April 29, 1999
Another new bill proposes 'illegal acts' exemption in workers' comp cases
A workers' compensation reform that has been a top Council priority for several years is part of new legislation-the second bill introduced this session that would make the same reform.
The "Small Business Support Act of 1999," developed and sponsored by Senator Nicholas Spano (R-Westchester), addresses longtime priorities of The Council's Workers' Compensation Committee and Small Business Council.
The bill would disallow workers' compensation coverage for any injury or occupational disease sustained by an employee while committing an illegal act of which he or she is convicted.
Senator James Alesi (R-Rochester) and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (D-Buffalo) are sponsoring a bill that would enact an illegal acts exemption.
The Spano bill would reform how workers' compensation premiums are calculated for some businesses, especially small businesses.
Employers now must pay a minimum premium for each employee instead of basing the premium on that worker's actual salary-which in some cases would reduce the premium.
In addition, sole proprietors and corporate officers now must base workers' comp premiums for their own salaries on a minimum salary, even if their actual salary is lower.
The Spano bill would repeal both rules.
Assemblyman Joseph Robach (D-Rochester) is also sponsoring the Small Business Support Act in the Assembly.