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Independent Contractors Eligibility for Benefits

Published April 26, 2016 by Matt Fendon Law Group | Firm News

If my contract of employment says I’m an independent contractor and I’m injured on the job am I eligible for benefits?

The easy answer to that is “it depends.”

Often, employers in Arizona will try to categorize injured workers as independent contractors so they don’t have to pay workers’ compensation benefits.

What the courts will look at is the following information to determine whether an injured worker is an employee or an independent contractor: the duration of the employment, the method of payment, the right to hire and fire, who furnishes equipment, whether the work was performed in the regular course of the employer’s business, and the extent to which the employer exercises control over the details of the work.

The courts will do a totality of the circumstances test to determine whether an injured worker is an employee or an independent contractor. If they are found to be an independent contractor, they will not be eligible for Arizona workers’ compensation benefits.

Often, employers will have employees sign a contract that says they are an independent contractor. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are one. The courts will look at the test factors above to make the determination on whether they are an employee or not.

If you have any questions about independent contractors or any other issues involving Arizona workers’ compensation benefits, please contact Fendon Law Firm for a free consultation. We have offices in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Prescott Valley, and Tucson. We treat clients like family because we are family. Contact our firm today!

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