What this Means for your Workers Compensation Case
How an employee is classified in Illinois factors in significantly when it comes to a workers compensation case. Many workers who sign on as independent contractors are unsure of their rights. Many employees are classified as such, completing standard employment paperwork, with taxes deducted from each paycheck. Others are encouraged to sign on as independent contractors or “1099” employees.
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When a workplace injury occurs, and an employee is classified as an independent contractor, an employer might suggest that the claim is not covered under workers compensation. In some instances, this is correct, and a personal injury claim should be considered, but not always. The good news for independent contractors is, sometimes they are covered under workers compensation.
Independent Contractor Classification
Under the Workers Compensation Act, anyone classified as an independent contractor is not considered an employee, and therefore, is not eligible for benefits. In an effort to avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits, some employers classify employees as independent contractors.
Fort those who have been injured while working as a “1099” employee, the laws surrounding workers compensation and the right to benefits are not always clear. Fortunately for those injured on the job in Illinois, the court does not always agree with the classification that is designated by an employer.
How the Law Views Employee Classification
When a case is heard by the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission, several factors are considered when determining whether or not an employee is, indeed, an independent contractor. The level of control that an employer has over an employee is one key factor in making this determination. Additional factors include:
- Scheduling and work hours
- Work location
- Nature of work and type of company
- Tools and clothing (including uniforms) used on the job
Each workers compensation case is unique, so how the commission will rule will be determined by the individual factors involved. Illinois workers comp attorneys understand the nature of cases involving employee classification and provide options for those who are deemed independent contractors.
It is important to note that ultimately, it is not the employer who decides if a worker is truly an independent contractor. Illinois law considers more than how taxes are filed when making a final determination and even those classified as independent contractors might be eligible for workers compensation benefits.