Workers Compensation and Independent Contractors

Workers Compensation and Independent Contractors

In Oklahoma, Workers Compensation and Independent Contractors status determines if you are covered under workers comp insurance.  Oklahoma boasts of being the “Heartland of America”.  This includes a large population of middle class and blue collar workers.  Often, these workers will fall into one of two categories:  an employee or an independent contractor.  However, depending on which label applies to you, you may have legal recourse against your employer if you receive on-the-job injuries.  This will also affect any worker’s compensation claims you may want to file.  A 2014 Oklahoma workman’s comp case set out the factors distinguishing an independent contractor from an employee.

Factors Determining Status:  Employee or Independent Contractor

It is important to know that Oklahoma generally requires you to be an employee in order to collect any type of damages from an employer.  This means that you may not be able to collect worker’s compensation either.  Independent contractors fall under a separate set of liability rules and thus, do not receive the benefits of employees.  Here are the main factors that courts consider when making the employee or independent contractor determination:

–  The contract is a written document.

–  Does the employer control most of the work, or does the person doing the work control it?

–  Is the work supervised?

–  Who supplies the tools and their storage for the work?

–  What is the method of payment?

–  How long does the work relationship last between the workers and the employer?

–  How do parties view the relationship?  Is it a master-servant, or is it more equals?

While other factors exist, these are the most important.  Your goal in court is to prove you are an employee, not an independent contractor. Employees can receive damages and recovery expenses, including medical and disability.  An independent contractor generally cannot.

You may want to read this / Personal Injury Claims in Oklahoma

Workers Compensation and Independent Contractors Legal Support

Because of the nature of business, many employers may try to label employees as “independent contractor” to avoid liability.  Our work injury attorneys in OKC will fight to ensure you aren’t railroaded by a faulty label.  If you receive on-the-job injuries, you deserve recovery.  Let us make sure you get what you deserve.  First consultation is free. Call us at 405.367.8710