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Archive for the ‘independent contractors’ tag

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.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430&ChapterID=68

 

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.

Illinois Governor Protects Construction Employee Paychecks

August 12th, 2013 at 9:18 am

LauraOn July 23rd, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced that he had signed bills into law that helped protect Illinois employees in the construction industry. Construction is an industry with one of the highest rates of workers’ compensation claims, and the challenges faced by construction employees in the state has been a focus of the Governor’s office recently.

The laws signed include those that outline plans to fight questionable business practices like worker misclassification and employer attempts to avoid payment of premiums and state employment taxes. For Governor Quinn, it was an issue of ensuring that all employees were treated fairly: construction workers face numerous increased risks on the job, and devious employer practices were not providing the level of safety and fairness afforded to employees in other industries.

One of the biggest practices that Illinois construction companies use to skirt the system has been to classify construction workers as independent contractors. This allows companies to avoid payroll taxes, workers’ compensation premiums, overtime payments, and payroll taxes. The new law adds some teeth to the Employee Classification Act to make it more difficult for employers to avoid the valuable protection of workers’ compensation insurance and to add punishments for those who attempt to go around the law. The new law will go into effect on January 1st of 2014.

Classifying construction workers as independent contractors removes an important layer of safety and security for those employees who take on the risks of a dangerous job: in the event of an injury, they may not be protected by workers’ compensation insurance if the employer has been able to avoid paying premiums. If you have been the victim of an injury on the job in construction, you need help from a qualified workers’ compensation attorney in Illinois. Timing is important for workers’ compensation cases, so reach out today.

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