Independent Contractor or Employee?

Originally Posted on February 28, 2012

To recover workers’ compensation benefits, an injured worker must be classified as an employee, as opposed to an independent contractor. Some employers attempt to deny benefits by claiming a particular injured worker is an independent contractor, as opposed to an employee. An employer cannot simply label an employee as an independent contractor, thereby evading workers’ compensation coverage. The Louisiana Legislature and the Courts have special rules in place to make this determination.

Additionally, this recent news release issued by the United States Department of Labor indicates that the misclassification of employees as independent contractors is improper. The misclassification of employees as independent contractors presents a serious problem because these employees often are denied access to critical benefits and protections — such as workers’ compensation, family and medical leave, overtime compensation, minimum wage pay and Unemployment Insurance — to which they are entitled.