Independent Contractors and Workers’ Compensation Benefits

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This post discusses a question that is often asked by injured workers.  What is the situation for “Independent Contractors and Workers’ Compensation Benefits?” People often ask if an independent contractor can I get workers’ compensation benefits” after an on the job injury. Many times they will say their boss told them that they were independent contractors and not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits after they have been hurt on the job. This is not necessarily the case. Unfortunately, employers will sometimes try to characterize an employee as an independent contractor as a way to avoid paying overtime and workers’ compensation benefits. This is very common with manual labor positions such as landscaping as well as with delivery drivers. The legislation is being introduced to try to curb these tactics but some employers obviously do not like this idea.

Please keep in mind that just because someone says you are an independent contractor doesn’t mean you are. Some of the things the courts will look at to determine if an employee is an independent contractor or an actual employee include whether the person provides his or her tools, whether the person can set her own schedule, how the person is paid and whether the person is free to work on other jobs. If the person is deemed an employee rather than an independent contractor and the employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, the employer can be subject to a $10,000 fine and subject to other penalties and can be held personally liable for the benefits.

Beth Gearhart is a Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer who listens and cares about her clients!  If you are interested in learning more about independent contractors and workers’ compensation benefits, then contact Beth today at (404) 882-6443.

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