Workers’ compensation is a great way for most employees to gain benefits after being in a workplace accident. Liability is not a factor when filing a workers’ comp claim, so a hurt employee can still get financial aid even when they know their own mistake caused their on-the-job injury. This is good news for employees, but it does not do much at all for independent contractors, who are not technically employees.
When an independent contractor gets hurt on-the-job, odds are quite high that they will not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Even if it is clear the injury occurred while trying to complete a job expectation or duty, the fact remains that employers do not have to cover independent contractors with their workers’ compensation insurance policies.
Independence Brings Questions of Responsibility
An employer has an unshakable responsibility to protect their employees from undue harm while at work. An independent contractor, though, is largely independent, as the title implies. When completing work as an independent contractor, there is little or no oversight from the employer. They entrust the contractor to get the job done in the best way possible, but they do not demand they follow strict guidelines to do it.
The independence that contractors enjoy is also the underlying reason why they do not qualify for workers’ compensation insurance benefits. Put simply, employers are not directly responsible for their actions or their safety, within reason.
Ensuring Your Rights are Upheld & Respected
Workers’ compensation insurance policies can be costly, and the premiums a company pays each month will only go up as more workplace accidents occur. However, if an independent contractor is injured while working, the insurance policy premiums are untouched. This means companies can save significant finances if they have more independent contractors than actual employees. The temptation to maximize bottom line profits can lead some dishonest employers and companies to knowingly misclassify employees as independent contractors.
Do you suspect you have been misclassified as an independent contractor and now you need workers’ compensation benefits? Call (888) 558-0622 to connect with Brooks Law and our Medford workers’ compensation attorneys. We can help determine if you are an employee under state and federal regulations, and stick up for your rights as an injured worker if you are. For more information, feel free to contact us at any time.