Based on workers’ compensation laws currently, you have to be an employee of a company to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you are a contract or 1099 worker, you have no access to protection should you suffer an injury on the job. You would have to take the company to court in a personal injury lawsuit.
Forbes notes, though, that the changing landscape of the American workforce could very well lead to companies extending workers’ compensation benefits to 1099 workers.
An antiquated system
One of the main reasons why the workers’ compensation system may not suit the needs of today’s workforce is because it went into place in 1908. There have been many changes since that time. The ideas that worked in the early 20th Century no longer meet our current needs.
In fact, today’s workforce is quickly becoming one of remote workers, and it is leaving behind the employee status. Many workers today work on contracts, giving them more control over their earning potential and more freedom when it comes to exactly what they do on the job.
These old laws focus more on what is best for the employer rather than what is best for the worker. Due to this, 1099 workers have no coverage.
The move to change the workers’ compensation system comes with the increasing number of people who are no longer an employee of companies but do contract work. There are benefits to the worker and the employer for enacting change. It can help to protect workers while also preventing companies from having to face lawsuits due to injuries, which is the main goal of the system anyway.