In today’s working world, more and more people perform jobs on a contract basis. This may leave many to wonder if there is such a thing as Georgia workers’ compensation for independent contractors. As a rule, independent contractors are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Technically, independent contractors are self-employed; they are both employers and employees. However, Georgia laws that define independent contractors are complex, and often, even though someone may not be a regular W2-type employee, he or she still may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are a contract worker in Atlanta and have been injured in the course of your job’s duties, contact Bader Law Firm, LLC, at 678-562-5595. Our workers’ compensation attorneys will review your case at no cost to determine your eligibility. If you have been denied workers’ compensation for any reason, we can help, too.
Factors that Determine Independent Contractor Status
In order to qualify for workers’ compensation, there must be an employer-employee relationship. Even if you receive a 1099, Georgia courts hold that you might still be considered an “employee” if the employer assumes any control over the time, manner, or method of your employment.
When determining whether or not a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, the courts will consider a number of factors, including those listed below:
- The method of payment you receive;
- Length of time you are employed;
- The party that selects materials and tools;
- The party that controls the hours worked;
- The intent of the work contract; and
- Whether or not the employer has the right to hire and fire.
Independent Contractor vs. Employee: Real Case Example
In Golash v. Cherokee Cab Co., the Georgia Court of Appeals had to decide whether or not a cab driver was an employee and due workers’ compensation benefits. The court used the “right to control” test in which the court assessed whether or not the employer had the right to control and direct the cab driver’s work as per the employment contract.
The facts of the case were as follows:
- The employer had the authority to tell the driver when to arrive at work.
- The employer told the driver the duration of the shifts and when to cease work for the day.
- If the driver didn’t obey the employer’s directives, the employer had the authority to terminate employment.
Given the evidence in the case, the Court determined that because the employer did exert control over the “time, manner or method” of the driver’s employment, the driver was to be considered an employee and therefore was eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
So, if your employer is arguing that you are an independent contractor and not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, you must establish that the employer controls the time you work and the manner in which you complete your work. Consult a work injury attorney at Bader Law Firm, LLC in Atlanta. You can contact us at 678-562-5595 for a free consultation.