I was hired as an Independent Contractor as a Corporate Sales Rep fired as they didn’t want me to file Worker’s Comp

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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I was hired as an Independent Contractor as a Corporate Sales Rep fired as they didn’t want me to file Worker’s Comp

I was recently hired by a private company as an independent contractor after discussing employment with the company but for tax purposes they had decided it would be better if I were an independent contractor as their corporate sales rep. They then fired me after having had a terrible accident on my way to Corporate Headquarters for a mandatory meeting last week, as they didn’t want me to file for Worker’s Comp on behalf of the accident, which totaled my vehicle and sent me to the hospital. They have also refused to pay me for the last pay period, which is now past due and have threatened me with their attorney, by which they will not authorize me to speak to. This has all been done over email so I have copy of all of their communications. I have also been a licensed Realtor for almost 20 years, for which I am also an independent contractor, though back 16 years ago when I was working and was hit by another vehicle, it was handled through worker’s comp. Is there a reason why this would be any different?

Asked on August 18, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you truly were an independent contractor, you are not entitled to worker's compensation: only employees get worker's comp, but contractors are not employees. Sometimes, though, a person is incorrectly labeled ("misclassified") as an independent contractor when they should actually be considered an employee; if that is the case, they could get worker's compensation and may be entitled to other compensation, too (such as to have the employer reimburse them for that portion of social security, medicare, etc. taxes which an employer pays for an employee; for the value of other benefits which an employee would have gotten, but which they, because they were misclassified, did not). Go to the U.S. Dept. of Labor website and look up "independent contractor": you will find criteria there for when someone is and is not an independent contractor. Compare to your situation. If you believe after doing so that you really should have been considered an employee, consult with an employment law attorney about not just bringing your claim for the worker's compensation, but also for other compensation to which you may be entitled.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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