When you work as an employee for a non-subscriber employer in Texas, you do not have a right to workers’ compensation if you are injured at work. You must show your employer was negligent in order to obtain the compensation you deserve. Unfortunately, even if you can show this, your employer may deny any liability by claiming you are an independent contractor.
What Is an Independent Contractor?
In general, an independent contractor is a self-employed person operating his own business independent of the people he does work for. He controls his schedule, may hire other employees, and often purchases his own materials. In contrast, an employee is dependent on his employer for the terms and conditions of his job and for his continued employment. His employer basically tells him what to do. Some of the factors that determine whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor include whether the employer instructs the worker, whether the employer trains the worker, and whether the employer sets the worker’s schedule.
Why Would Your Employer Want to Claim You Are an Independent Contractor?
It is not uncommon for a non-subscriber employer to deny an employee injured at work any compensation, claiming the employee is an independent contractor. Here are the benefits he gets from saying this:
- The more control your employer has over you, the more responsibility he has to provide you with a safe work environment. If you are an employee and can prove your employer’s negligence, you could have a strong claim for compensation.
- If you are an independent contractor, your employer’s duty to provide you with a safe work environment is much less than for an employee. He could argue that he does not supervise you or control enough of what you do to face responsibility for your injuries. Your claim for compensation would be much more difficult to prove if you were injured on the job.
Just because your employer says you are not an employee does not make it true. An experienced workplace accident attorney can help you defeat your employer’s bogus claim that you are not really an employee. If you or a loved one was injured in a non-subscriber workplace accident, call the legal team at the Hart Law Firm at (817) 380-4888 to learn how we can help you.