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Archive for the ‘independent contractor’ tag

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.

Employee Misclassification: Employee or Independent Contractor?

May 13th, 2014 at 12:19 pm

employee misclassification, independent contractor, employee, employer, workers' compEmployee misclassification impacts workers’ compensation benefits. When an employer makes the effort to classify an individual as an independent contractor, the employer no longer retains the responsibility of covering workers’ compensation coverage for that person. Employee misclassification has become an increasing problem in the trucking industry and construction industry, not just in Illinois, but across the country, when employees might only learn too late that an employer has misclassified their role with the company.

If an employer forces you to change your worker status but keep the same job responsibilities, you could be exposed to major risks. Illinois legislators outlined the importance of properly classifying an employee in the Employee Classification Act of 2008, when misclassification of construction employees removed benefits for those workers. After that Act was implemented, the Department of Labor took on the responsibility for investigating claims of misclassification. Those employers caught trying to save money by listing construction or trucking employees as independent contractors can be subject to fines.

Under workers’ compensation guidelines, it must be clear that an employee and employer relationships exists. The term “employee” is rather broad, but the following factors are typically investigated in a case alleging misclassification:

  • How the worker was paid;
  • Who set the ground rules for the terms under which work was completed;
  • What skills were necessary to complete the work; and
  • Who was responsible for providing equipment, tools, and materials for the job.

Independent contractors will retain control over most of these factors and he or she will work off of a bid system, while an employee is governed by the employer’s decisions.

Being misclassified has dangerous ramifications for employees who believe they are protected under workers’ compensation. If you have been injured on the job, you need to contact an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney.

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