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Can Independent Contractors Receive Coverage under PA Workers’ Comp Law?

  • Owner
  • 01/25/2023

Independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. However, just because your employer may characterize you as an independent contractor, that does not mean you are an independent contractor instead of an employee under workers’ compensation law. If you believe that you’ve been misclassified as an independent contractor, please contact the workers’ compensation lawyers at Pearson Koutcher Law.

What is an Independent Contractor?

An independent contractor is someone who is not an employee but accepts a 77, verbal or in writing, to do work for another company. According to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act and precedent set by judicial decisions, independent contractors normally set their own work schedules, get paid by the job as opposed to an hourly wage or salary, and use their own equipment. Furthermore, they typically have the discretion to turn down jobs. It is not necessarily determinative of your status if the hiring documents classify you as an “independent contractor.” Some employers require their workers to sign a document that indicates they are an independent contract in an attempt to avoid liability if a workers’ compensation claim is ever filed against them. If your employer is trying to deny you workers’ compensation benefits on the grounds that you are an independent contractor and not an employee, contact Pearson Koutcher Law today to see if you have been misclassified.

Factors in Support of you Being Classified as an Employee, not an Independent Contractor

When a Workers’ Compensation Judge is deciding whether or not you are an employee, and thus eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, first and foremost, they are looking for the degree of control that your employer maintains over the work you perform. The more control that your employer exercises over your work and the more supervision that they provide, the more compelling an argument you have that you are an in an employee-employer relationship. Here are some other factors that the Judge will consider in determining whether you are an employee or independent contractor:

  • Are you paid by time – the hour or the week? Being paid by time usually means that you are an employee, not a contractor who is normally paid by the job.
  • Do you use your employer’s machinery and tools? Independent contractors normally provide their own machinery and tools to do the job.
  • Are you allowed to turn work down? Independent contractors can select the jobs they choose to do. An employee cannot decline work.
  • Is the work that you are doing part of the normal business of the employer? If yes, you are more likely to be considered an employee.
  • Are taxes taken out of your paychecks? The withholding of taxes is consistent with an employee-employer relationship while a company’s failure to withhold taxes and issuance of a 1099 is consistent with independent contractor status.

Hurt At Work? Call The PA Workers’ Comp Lawyers At Pearson Koutcher Law

If you have been injured at work and denied benefits on the basis that you have been mischaracterized as an independent contractor – or for any other reason — contact our team of workers’ compensation lawyers at Pearson Koutcher Law to discuss your case. Our lawyers have decades of experience standing up to insurance companies to ensure that injured workers receive the benefits they deserve. If you need assistance with your workers’ comp. case, please contact Pearson Koutcher Law for a free consultation today!