In California, workers’ compensation is available to all those full- and part-time employees who are injured on the job. Such workers are covered by the state’s wage and hour laws, and anti-discrimination and retaliation laws. It should be pointed out, however, that volunteers and independent contractors are not covered by workers’ compensation.

It is sometimes the case that an employer will incorrectly classify an employee as an independent contractor in order to avoid payroll taxes or covering them under their workers’ compensation insurance. Often these workers are under the assumption that their medical expenses will be covered by workers’ compensation in the event of a serious injury sustained while at work.

How can I know if a technically an independent contractor?

This can be a tricky distinction to make, as no set definition for “independent contractor” exists. On the other hand, just because your employer labeled you an independent contractor does not make it so.

You may not be regarded as an independent contractor by the state if the person paying you:

  • Supplies the materials or tools for your work
  • Has the authority to fire you
  • Pays you according to an hourly salary
  • Makes you work certain days or hours
  • Controls the details or manner of your work
  • Makes deductions for unemployment or social security

You will need to scrutinize the nature of your work to determine if you qualify for workers’ compensation, ideally with an experienced Anaheim work injury attorney who can clear up many of the confusing points of the program. You may have to involve state agencies that regulate independent contractors such as the Franchise Tax Board (FTB), Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), and the Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB).

Many factors need to be considered if you have been denied workers’ compensation on the basis of your alleged status as an independent contractor. It is best to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as you can who can make an informed determination as to your status.

Don’t let an employer wrongfully classify you as an independent contractor. Speak with the Law Offices of Robert Willyard for the legal guidance you need after being injured on the job.