Friday, February 6, 2009

Independent Contractor Status in the Construction Industry and Minnesota Workers' Compensation

As a general rule, "independent contractors" are not covered by workers' compensation. In many industries, particularly the construction industry, workers are improperly classified as "independent contractors" rather than as "employees."

By improperly classifying workers, some businesses effectively avoid paying for workers' compensation coverage, for income taxes, and for unemployment insurance. Improper classification also often leaves workers without benefits they are rightfully entitled to.

Unfortunately, many individuals who work in residential or commercial construction are told that they are independent contractors despite the fact that they should actually be classified as employees. If a worker who is improperly classified as an independent contractor is injured on the job, that person may not receive workers' compensation benefits they are entitled to.

Contrary to popular belief, just because your employer says you are an "independent contractor" does not mean you actually are one. In fact, effective January 2009, to be considered an independent contractor under Minnesota law within the residential or commercial construction industry, an individual must obtain an Independent Contractor Exemption Certificate, and that individual must meet a nine-factor test as well. Click here to read the new law.

Even prior to the enactment of this new statute, Minnesota law established very strict criteria in order to qualify as an independent contractor rather than an employee for purposes of workers' compensation.

If you are a construction worker who was injured on the job and you're not sure if you are an independent contractor, call Meuser & Associates at 877-746-5680 to schedule a free consultation or click here to send us an e-mail. We can help you get the work comp. benefits you deserve.

Visit our workers' compensation website at!


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