For the first time in four years, New York employers are getting a reduction in workers’ compensation premium rates, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
The move comes after Gannett’s Albany Bureau reported earlier this month that businesses are being hit with a surcharge to help the state pay back a federal loan for unemployment costs.
The state Compensation Insurance Rating Board had planned to increase the workers’ compensation rates on businesses. Cuomo said he asked the board to reconsider, and it choose to lower the rates instead.
Policyholders will see a decrease of 1.2 percent, the first reduction since 2008, Cuomo said.
“To create jobs and get our state’s economy back on track it is essential that New York’s businesses remain in a competitive position to succeed in the global marketplace,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Unions and businesses supported the change, which was part of broader workers’ compensation reforms implemented by the state in recent years.
“The labor movement’s priority in the 2007 Workers’ Compensation reform was to ensure that workers who suffer injury or illness while at work receive the timely treatment they need and adequate benefit levels to support themselves,” Mario Cilento, president of the state AFL-CIO, said in a statement provided by Cuomo’s office.
Heather Briccetti, president of the state Business Council, said the change helps make New York businesses more competitive.
To cover growing unemployment costs, the state this month began billing employers up to $12.75 a year for each person they employ. The state owes the federal government a $102 million interest payment Sept. 30.