Employees who are injured while at work have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. However, you might be wondering if you are actually classified as an employee or if you have another classification. Some workers are considered independent contractors. You will need to determine if you should technically be classified as an employee even if you believe you are not.
There Are Many Types of Employees
An employee is not simply someone who works for a company in the long-term. Day laborers, borrowed employees, and many subcontractors are considered employees. Unpaid volunteers are also considered employees.
Some Employees Are Misclassified
Independent contractors are typically considered separate from employees. They are considered to own their own business rather than working as an employee. However, some businesses classify employees as independent contractors when they are actually considered employees for the purposes of worker's compensation. If you were misclassified, there are several warning signs that you should be entitled to worker's compensation.
Tax Forms Are Irrelevant
You may receive a 1099 form instead of a W-2. This is often considered a sign that you're an independent contractor but not for the purposes of worker's compensation. The state ignores your tax form when deciding whether you are qualified for worker's compensation.
Your Work Must Differ from an Employee
If your work is the same as the work that is performed by an employee at the company, you should be considered an employee even if you are called an independent contractor. For example, you cannot work for a company that employs plumbers and be classified as an independent contractor if you also perform plumbing work.
An independent contractor is in control of how their work is performed. They are not in control of the end product, which is determined by a client but can control the tools and techniques that can be used to finish the product. The tools and equipment are furnished by the independent contractor as well.
The Judge Ultimately Decides
The ultimate determination of whether you are an employee is determined by a judge. Therefore, even if your employer is convinced that you are an independent contractor, you will still be qualified for worker's compensation benefits depending on the ruling of the judge. Therefore, if you are injured and concerned about how you will pay your bills, make sure to speak with a worker's compensation attorney so you can gather the evidence necessary to prove that you were an employee.
For more information about worker's compensation, speak to an attorney from a firm like Bishop Dorfman Kroupa & Bishop PC.