Are Contract Workers Entitled to Workers Compensation?
Sometimes. Whether they are entitled to workers’ compensation or not depends on whether they are employees or independent contractors. Although the terms “contract worker” and “contingent worker” imply that individuals who work as such are independent contractors, this is not always the case. Sometimes, companies hire employees for short periods of time or specific tasks and other times, companies and government entities hire their employees on a contractual basis. This is commonly seen in public schools and universities.
When you start a new job, always ask about whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation before you sign your employment contract. If you are an employee, you are legally entitled to this coverage. Ask about other employee rights as well, such as your FMLA rights and the right to join a union.
Who is a Contingent Worker?
Contingent workers are workers who are brought into a company for specific projects or short periods of time. Seasonal workers, consultants, and freelance contributors are all considered to be contingent workers.
Seasonal employees can sometimes be misclassified as contingent workers in an attempt by the employer to get around having to pay for certain benefits or uphold certain rights for the employee. Even if your time with a company is short-lived, if your job matches the requirements to for you to be considered an employee, rather than an independent contractor, you have the same rights as year-round employees.
Who is a Contract Worker?
A contract worker simply refers to any individual who works according to a contract. A contract is a document that states the type of work the individual will perform for the company, his or her rights and benefits, and the circumstances under which he or she may be terminated. A contract is for a specified length of time, at the end of which the employer may renew the contract or not.
A contract worker is not necessarily a contractor. He or she can be an independent contractor, in which case he or she is not entitled to workers’ compensation, but he or she can also be an employee, in which case he or she is entitled to receive this benefit.
Work with an Experienced New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you are a contract or contingent worker in New York and you have suffered an injury on the job, your employer might use your status to claim that you are not entitled to workers’ compensation. If you are not an employee, your employer is in the right – you cannot receive workers’ compensation. However, contract and contingent workers are not necessarily independent contractors and when they are employees, they are entitled to workers’ compensation. To learn more about your rights as a contract or contingent worker, schedule your initial legal consultation with workers compensation attorney Robert A. Koenigsberg of The Robert A. Koenigsberg Law Office. We can answer your questions and determine the best way to help you seek compensation for your damages.