Contractor Work Injuries in Oklahoma are not covered by Workers compensation insurance.The question of whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor is extremely important for on the job injuries. While the Oklahoma worker’s compensation system can provide free medical care, short-term wage replacement and even long-term disability benefits, these forms of compensation are available only to employees not contractor work injuries. Many injured workers presume that they do not qualify for benefits. This is because the business classifies the worker as an independent contractor to avoid paying for contractor work injuries. However, the classification by an employer does not determine status for worker’s compensation purposes.
The determination of whether a worker is an employee relies on the nature of the relationship. If the relationship has certain features that characterize an employment relationship, the worker may be an employee. This is despite mis-classification by the business.
Factors Identifying an Employment Relationship:
Tools and Equipment: When the employee supplies the equipment and/or work tools, this more likely makes a person an independent contractor.
Character of the Work: When the type of work performed is comparable to the principle type of services provided by the business, this will tend to suggest that the worker is an employee. If the company manufactures medical equipment, a worker that molds the rubber tends to be an employee. By contrast, a roofer fixing leaks in the roof will likely be an independent contractor since roof repairs are irregular.
Degree of Control over Job Duties: When an employer exercises significant authority and control over the day to day functions of a worker, this will tend to make someone an employee. If the company imposes specific procedures and policies to which the worker must adhere, this is one of the most important aspects of an employment relationship. An independent contractor will tend to operate under his own business license, operating permit or other form of authority.
Characterization under a Written Agreement: While the company will point to an independent contractor agreement as evidence that someone is not an employee, this is not controlling if the features of the relationship and level of control over the worker is more representative of an employment relationship.
Form of Compensation: Most independent contractors tend to be compensated based on completion of the job or productivity. However, employees are more typically paid based on salary or wages on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Further, companies sometimes misclassify employees to avoid payroll tax. So a worker may be an employee. This is true, even if the person is receiving compensation by 1099 rather than W-2.
Our Tulsa Worker’s Compensation Attorneys can advise you regarding your right to receive benefits under Oklahoma’s worker’s compensation system. This is even if the company you were performing services for claims you are a 1099 worker. If ultimately you cant bring a workers compensation claim you may still be able to get compensated for your work injury. Call today for a free consultation. We care about your work injury and can help you.
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