Employee or Independent Contractor?

Posted: February 12th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Employee Misclassification, Illinois Workers Compensation Attorney | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

employee, contractor, Illinois workers compensation attorneyThe Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act covers only employees. Under Illinois law, there are two categories of workers, employees and independent contractors, and in some cases, an employer may tell suggest or imply to you that you are an independent contractor. This would mean that certain employment laws do not cover you, including workers’ compensation. But, employers are not always correct when deciding who is and who isn’t an employee.

Right of Control

The primary criteria that courts use to determine if you are an employee is the right of control test. The more control your employer has over your work, the more likely you are an employee, and not an independent contractor.

Independent contractors traditionally use their own tools and the employer only controls the result, not the way the worker goes about completing the job. Employees are provided specific direction regarding the time, place, and manner of the work. Employees usually do not use their own tools. For example, if you are required to dress in a uniform or the employer regulates your breaks, you are most likely an employee.

How You Are Paid

Another factor to consider is how the employer compensates you. Employees typically have an hourly rate or a set salary. Payment is made on a regular basis, typically, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

Independent contractors are more likely to be paid based on an agreed-upon sum for the job, or on an hourly rate. Independent contractors invoice for the amount due to them on a monthly or weekly basis.

If you punch a clock, are paid based on an hourly rate, and are not required to invoice the employer, you are most likely an employee.

Why It Matters

The distinction between being an employee and an independent contractor is important for many reasons. Under workers’ compensation laws the employer does not have to pay workers’ compensation insurance for independent contractors. If you are an independent contractor and are hurt on the job, you cannot collect workers’ compensation from the employer’s insurer. It is up to you to have your own disability insurance policy.

Employees are required to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If an employee is hurt on the job, his or her medical bills can be taken care and missed pay can be at least partially compensated.

If you have been injured while performing your job, you need to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable Cook County workers’ compensation attorney right away to protect your rights. Call the Law Offices of Frank J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 to schedule a consultation. You may only have a short time to take action.





Out of State Work Injuries

Posted: January 29th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Traveling Employee Injury, Workers Comp Benefits | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

out of state, Illinois workers' compensation attorneyIn many areas of the law, one of the most important factors is where an event in question took place. But, under the Illinois workers’ compensation system, where a work injury takes place is not nearly as important your relationship to your employer. You may still be covered by Illinois worker’s compensation law even while you are out of the state.

Traveling Outside of Illinois for Work

All Illinois employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. If you are hurt while performing the duties of your job, it often does not matter who is at fault for the accident; your injuries should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, what if your job requires you to travel outside of the state?

If you are outside of Illinois and injured while performing your job duties, you are still covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. The difficulty, though, can sometimes lie in determining if you were on the job or not.

A delivery driver who is in a car accident while delivering something just across the border in Missouri is a fairly obvious example of being injured while on the job. More complicated, however, would be a scenario involving an IT worker who is sent to Ohio for a conference by her employer and is injured at the hotel where she is staying. How such case would be handled would depend on many factors. This kind of situation is much less clear-cut, and requires a careful review from an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer.

Hired in Illinois Then Transferred Out of State

Another example of when an out-of-state incident might be covered by Illinois workers’ compensation laws was raised in the case called Mahoney v. Industrial Commission. In this case a former United employee had worked in Illinois for years before being transferred at his request to Florida with no break in employment. In Florida, the claimant was injured on the job and the court ruled that he was covered by the Illinois workers’ compensation system.

These kinds of cases are very fact-specific. Other cases that seem similar to Mahoney have found that the employee was not covered because of some break in the chain of employment.

If you have been hurt while working for your employer, just because the accident happened out of state, does not mean you are out of luck. When have been injured while performing your job, you need to speak with a seasoned and dedicated DuPage County workers’ compensation lawyer right away to protect your rights. Call the Law Offices of Frank J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 to schedule a consultation. You may only have a short time to take action.





What Happens When You Cannot Do Your Job After a Workplace Injury?

Posted: January 15th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Illinois Workers Compensation Attorney, Workers Comp Benefits | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

injury, workers' compensation, Illinois workers' compensation attorneyMost workers are able to get back to their job after just a short period of treatment. But, sometimes a workplace accident can keep you from ever being able to do your job again. You may still be able to work, but not at the job you have trained for. While this can happen in any industry, it is very common in the construction industry.

Your Rights Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act

Under the law, your employer cannot “give” your job away because you were injured. You have a right to your old job back, even if you need some reasonable accommodations to do the work you performed prior to the accident.

If you are unable to perform the job, even with an accommodation, you may be eligible for either a permanent disability payment or for vocational rehabilitation. If you are still able to work, but just not at the job you had when you were injured, workers’ compensation can pay for your vocational rehabilitation. This may cover things such as:

  • Educational tuition assistance
  • Counseling
  • Help finding a new job
  • On the job training and new skills acquisition

What Happens If the New Job Pays Less?

The point of the vocational rehabilitation is to help you find a job that pays substantially the same as your old job. But, this is not always possible. Illinois workers’ compensation law allows you to qualify for payments called wage differential benefits.

These benefits allow you to receive up to two-thirds of the difference between your old salary and your new salary. But, the benefit are only paid out for a maximum of either five years, or until you reach the age of 67, whichever is later.

If you earning power increases, the wage differential benefit decreases.

Is It Guaranteed I Will Get My Vocational Rehab Benefits?

Just like everything else in workers’ compensation law, you will have to prove your case to get the vocational rehabilitation and wage differential benefits. There are many strict timelines and conditions that must be met to actually receive the benefits you are legally entitled to. Failure to fully comply with all of the requirements could mean missing out on money you are legally eligible to receive.

If you have been hurt while on the job, you need to speak with a knowledgeable DuPage County workers’ compensation lawyer right away to protect your rights. Call the Law Offices of Frank J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 to schedule a consultation. You may only have a short time to protect your rights.