Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

Workers' Compensation and factors classifying an employee

When workers on Staten Island and throughout New York are injured or become ill on the job, they might think they are eligible for Workers' Compensation benefits. However, some employers will try to avoid providing these benefits by claiming that the person is not an employee. There are certain factors that are used to decide whether a worker is an employee. Those who are embroiled in a disagreement with their employer should understand them and seek legal help to get their benefits.

The right to control means there is a level of control and direction that the employer has over someone who is contracted to do certain tasks. If there is control over how the task is done, this indicates that the person is an employee. If the worker is in control of various factors, such as when and how the work is done, they could be considered an independent contractor. If the work is consistent with the type of work done at the business, then the worker will be viewed as an employee. If it is a different primary role, the person could be viewed as a contractor.

The way the worker is paid is important. Since employees get their wages at certain times and taxes are withheld, then those paid in this way will be considered an employee. The tax form is irrelevant when determining eligibility for Workers' Compensation. However, if the person is paid for the work done in total, they will generally be perceived as an independent contractor. When equipment and materials are provided, this indicates that the worker is an employee. Finally, the right to hire and fire is a sign that the person is an employee. A contractor's job can be terminated if the work is not what the contract requires.

Since many New York businesses try to shield themselves from paying Workers' Compensation benefits, the way a worker is classified is important, especially after an injury or illness has occurred. If there is a dispute, a law firm that helps people with their Workers' Compensation benefits should be contacted immediately.

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