Can You Get Workers' Comp. If You Are an Independent Contactor?
According to California labor laws, independent contractors are not eligible for Workers' Compensation through their employer, and are, in fact, responsible for their own Workers' Compensation insurance. However, that doesn't mean that you can't receive Workers' Compensation if you are an independent contractor. While that might seem like a contradiction, there's actually a very simple explanation: many people who are classified as independent contractors are really employees.
Misclassification is a common problem, rampant in industries like trucking. Countless businesses in the state and around the country misclassify part-time, or even full-time, employees as contractors in order to save money on benefits, social security, Workers' Compensation insurance, and payroll taxes. This is illegal, and there are penalties from the labor board and from civil court. Employees who have been misclassified as independent contractors are eligible for Workers' Compensation benefits, and are entitled to treatment when they get hurt.
Workers' Compensation cases involving misclassification are more complicated than average. There must be a trial at the Workers' Compensation Board to prove that the injured worker is really an employee. There are many factors that go into proving employment status, the most crucial of which are:
A) Does the employer provide the equipment necessary to do the job?
B) Does the employer set the workers' schedule and tell them when & where to work?
If the answer to both of those questions is, "yes," you're most likely an employee, regardless of what kind of tax form you filled out, and an experienced Workers' Compensation attorney can easily prove the truth and get you the benefits that you deserve. However, there are some sectors in which labor law is still catching up with technology. For an example, the classification of Uber drivers is currently a gray area being worked out in the courts. But in most cases, the law is clear: injured workers who have been misclassified as independent contractors can receive Workers' Compensation.
Whether you are classified as an independent contractor or an employee, if you have been injured at work and need help, schedule your free consultation with Pacific Workers' Compensation today. Pacific Workers' Compensation: we fight for you.