The only people who are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits are qualified employees. Independent contractors cannot receiver workers’ compensation.
However, whether a worker is an employee is controlled not by the classification given by the employer, but by their duties and by the circumstances surrounding that employee’s work.
Here are a few of the factors that help determine that employee vs. contractor status.
- Hiring and compensation: Workers do not have to be formally hired and interviewed to be considered employees. If the worker receives an hourly wage or salary rather than receiving payment by the job (as contractors usually do), this means they will likely be classified as an employee.
- Amount of control or direction: Independent contractors provide services based on what’s outlined in their contract without the direction of the person paying their bill. The contractor controls how the service is provided and the manner in which it is provided, as they act independently of the employer. Employees do not have that same independence, which is one of their defining characteristics.
- Equipment: Who provides the equipment to the worker? Independent contractors typically have to provide their own equipment, while employees will be given work necessary to do the job by their employers.
- Written agreements: Any agreement stating the worker is an independent contractor is not sufficient to prove that status. Such agreements will not hold up in a labor lawsuit if all other aspects of the worker’s job are characteristic of those of an employee.
- The nature of the work and training: Highly skilled work that involves only a single job is usually the responsibility of an independent contractor. Contractors usually provide skilled work for more than one company or employer. However, if the worker is trained by the company and regularly works for the same company, the worker is likely going to be classified as an employee.
To learn more about whether you qualify for workers’ compensation after a workplace accident, contact a skilled Bradenton personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.