What to Do If You Have Been Misclassified as an Independent Contractor

Even if your boss claims you were working as an independent contractor, there are ways to prove you weren’t.

St. Louis man fired after workers compensation claim

Having workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory in Missouri. Any business owner or company must carry workers’ compensation to insure that if a worker is injured while on the job, the company has the means to cover the cost of their injuries. It is not only an insurance policy for the worker but also protects the business owner, who could potentially go bankrupt if someone gets hurt while working and they didn’t have insurance to cover it.

There are different rules regarding who is covered by workers’ compensation insurance and who is not. Certain occupations and working arrangements between employees and employers may not be covered under workers’ compensation. For example, most people who work in domestic fields or who are seasonal workers may not be covered. In the same manner, people who work offshore are covered under a different system called the Jones Act.

Typically, if you are an independent contractor, then you are probably not entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Independent contractors don’t directly work for a company or a business; they are for all intents and purposes considered “self-employed,” which means they usually don’t fall under the definition of being an “employee” who is eligible to collect workers’ compensation. But what if you aren’t an independent contractor, yet your boss is trying to claim you are in order to deny your workers’ compensation claim?

How to Prove You Weren’t an Independent Contractor

Although it is going to be a matter of your word against your boss’s, there are ways to prove that you weren’t an independent contractor. Unless you signed an agreement stating that you were working on an independent basis, then proving that you were an employee can be done.

The best place to start is to determine how long you have worked for your company. Usually, independent contractors come and go and are in and out of positions. If your lawyer can show that you have been employed in the position for a long time, then it is going to be difficult for your boss to prove that you weren’t considered an employee.

Other benefits and perks, like health insurance or bonuses, are usually a sign that you weren’t an independent contractor but that you were an employee, and are therefore eligible for workers’ compensation insurance. If you have a company car, a 401k, or any other perk of employment that can be proven, then it will generally be difficult for your boss to say that you weren’t an employee.

If you’ve been injured on the job in Missouri and are having a hard time getting the workers’ compensation that you are entitled to, get in touch with an experienced St. Louis workers compensation attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. Even if the company is trying to prove you weren’t an employee, there are likely ways to prove that you are.

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Updated: February 27, 2018