As a general rule, an employment relationship must exist before any right to workers' compensation benefits will be recognized. By definition, independent contractors are not employees and will therefore not qualify for workers' comp in Pennsylvania.
Independent contractor status isn't just a question of labels, however. Many workers who operate as independent contractors, temporary workers, project workers or the like can be regarded as employees for the purposes of workers' compensation eligibility. To learn how an experienced workers' comp lawyer would approach your situation, contact a lawyer at Shollenberger Januzzi & Wolfe in Harrisburg or Enola for a free consultation.
Independent Contractors Vs. Employees
Whether or not you're an independent contractor can be a disputed issue in your workers' compensation case. While the label of independent contractor or employee might represent a minor factor in determining your employment status, several other questions of fact will be far more important for determining your eligibility for workers' comp benefits:
- Can you be hired or fired?
- Can you be told how to do the work?
- Whose tools or equipment do you use?
- Are you paid by the hour or by the project?
Such facts as payroll tax withholding or 1099 statements may have little or nothing to do with your status as an employee or an independent contractor for workers' compensation purposes. The test for employee status instead looks to the facts of the work itself and the way it is performed.
It Will Cost You Nothing To Learn More.
If you're an independent contractor who has been injured on the job, don't be too quick to assume that you won't qualify for workers' compensation benefits. Discuss your situation with an experienced attorney. Contact us today for a free consultation.