To be an independent contractor comes with advantages for the Pennsylvania employee and the employer. However, what it often leaves out is the benefits that a traditional employee has rights to attain. If an employee suffers an injury on the job, he or she will often receive workers’ compensation benefits. This is not necessarily true of independent contractors. However, it may be a more complex issue than most realize. Whether a worker can receive benefits boils down to the classification of the worker and whether or not he or she has the correct classification.
According to the University of Pennsylvania Law School, employers are under no obligation to supply insurance to independent contractors. This means that if you are a true independent contractor then you do not collect workers’ compensation benefits. Independent contractors are not direct employees of a business. If a company is at fault for injury or illness to an independent contractor, the business may still be liable.
There are instances where employers misclassify workers as independent contractors. Incorrectly classifying an employee as an independent contractor denies those employees rights and benefits. The Fair Labor Standards Act provides protections and minimum wage to most workers in the U.S. Even if you agree to be an independent contractor, this does not give the employer the right to misclassify you. Likewise, if you receive a 1099 or sign an independent contractor agreement, you may still be an employee under the FLSA. It is possible to be misclassified unknowingly.
None of the information is here is legal advice and you should only use it for educational purposes.