At Martin Law, we represent workers who are hurt in the course and scope of employment. Our Philadelphia independent contractor lawyers work to prove that you are an employee under the law, even if you have been told that you are an independent contractor. Being classified as a contractor or an employee is very important when it comes to your recovery. Our attorneys will work with you to protect your interests.
If you have been hurt while working for your employer, we can help. We only represent employees, never insurance companies. Call 215.587.8400 or contact our Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys by e-mail for a free consultation.
Knowledgeable Independent Contractor Representation
Our law firm has a comprehensive understanding of the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws and how they relate to independent contractors and other workers. There are many factors the courts can look to when determining the actual relationship between the parties, including:
- Customs in the industry
- Who supplies the materials used
- Who controls the aspects of the work
- Where the labor is completed
- Who controls the premises where the work is completed
As competent Philadelphia independent contractor lawyers, we know what factors to look for and how to use them to your advantage. Depending on your circumstances, we will strive to prove that you were an employee who is entitled to benefits for your workplace injuries.
Construction and Independent Contractors Workers’ Comp Statutes
Pennsylvania recently passed a new act making it harder for construction firms to define an independent contractor. Being classified as an independent contractor versus an employee makes a big difference in whether or not you are entitled to compensation. As a result of the new act, more people are being defined as independent contractors.
Our construction workers’ compensation attorneys will work with you to build a strong case for you. If you have been injured on the job as an employee, you are entitled to recovery.
Free Case Evaluation From a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Contact our independent contractor law firm toll free at 215.587.8400 to talk to our workers’ compensation attorneys about your injury. We have six convenient office locations in the Philly Metro area, Bucks County, Delaware County, Chester County and Berks County. We also have Spanish speakers on staff. Ask for a free copy of our Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Handbook.
Can Independent Contractors receive Workers’ Compensation benefits?
Injured workers know how easily a work injury can turn their lives upside down. You go from being comfortable to worrying about where your next meal is to come from and how you will take care of your family and yourself. The situation is even further complicated if your employer tells you that you aren’t entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits because you are an independent contractor rather than an employee. Many employers will improperly label an employee as an independent contractor because it
helps the employer reduce labor costs; avoid paying benefits; and they do not have to cover the individual under their Workers’ Compensation policy, which reduces the premiums the Employer has to pay. However, just because an employer labels someone as an independent contractor rather than an employee does not necessarily mean the individual is an independent contractor. The employer does not get to make this decision.
There are many businesses where an employer improperly labels an employee as an independent contractor; two of the biggest are truck drivers and construction workers. Misclassification of these workers as independent contractors is a large problem in Pennsylvania. However, under the law, to determine whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor is a very fact-specific process. For truck drivers, there are numerous things the Courts review including who controls the routes; who owns and maintains the trucks; whether the driver was performing work for a company that was a “regular or recurrent part of their business”; and whether taxes are taken from the individual’s paychecks. Please note, these factors are just some of the factors to be reviewed and when the Courts are considering the matter, they review it based on the specific situation.
For construction workers, the Pennsylvania Legislature has implemented measures to curb independent misclassification by construction firms. The Construction Workplace Misclassification Act (CWMA) sets forth a test to determine whether the individual is an independent contractor. The first prong is relatively straightforward: an independent contractor must have a written contract to perform services. Second, an independent contractor is “free from control or direction over
performance” of those services both under the terms set forth in the contract and in practice. This means that under the CWMA, if a task is being closely supervised and directed, the worker is an employee, not a contractor.
Finally, a contractor “is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business” to provide their services. A number of factors are set out by the CWMA to determine whether an individual meets the third prong; for example, a contractor must possess the essential tools of the trade, maintain a separate business premise, and carry at
least $50,000 worth of liability insurance during the contract period. As you can see, determining the difference between an employee and an independent contractor can be complicated. The attorneys at Martin Law are used to dealing with these
issues and have successfully, on numerous occasions, argued that an individual, who was categorized as an independent contractor by their employer, was, in fact, an employee, and therefore, entitled to wage loss and medical benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
Please call Martin Law for a free consultation with one of our attorneys, so we can assist you with these complex issues.