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Archive for the ‘independent contractors’ tag

Can Independent Contractors Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Illinois?

April 29th, 2021 at 12:54 pm

contractorEven though all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, not all those who work for that employer are covered. Technically, only true employees are eligible for coverage under workers’ compensation, but many companies also employ a variety of other workers, such as independent contractors. However, independent contractors are not eligible to receive benefits through workers’ compensation, even if they are injured while working. Some work injuries can be serious and require extensive medical care and time off from work, placing unnecessary stress on you and your family. If you have been injured as an independent contractor and your employer has stated that you are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits, an Illinois attorney can help.

Employee Misclassification is Common

Even though both independent contractors and employees work for an employer, there are differences in their employment status and benefits. Though there are federal laws to distinguish an employee from an independent contractor, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission considers all workers to have an employment relationship with their employer unless otherwise stated. Misclassifying workers is a common reason why a workers’ compensation claim can be denied by your employer. Misclassifying workers allows employers to avoid paying payroll and unemployment taxes on that worker’s earnings, but it also means the employer can face penalties if they willfully misclassify an employee.

Am I an Employee or an Independent Contractor?

The criteria that the Workers’ Compensation Commission uses to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is slightly different than the criteria that the federal government uses. According to the Commission, a person is not an independent contractor unless that person:

  • Has and will continue to be free from the employer’s control over their performance of their services;
  • Provides a service either outside of the usual type of business or services the company provides or that service is performed outside of of the company’s locations; and
  • Has an independently established trade, occupation, business, or profession.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

For the average family, being injured at work and being denied workers’ compensation benefits could cause extreme financial stress. It is important that your employer correctly classifies your employment status, but they do not always do this. If you have been injured at work and you are unsure of whether or not you qualify for benefits, you should speak with a skilled Chicago, IL workers’ compensation lawyer. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we can help you determine whether or not you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and your options for recovering that compensation. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-574-2288.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Employees/Pages/Employer-Misclassification-of-Workers.aspx

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/about/Pages/insurance.aspx

 

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.

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