Workers' Compensation Conundrum: When Workers Aren't Employees


In the context of workers' compensation, the term "workers" does not have the same meaning as the conventional definition of the word. This is because the "workers" in workers' compensation refers only to workers classified as employees. This means workers who aren't classified as employees aren't entitled to workers' compensation benefits, even if they get injured on the job. Here are three examples of workers who aren't employees:

Independent Contractors

An independent contractor has control over the details of his or her work. As an independent contractor, you have your own tools, don't work for one person, and do your work in your own way. This is unlike an employee who has to be told what to do, how to do it, and what to do it with.

A good example of an independent contractor is a plumber with his or her tools who gets hired by anybody who has plumbing needs. Contrast this with a plumber who doesn't have plumbing tools, but takes them from his or her boss' and does whatever work the boss throws his or her way. This second plumber is an employee and is therefore entitled to workers' compensation.


If you donate your services and time (usually on a part-time basis) without contemplating any pay (in cash or kind), then you are a volunteer. Volunteers usually work part time for religious, public service and humanitarian organizations. They are not considered employees and aren't entitled to workers' compensation.

Consider an example where you work at a local thrift store run by a charitable organization. If you haven't signed a contract for remuneration, and you don't expect any, you are a volunteer and shouldn't expect workers' compensation in case you are injured at the store.

Casual or Seasonal Worker

Are you a seasonal or casual worker? Such a designation may also exclude you from workers' compensation benefits. You are a casual or seasonal worker if you only work at certain times of the year. For example, if you shovel snow out of sidewalks during the winter or help pick fruits when they are in season, then you are likely a casual worker. As a casual or seasonal worker, you may not even have guaranteed work.

These are only three examples of workers who may not be employees; there are others. States also have different definitions of who is an employee. Some states also have exceptions that allow some non-employees to receive workers' compensation benefits. Therefore, just because your boss has labeled you a volunteer or an independent contractor, it doesn't mean you should give up on your workers' compensation claim. Consult a workers' compensation lawyer to confirm or disapprove your boss's claims. For more information about worker's compensation claims, contact a legal practice such as the Law Office of Leslie S. Shaw


17 December 2015

personal injury due to defective products

Defective products are produced and sold to consumers all of the time. Unfortunately, some of these defective products cause consumers injuries when they malfunction. So, what can you do if a defective product causes you or someone that you love some kind of injury? This blog will show you how the legal system works to protect consumers from instances such as this. You will find out about personal injury lawsuits and what it takes to file and proceed with a lawsuit to hold the company that manufactured that defective product responsible for the role that they played in the pain that has been experienced.