Do You Really Have Workers' Compensation Coverage? How To Know
Imagine that you get hurt on the job but are not eligible for workers' comp. For the vast majority of employees, workers' comp provides valuable help for those unable to work due to a work-related illness or accident, but what if you are not actually an employee of that company at all? Read on to learn about some cases where you should be covered but may not be.
Who do you work for? Most people know that they appear each day ready to complete the required tasks of the job but perhaps they don't think much about who employs them. In any given workplace there can be temporary workers, contract employees, day laborers and many other special categories of employees working right alongside direct-hire employees of the company. They may wear the same uniform, perform the same tasks and even earn the same amount of money but the similarities might come to a halt when it comes to workers' comp coverage. Here are some common categories of workers who are likely not able to benefit from this coverage that pay them a portion of their salary while recuperating at home.
Contract employees: This category of employee has risen to become, in some cases, the bulk of the workforce at some companies. Independent contractors are considered to be self-employed and must pay their own taxes and take care of any benefits on their own. It can be difficult for sole-proprietors to get this form of coverage, however. If you are provided a 1099 at the end of the year instead of a W-2 form then you are probably an independent contractor.
Volunteer workers: With few exceptions, volunteer positions are not covered by any type of workers' compensation insurance. In some instances, the need for firefighters is so great and the potential for injury is so dire that some states do offer volunteer firefighters workers' compensation coverage.
Temporary and day laborer employees: Large and well-known agencies like Manpower, Kelly and others place employees by the thousands into positions each day. Often the employees of these companies are used as fill-ins for absent workers or to supplement a particularly busy time of the year. Fortunately, many of the better temp companies do provide benefits that include workers compensation for those hurt at work.
Domestic workers: Unless the employee works through an agency, like Merry Maids or Molly Maid, there is no insurance coverage.
Undocumented workers: Coverage available for this category depends on the state. Some states, like California and others, provide these workers with the same forms of coverage that would be provided for workers at the same company.
If you feel you are unfairly being denied workers' comp benefits, speak to a workers compensation attorney at once