Independent Contractors and Illinois Workers Compensation
We often receive calls from workers who were hurt on the job in Illinois, but are not receiving Illinois work injury benefits because their employer has classified them as an independent contractor. In reality, whether or not you can receive workers' compensation benefits isn't based on what your employer tells you or even if you sign a document that says you are an independent contractor. Rather, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission looks at a variety of factors in determining whether someone is truly an independent contractor or just one in name only. These factors include:
- Did your employer take taxes out of your check?
- Were you exclusively bound to the employer or could you work for whoever you wanted to?
- Was a uniform provided?
- Were tools or other materials provided?
- Were you given instructions on how to do your job or did you make those decisions?
- Did you set your own hours?
This isn't an absolute list and typically the Illinois Workers Compensation has looked at "right of control" as the biggest factor in determining whether someone is an independent contractor. The reason behind this law is the state of Illinois doesn't want employers to avoid their responsibility to have work injury insurance.
A good example would be a worker who sustained a back injury on the job, but was paid through a 1099 tax form. If his boss owned ABC construction company and the worker could only work for ABC, had to show up at a specific time every day and was given instructions on how to complete a task along with tools, they likely would be able to receive benefits under Illinois workers compensation law.
If you have questions about whether or not you are an independent contractor, have questions about your job injury or would like a referral to a workers' compensation lawyer in Chicago or anywhere in Illinois, please do not hesitate to contact us. All calls are free, confidential and the work injury attorneys in Illinois that we recommend only charge a fee if they make a recovery for you.