology. A full recap of the survey’s results can be found here.

Later this year, we, in conjunction with our Upstate partners, will release a full report on the survey, which we will use to form our advocacy work on Workers’ Compensation moving forward.

If you would like to join us in our advocacy efforts, please contact the Government Affairs office.