THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AND BEING EMPLOYED BY ONE
JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE AN INJURED EMPLOYEE WHO WORKS FOR AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR WHO IS OUT OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION (WC) INSURANCE DOSEN’T MEAN YOU’RE OUT OF LUCK!
If you are an employee who works for an employer who contracts with other companies as an independent or sub-contractor and you are injured in the course of performing your job as part of that contract, you are still entitled to your WC benefits even if your boss has not purchased the necessary WC insurance to protect you.
The law requires that a company that does business with a contractor and uses the services of the employees that work for that contractor, to pay an injured worker all WC benefits as if the injured worker was an employee of that company.
One of the purposes of the law is to make sure the company is careful when selecting a contractor and getting proof that the employees of the contractor are protected under an appropriate WC insurance policy.
It is also this way because the bigger company can absorb the loss better than the contractor who went without insurance.
Most importantly, the intent of the law is to make sure that a worker who is injured in the course of his employment receives his benefits as promptly as possible from a readily available source.
A company that pays WC benefits to the employee of the contractor is entitled to reimbursement by the contractor who went without insurance. A company can require the contractor to sign an agreement acknowledging that the contractor will be obligated to reimburse the company.
If the employee elects to receive his WC benefits from the company, he is not permitted to sue the contractor for failing to have WC insurance.
Any employer who willfully uses coercion, intimidation, deceit or other means to force persons who are employees to pose as independent contractors for the purpose of evading the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act
1. would be guilty of a misdemeanor;
2. be sentenced up to 90 days in jail;
3. pay fines up to $ 1,000.00;
4. face civil action in common law tort in court from the injured employee; and
5. each corporate officer and director could be held personally liable for any unpaid expenses owed to the employee.
SO NEVER LET YOUR EMPLOYER TELL YOU HE CAN’T HELP YOU BECAUSE HE HAS NO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE OR BECAUSE YOU ARE A CONTRACTOR .