Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Are you an employee or independent contractor?
A recent ICAP (Industrial Claim Appeals panel) decision (WC 4-776-542) went into detail on the difference between being an employee and being an independent contractor. As an employee you have workers compensation benefits for a work related injury or disease as set forth by law. As an independent contractor you likely do not have such benefits. Being told you are an independent contractor does not make you one. In Colorado we have a statute that details certain criteria to be considered by a judge in determining if you are an employee and potentially covered by workers comp or not. The statute is at Colorado Revised Statutes 8-40-202(2)(b) and gives us 9 criteria to consider. Essentially the criteria pertain to the extent of control over the worker in certain ways. In the recent case a carpet cleaning company tried to assert that the worker was an independent contractor when he was injured driving in a company truck to a customer. The vehicle rolled over causing traumatic injuries. The employer defense failed and the worker was deemed an employee. The employer appealed to ICAP and the decision was affirmed in a case which went in depth into the caselaw and statute.