Employees Versus Independent Contractors In Workers’ Compensation Claims

Work Injury claim form stock photo

Some employers do not like carrying the financial burdens and responsibilities that come with designating their workers as “employees” so instead, they classify them as “independent contractors.” Doing this ensures that employers are not responsible for paying payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, or subject to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. However, simply calling workers, “independent contractors” and filing federal 1099 forms on them does not necessarily make them contractors, and being erroneously labeled as such can have catastrophic consequences.

If your workers’ comp injury claim is denied because you are classified as an independent contractor by your employer, then the North Carolina Industrial Commission will ultimately ask: Who’s the boss? The injured worker or the employer? Below are the many factors used to make this determination:

  • Is he or she engaged in an independent business, calling, or occupation?
  • Does he or she have independent use of their own special skill, knowledge, and training in the execution of work?
  • Is he or she doing a certain piece of work at a fixed price for a lump sum or a measurable basis?
  • Will he or she be fired based on how they decide to do the work?
  • Is he or she a regular employee of the company?
  • Is he or she free to use whatever help needed to get the job done?
  • Does he or she have full control over any such help?
  • Can he or she determine their own schedule?

If a worker is determined to be an employee, then the employer will be liable for benefits under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, including temporary total disability, medical bills, and a litany of other expenses.

If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits and have been misclassified as an independent contractor, it’s important to hire a Winston-Salem workers’ compensation lawyer to handle your case. A qualified workers’ comp attorney knows how to challenge denied claims, gather necessary evidence, and get you the compensation you deserve. If you live in the Winston-Salem area and are in need of legal help pursuing your claim, call Mike Lewis Attorneys for a consultation today.


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