As the saying goes, ‘no one is above the law’ – a phrase recently used in reference to actor Jim Carey, for his alleged workers’ comp violations.
The movie star opened an art studio in New York in 2011, called “The Church of FCC” and hired a number of employees. But, in contravention to the New York Workers’ Compensation Law that requires that “employers obtain and continuously keep in effect workers’ compensation coverage for all their employees,” Mr. Carey did not provide such coverage. And neither did his business fall under any of the well-defined exceptions to the law (nor did he maintain some kind of self-insurance for workers’ compensation for his injured or ill workers).
New York fines employers $2,000 for every 10 days of non-compliance (not including specific medical costs of injured workers). And Mr. Carey is now facing a $72,000 fine. As is the case for sole proprietors and certain executives of corporations, he would be personally liable for any amount due as a penalty.
Still, Mr. Carey disputes the charge. One spokesman for the celebrity alleges that the Workers’ Compensation Board of New York’s lawsuit is meritless and that Mr. Carey intends to fight the charge in workers’ compensation court, if the suit progresses that far.
“This is a clerical error on their part,” the spokesman said, “and will be cleared up immediately.”
This is, apparently, not the first time Mr. Carey has been involved in a legal controversy involving this art studio. In 2011, just after it opened, New York City officials had much of the street art propagated by the studio removed. In retaliation, Carey spray-painted the words “FCC” and “Baba” (some kind of representation of overbearing government) on the wall of the studio). For more, follow this article.
In New Jersey, every employer must maintain Workers’ Compensation Insurance for all employees.