Independent contractors are not employed by an employer. Instead, they are contracted in for a specific contract period. In most cases, they are not eligible for workers’ compensation if they are hurt on the job. Don’t automatically assume you won’t qualify for any benefits, though, because there could be a case in which you’re misclassified as an independent contractor when you are actually an employee. If that happens, then you can file a claim for workers’ compensation.
How can you prove that you’re actually an employee and not an independent contractor?
One of the ways is by looking at how much control the employer has over you and what you’re required to do. For instance, if you have a specific schedule, wear a specific uniform, have to use special products branded for your company and are subject to other specific, employment-related regulations, you may actually be an employee and not an independent contractor. Simply signing a contract to show you’re an independent contractor does not mean that is the case.
Does it matter how often a person works for his employer, or just how consistently?
The permanency of the worker-employee relationship is considered. On the whole, independent contractors are given more independence to accept or deny work than employees. They may be let go at a moment’s notice without breaching their contracts. They may not receive additional work after their initial contracts or be resigned in the future. The worker’s investment in materials or equipment may matter as well. Additionally, the degree to which the person works independently also matters.
If you believe you’ve been misclassified, your attorney can help you look into the logistics of your employment. If you have been, you may be able to move forward with a claim.
Source: FindLaw, “Can Independent Contractors Get Workers’ Comp?,” Daniel Taylor, accessed Feb. 03, 2017