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Workers’ compensation and ‘independent contractors’: Don’t assume you can’t qualify

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2021 | Types Of Workers |

In Minnesota, only direct employees of a business or other employer may qualify for workers’ compensation after a job-related injury. Workers the law classifies as “independent contractors” generally do not qualify.

At a construction site or other workplace, it can be hard to tell the difference between employees and independent contractors, who work just as hard and do most, if not all, of the same tasks. And just because your employer says you are a contractor and not an employee, it does not necessarily mean it’s true. Under state law, you might actually be an employee and therefore have the right to seek workers’ comp.

An employee vs a contractor in Minnesota

When it comes to the construction industry, state law provides a nine-point test for determining if a worker is a contractor or subcontractor’s employee or independent contractor:

  • Does the worker maintain a separate business with their own office, equipment, facilities, etc.?
  • Does the worker have a federal employer identification number, or have they filed self-employment or business income tax returns with the IRS?
  • Is the worker operating under a contract to perform specific services for the company for a specific compensation rate? If so, does the worker control the means of performing the service?
  • Is the worker paying the main expenses associated with the service?
  • Is the worker responsible for completing the service, and are they liable if there is a failure to provide the service?
  • Does the business pay the worker on a commission, per-job or competitive bid basis?
  • Might the worker realize a profit or a loss under the contract?
  • Does the worker have continuing or recurring business liabilities or obligations?
  • Does the worker’s business depend on the relationship of business receipts to expenditures?

There is a lot to consider here. The point is, your employer might be misclassifying you as a contractor when you are actually an employee. Don’t give up fighting for workers’ comp benefits if you have been hurt on the job.

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