Employee Misclassification Can Affect Workers’ Compensation Benefits

September 2, 2015 |
Employee Misclassification Can Affect Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workmans' Compensation

When a company hires you to do a job, the company must decide whether to classify you as an employee or as an independent contractor. There are many differences between the two classifications, especially in regard to the benefits to which you are entitled, such as unemployment or workers' compensation. Workers' compensation benefits are extremely important in case you ever suffer a job-related injury or illness. However, workers who are deemed to be independent contractors are not entitled to this type of benefit.

Are you wrongfully classified?

Many workers are clearly and rightfully independent contractors and they should be aware that they will not receive workers' comp if they are injured on a job site. However, in too many situations, a company may refer to someone as an independent contractor simply to save money when that individual should actually be classified as an employee with all the protections and benefits of an employee. Simply calling someone an independent contractor is not enough to make them one and both federal1 and state2 laws set out guidelines for determining the distinction. While every case will have its own unique circumstances, the following are some of the factors for classification:


  • Works hours set by the company
  • The company provides the training, tools, and materials for the job
  • Works on an indefinite basis
  • The company has a greater degree of control over an employee

Independent Contractor

  • Often makes their own schedule
  • Provides their own training, tools, and materials for the job
  • Often work on a per-job basis
  • The independent contractor has greater control over themselves

The determination largely comes down to the matter of “control” of the worker, though there is plenty of gray area in many situations that can lead to misclassification.

Misclassification can violate workers' rights

Misclassification is especially common in the construction and trucking industry. This is problematic because these are two of the industries that have higher rates of injuries. This means that a worker who should be an employee but is classified as an independent contractor will be denied the workers' comp benefits they deserve. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help identify whether you have been misclassified and can help you stand up for your rights to benefits as an employee. If a court determines you should have been classified as an employee, you have the right to past as well as current benefits.

Find out how a Michigan workers' comp attorney can assist you

If you were misclassified as an independent contractor and were, therefore, denied workers' compensation benefits, you can challenge the decision by challenging your original classification. This is a complex legal argument, however, and you should always have the assistance of a workers' compensation lawyer who fully understands the relevant laws in Michigan and knows how to challenge workers' comp denials. The team at Michigan Injury Lawyers has assisted numerous individuals who were injured on the job receive the benefits they rightfully deserve, so please do not delay in calling us at 888-454-0801 for a free consultation today.