As warm weather approaches, there will soon be a few more people in the workforce, performing jobs such as repairing roofs, repaving driveways or painting houses. It is often in these types of jobs that the dilemma exists, is the person an “independent contractor” or is the person an “emloyee”? The answer to the question can have dire consequences.
In the state of Ohio, if an individual is injured on the job and subsequently deemed to be an “independent contractor” then the person is not entitled to a workers’ compensation claim. Often times, “employers” will allege an individual is an “independent contractor” in an effort to have a potential claim denied.
While at times there may be an indication, in a contract or such, that the person is an “independent contractor” there are actually a number of factors that are used to determine if someone is an “employee” or an “independent contractor”. The “contract” does not necessarily carry the day one way or the other. The workers’ compensation law provides a list of factors, or guidelines, that can be taken into account. Who controls the hours worked, how the individual is paid and by whom, and whether the “employer” has a right to discharge the individual are just a few of the factors that are taken into consideration. All in all, it is very much a fact based decision.
If you or someone you know is injured on the job, keep in mind that you may be entitled to benefits under the workers’ compensation system, despite initial concerns or allegations of being an “independent contractor”. We at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A., are here to assist you with pursuing your rights and will review the facts of your case to determine if you qualify as an “employee” for purposes of coverage and protection under the workers’ compensation statute.