A gig economy is a labor market characterized by temporary positions, independent contractors, and freelance employees. Popular services that function in the gig economy include Uber, Lyft, and GrubHub.
A report by Intuit predicts that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers will be independent contractors. The booming gig economy allows millions of workers to earn money flexibly or earn extra money for themselves and their family.
However, the gig economy has presented challenges for both employees and employers, and lawsuits have been filed across the country to determine the rights of workers and employers in this uncertain economic environment. If you believe you faced unjust treatment from your employer, you may want to contact a Charleston gig economy lawyer. A quality workers’ compensation attorney could go over your rights with you and ensure you are being fairly compensated.
Determining Employee Classification
The biggest question in the gig economy is whether a worker is considered an employee or an independent contractor. This classification is important for workers because independent contractors are generally not provided the same protections or benefits as a traditional employee.
The South Carolina Legislature has not codified a strict definition for an independent contractor. Instead, the courts have generally used a control-test to determine whether an employee is an independent contractor. Under this system, determining whether an employee is an independent contractor is not always a clear-cut process.
The control test considers an employee a worker if an employer can exercise authority and control over an employee’s direct work, such as the manner or means of its accomplishment. The test also looks at whether the method of payment is consistent with that of a traditional employee, such as by withholding taxes. Lastly, to be considered an employee, the employer should provide the necessary materials for the job, rather than the worker purchasing their own materials.
Understanding workers’ rights in a gig economy are complex and rapidly evolving. A Charleston gig economy attorney could help explain and advocate for a worker’s rights as an employee in a gig economy. Additionally, a skilled local lawyer could guide employers through this developing field to ensure their company is abiding by state and federal laws.
What Makes an Independent Contractor Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
The Workers’ Compensation Act provides workers with broad protections for injuries suffered during employment, including medical coverage, lost wages recovery, and payments for disability. According to S.C. Code Ann. § 42-1-130, a worker may be covered by workers’ compensation if, in the context of the trade, business, profession, or occupation of their employer, their employment is not considered casual or short-term. For more information about the eligibility for workers’ compensation, contact a well-established Charleston gig economy lawyer.
Benefits of Working with a Charleston Gig Economy Attorney
If you work in the gig economy and are unsure of your rights, you may want to contact a Charleston gig economy lawyer. If the relationship between you and your employer is not well-defined, it could affect your future health and well-being.
A knowledgeable attorney could help you fight for your rights in the workplace so you can receive the benefits and compensation you deserve. They could also help you navigate the complex and developing gig economy to defend your rights to employee benefits. Call today to discuss your concerns and start exploring your options.