Under workers’ compensation law, independent contractors are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance policies. Some companies will exploit this fact by misclassifying employees as independent contractors, because in doing so they avoid certain payroll taxes and workers’ compensation premiums that they would otherwise have to pay.
If you are injured on the job, being misclassified as a contractor can rob you of benefits. Here’s how you can determine whether the state workers’ compensation board will recognize you as an employee to ensure your benefits.
- Independent contractors often act outside of the employer’s control. If you are the one in control of how a service is provided and the method of accomplishing it, then chances are you are a contractor.
- If your payment comes hourly or on a salary, this is an indicator that you are an employee. Contractors are usually paid on a job-by-job basis.
- If you do your job using your own equipment, then you are probably a contractor. Employers will provide equipment for an employee to complete a job.
- The character of the work can tell you whether you are a contractor or an employee. Contractors often do the same job for several different companies. Alternatively, if one company trains you and you receive regular work from them, you are likely to be considered an employee.
- Written agreements can specify that you are an independent contractor. These agreements can be denied by a state board if a worker demonstrates characteristics of an employee as explained above.
Workers’ compensation law is complex and determining your status will go a long way in ensuring your possible injury benefits. Our workers’ compensation attorneys go into further detail about workers’ compensation laws on this page.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC
—Columbus Workers’ Comp Attorneys