Sunday, December 18, 2011

MN Workers’ Comp: Independent Contractor or Employee?

In Minnesota, independent contractors are NOT covered for workers’ compensation benefits, including medical benefits, wage loss benefits, permanency benefits, or rehabilitation benefits. Employees, on the other hand, ARE covered for workers’ compensation.

In Minnesota, all employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees in the event of a work-related injury. The MN Department of Labor and Industry has a search tool to look up whether your employer carries legally-required workers’ compensation insurance.

If you’re an independent contractor and you sustain a serious on-the-job injury, medical bills and loss of income after a work injury can be financially devastating. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney evaluate your case if you’re not sure whether you are an independent contractor or an employee.

Even if your employer tells you that you’re an independent contractor rather than an employee, you may still be covered for workers’ compensation. A determination as to whether you qualify as an “employee” or an “independent contractor” for purposes of workers’ compensation is a legal question that requires analysis of several different factors.

Just because your employer says you are an independent contractor doesn’t mean it’s true under the law. In fact, employers often have financial incentive to designate its employees as “independent contractors,” even though they don’t meet the legal definition for “independent contractors.” First, employers avoid paying social security and federal and state taxes for independent contractors. They also avoid contributing to state unemployment, and federal Medicare contributions. Employers in some industries may also classify their employees as independent contractors to avoid having to pay for workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

Depending on the industry you are working in, there are different factors that are analyzed in making a determination as to whether you are an independent contractor or an employee.

Don’t rely on your employer to tell you what your legal classification is! We routinely meet with employees who are hurt on the job who are told that they are independent contractors, so they are on their own for medical bills or wage loss following an injury.

Some industries where this problem is most prevalent include: 
  • Residential and commercial construction 
  • Roofing 
  • Landscaping 
  • Telecommunications installation and sales 
  • Appliance sales, delivery and installation 
  • Sales 
  • Collections 
  • Delivery 
  • Couriers 
  • Drivers 
If you were hurt on the job and you don’t know whether you’re an independent contractor or an employee, contact Meuser & Associate for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Call us at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email to schedule a time to speak with Jen Yackley or Ron Meuser about your rights.


Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails