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Am I considered an employee under workers' comp guidelines?

If you are injured on the job, achieving Workers' Compensation benefits can be crucial to securing your financial stability and peace of mind. Being eligible for workers' comp depends, however, on whether or not you are considered an employee or independent contractor in Illinois. Distinguishing between the two can be difficult in some cases, and is known to lead to employment law disputes. Fortunately, the Employee Classification Act outlines criteria for determining employment status.

According to Business and Legal Resources, legal distinctions between what characterizes an employee and independent contractor can blur. This is especially true in the construction industry, where contractors regularly employ temporary workers and subcontractors alike. Beyond that, it is not unheard of for employers to misclassify their employees as independent contractors in order to avoid providing required coverage like workers' comp insurance. Consequently, the Employee Classification Act establishes what type of work relationships and conduct qualifies as independent contracting under the law.

Unless or until you meet the criteria described by the Employee Classification Act, you are generally considered an employee. Standards for being identified as an independent contractor include:

  •          Engaging in an independently established business, profession, occupation or trade
  •          Being free from the direction or control of the contractor for services performed
  •          Providing services outside of those usually performed by the contractor

Other factors can be taken into consideration when determining your status as either an employee or independent contractor. Keep in mind, then, that the information provided above cannot be used as legal advice.

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