Getting hurt on the job can change your life. Unfortunately, in some cases, your employer may make everything more difficult. After you get injured, you may discover that your employer considers you an independent contractor, not an employee. That could mean that you don't qualify for any kind of workers' compensation insurance coverage.
If you're hurt and unable to work, you may not be able to pay for private health insurance, which could leave you in a terrible situation.
An attorney can review your situation and determine if your employer illegally classified you as a contractor to avoid legal obligations. Claiming that workers are independent contractors when they are actually employees is all too common. By doing this, employers can avoid their legal responsibility, including tax withholdings and contributions, as well as carrying workers' compensation insurance. Thankfully, the state of Pennsylvania recognizes that these kinds of legal abuses take place. With the right attorney, you may be able to appeal to the state and get benefits for your work-related injury.
How do you know if you're an employee?
Employment law is complicated, and you may not be sure if you're really an employee or a contractor. Thankfully, the state of Pennsylvania has a basic test that can determine if you've been illegally classified as an independent contractor. There are three primary conditions that determine if you are a contractor: having a written contract for your work with an outside company, performing your work free of control or direction and typically working as a contractor, not an employee.
If the company you are working for provides tools or demands certain work hours, you're probably an employee who has been illegally classified as a contractor. If the company expects ongoing work and relies on your work for its general course of business, you have likely been misclassified. Intentionally misclassifying employees as contractors in the construction world is a violation of the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act (Act 72), which went into effect in 2011 to protect those working in construction.
An attorney can fight for your rights after a work injury
Don't let yourself get pushed around by an unscrupulous employer trying to cut costs at your expense. Even if you were legitimately working as an independent contractor, you may have other options after a work injury. For example, many who work in construction work as contractors. Often, if they do not carry their own workers' compensation insurance, the general contractor they work for should. An attorney can help you determine what your options are after a serious work injury when you're a contractor.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001