In South Carolina, employers are not required to offer workers’ compensation benefits for independent contractors. However, there are specific circumstances for when an individual is considered an employee or a contracted worker, and employers may try to cheat the system by misclassifying employees as contractors to avoid payroll taxes and workers’ comp premiums. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission will address the following factors when determining your eligibility for workers’ compensation coverage by your employer.
Lack of Direction and Control
If you determine when and how you work, you are in control of your own schedule and methods of accomplishing your work. If your employer lacks direction and control, you may be considered an independent contractor.
If the employer provides the equipment needed for you to complete your work, you may be considered an employee. Independent contractors typically have their own equipment and do not depend on the employer to provide any tools or resources necessary to complete the job.
Character of Work and Training
Another factor in distinguishing a contracted worker from an employee is the type of work and level of skill involved. If you are considered a specialist in your line of work and only perform a single job, you may be considered an independent contractor. Contracted workers often work for more than one company. If you are trained to do multiple tasks for the same company, you are more likely to be considered an employee.
Hiring and Payment
Contracted workers normally do not go through the formal interview and hiring process. The contractor and employer may negotiate payment, but typically the contractor determines the value of his or her work and pay is received upon completion of the job. Employees, on the other hand, receive hourly or salary-based wages as determined by the employer.
If you have signed any contracts or agreements stating you are an “independent contractor,” this does not mean you are officially classified by the Workers’ Compensation Commission as a contracted worker. All the above factors must be taken into consideration before determining your status as an employee.
If you are a contracted worker, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation as determined by the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you have been unfairly categorized as an independent contractor by your employer in an attempt to avoid providing you the workers’ compensation insurance benefits you deserve, you should talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. If you are hurt on the job, George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers will fight for your rights as an employee and help you get the compensation you have earned.