In today’s working world, with the proliferation of telecommuting and working from home, more and more workers are considered independent contractors. It’s a fairly common approach by employers, often an attempt to minimize costs by avoiding tax liabilities, as well as workers’ compensation requirements. However, you won’t be considered an independent contractor just because your employer says you are one, even if you entered into a written agreement. To the contrary, if you are injured on the job, the determination of whether or not you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits will be based on a number of tests, including:
- The extent to which the company exercised control over your time, assignments, equipment and location—the greater the degree of control, the more likely you will be considered an employee
- How you were paid—if you were paid per job or assignment, you may still qualify as an independent contractor. But if you received an hourly wage or a salary, you will likely be construed as an employee and eligible for workers’ compensation
- Whether you provided your own work materials and equipment, including computers, desk , office space and supplies
Contrary to popular belief, there is no requirement that you be on the company payroll to qualify for workers’ compensation, or that the company withhold taxes for you or pay workers’ compensation insurance premiums for you. There’s also no requirement that you maintain an office, locker or similar space at company offices.
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At Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie, Seelaus & Kraft LLP, we offer experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel to individuals in Pennsylvania. To set up an appointment for a free initial consultation, call us at 610-565-4055 or 302-594-4535 or contact us online.