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Many people do not realize that when it comes to workers’ compensation the definition of an independent contractor is not the same as what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says it is.

         Often, 1099’s are used in conjunction with the construction trades, but often they are used by employers just to try to avoid the taxes and expenses associated with having employees on a payroll.

         It can be a confusing legal maze for an injured worker to navigate alone, and in the end, it is a legal argument best presented by a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney, but these are some of the factors that might be considered:

  1. Does the worker have the ability to hire help and to control those helpers?
  2. How does the firm pay the worker by the hour, day or job?
  3. Is the worker reimbursed for expenses?
  4. Is there a written contract?
  5. Are there set hours of work?
  6. Tools and equipment are furnished by whom?
  7. Is there instruction as to how, when, and where to do the work or how the work is actually achieved?
  8. Is any training provided by the firm? (Most independent contractors use their own methods and receive no training.)
  9. Does the worker have the option to decline work/assignments or does the firm have priority on workers’ time?
  10. Does the firm have the right to direct how the work is done, regardless of whether they exercise that right?

            Recently, Green Haines Sgambati has been successful in multiple cases involving injured workers who were hired to install carpet and flooring, but were paid via 1099’s.  The argument that they were independent contractors was rejected by the Industrial Commission and their medical bills and compensation was paid through the workers’ compensation system.

         Feel free to call our office today to schedule an appointment to review your situation with one of our attorneys.