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    Employee Misclassification: Employee vs. Independent Contractor

    Occasionally, employers will misclassify their workers, officially designating them as “independent contractors,” when in fact they should be classified as “employees.”

    Why Does Employee Misclassification Happen?

    Unlike in the case of employees, business owners need not offer independent contractors health insurance benefits, paid vacation, or sick leave. In addition, employers do not owe payroll taxes on the labor they receive from independent contractors. Obviously, there are benefits, although these are decidedly illegal, for an employer who misclassifies their employees as independent contractors.

    What Is An Independent Contractor And Am I One?

    Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation Law defines an “independent contractor” as a worker:

    • who “has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the perfomance of the services involved, both under his or her contract of service and in fact, and
    • as to these services, the individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business.” (Section 4(l)(2)(B) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation).

    The first point makes it clear that an “independent contractor” must satisfy these conditions both “under her or his contract of service and in fact.” If these conditions don’t seem to fit your own situation, chances are you are legally considered an “employee,” regardless of how your employer has officially classified you.

    How Can My Employment Classification Affect Me?

    For misclassified employees, an employer’s illegal misclassification can be extremely dangerous. This is especially true when an employee classified as an independent contractor is injured on the job. Because these employees are not formally recognized as employees, they may be denied workers’ compensation benefits to which they are actually entitled.

    Contact A Workers’ Compensation Employee Misclassification Lawyer

    Are you a worker who, after being injured on the job, was denied workers’ compensation benefits because your employer classified you as an “independent contractor”? Or are you not sure of your proper classification, and want to learn more? Contact the Disability Law Advocates Group, P.C. today, and put our over 30 years of distinguished legal service on your side.

    For a consultation, call 215.563.0600 or fill out our online contact form. Together, we can fight for employer accountability. No one should have to suffer the damage of an employer’s negligence.