Archive for the ‘employee’ tag

What Do You Have to Prove to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

March 11th, 2016 at 8:58 pm

workers' compensation benefits, DuPage County workers' comp attorneyWorkers’ compensation benefits are designed to help workers who have been hurt on the job get their medical bills paid and to receive payment for lost wages. The workers’ compensation system is not based on fault. You can often receive workers’ compensation benefits even if your own negligence led to your injuries. You are not, however, able to sue your employer for work injuries in most cases.

Before you can receive workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to prove you are covered by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, that your were injured in the course of your job, and the extent of your injuries.

Are You Covered?

The law, in most cases, will assume that you are covered by the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation only applies to employees. If your employer believes you are an independent contractor and not an employee, your employer will need to prove his or her assertion. During the process, you may need to show why you believe you are an employee.

Injured in the Course of Your Job

Workers’ compensation only covers injuries to workers who were hurt in the course of their jobs. There are two parts to showing the injury occurred in the course of the job:

  1. There is a direct causal link between your injury and a job-related risk; and
  2. You were at work where you were required to be and generally doing what you are supposed to be doing.

If you are a delivery driver and you are hurt delivering something to a customer, your injury occurred in the course of your job. However, if you are a delivery worker and you are hurt while helping a friend move a couch while on a lunch break, you may have a much harder time showing that your injury was in the course of your job.

Extent of Your Injuries

You will also need to present evidence about the extent of your medical bills, and what impact your injury has on your ability to perform your job. Your injury may only make you temporarily unable to perform your core job functions. In this case, you would receive benefits until you recovered enough to return to work. If your injury is more serious and causes you some degree of permanent disability, leaving you unable to do the basics of your job, you may be eligible for longer-term benefits.

If you have been hurt at work, you need to understand your rights. You should speak with a skilled DuPage County workers’ compensation lawyer right away. 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.




Employee or Independent Contractor?

February 12th, 2016 at 4:19 pm

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.





Independent Contractor vs Actual Employee

January 30th, 2015 at 11:59 am

independent contractor or employee, Illinois workers compensation lawyerMore and more companies are hiring independent contractor to perform the work that was once done by regular employees. This is done to cut down on costs. By hiring a contractor, the company avoids having to pay for health insurance, payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and other employee costs dependent on what the company offers or is required to cover an employee for.

If an employee is injured on the job, they are covered by the company’s worker’s compensation insurance and receive compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. They may even be entitled for monetary compensation for their injuries based on the severity of the injury. Typically, if an independent contractor is hurt on the job, they are not covered under workers’ compensation and would not be entitled to any of the same compensations an employee is covered under.

The hiring of independent contractors has become somewhat of a gray area and in many situations, just because an company has labeled someone an independent contractor, under state or federal laws, they may actually be considered an actual employee and entitled to all the same benefits employees of the company receive.

Under Illinois law, there is a list of criteria that determine whether a person performing work for a company is an employee or independent contractor. These factors include:

  • Is the person required to follow the company’s instruction?
  • Did the company provide training to the person to perform the work?
  • Does the company require the person perform the work themselves or can they assign it to others?
  • Does the company set the person’s hours and/or is the person required to work full-time?
  • Is the person paid by the hour (or week) or are they paid once the job is complete?
  • Is the person reimbursed for travel or other business expenses?
  • Did the company provide tools and/or materials necessary for the work to be done?
  • Is there are a contract between the person and the company or are they able to terminate the relationship at will?

If you are an independent contractor and received injuries while working, do not assume that you are not entitled to workers’ compensation because of your employee classification. Contact an experienced Oak Brook workers compensation attorney to discuss your case and determine what compensation you may be legally entitled to.

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