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Employee or contractor? Four ways to tell the difference.

Distinguishing between a position as an employee or an independent contractor continues to be a problem in the workplace. The distinction is important, as employers are generally required to have workers' comp coverage for their employees.

If an employee is injured, the coverage should provide benefits. In contrast, benefits are generally not available for a contractor.

Are employers misclassifying employees as contractors? In short, the answer is yes. There are situations where employers are misclassifying their employees as contractors.

Although many employers are honorable, others may attempt to take advantage of the system and misclassify their employees as contractors in an attempt to lower their expenses. After all, a fewer number of employees translates to lower workers' comp rates.

What can workers do to protect themselves? There are some proactive steps workers can take to protect themselves. The first involves having a basic awareness of when a worker should be classified as an employee, not an independent contractor.

An easy way to examine whether you may be an employee is to ask yourself these four questions.

  • Do you lack control over the details of your job?
  • Can the employer fire you?
  • Does the employer provide all tools and other things needed to do the job?
  • Does the employer control your work schedule?

If the answer to these questions is yes, you are likely an employee.

When does misclassification matter? Misclassification becomes particularly important in the event of an injury. Workers that are injured while on-the-job can generally hold the employer responsible for the associated costs. These costs can include medical bills, rehabilitative expenses and lost wages.

If you are injured while working, regardless of your classification, it is wise to contact an experienced work-related injury attorney to discuss your options and better ensure your legal rights are protected.

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375 Bridgeport Avenue Suite 9
Shelton, CT 06484

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