Many people enjoy working as an independent contractor because it offers a level of freedom not typically available to most employees. However, as an independent contractor, you are not protected by certain state and federal labor laws from certain occurrences such as discrimination, workplace injuries, and overtime compensation.
Employers are required to follow a strict standard when they identify a worker as either an employee or an independent contractor. Often, employers incorrectly classify an employee as an independent contractor in an effort to avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits or to avoid paying unemployment taxes.
If you are an independent contractor or believe that you were wrongly classified as one, you may want to talk to a Charleston independent contractors’ rights lawyer. A skilled workers compensation attorney could explain your rights under the law and build evidence for a case against an employer who misclassified you or otherwise denied you those rights.
Definition of an Independent Contractor
In recent years, independent contractors have become a major part of the workforce. However, despite their importance to the economy, independent contractors are generally not considered employees of a company. Instead, they are classified as temporary workers who are hired to perform a specific task.
Neither the South Carolina Legislature nor the Charleston Code of Ordinances provides a clear definition of what legally constitutes an independent contractor. For general purposes, the definition of an independent contractor has been developed by case law in South Carolina as someone who:
- Exercises independent employment
- Contracts to do a piece of work according to their own methods
- Is not subject to the control of their employer except for the result of the work
For more information about who is considered an independent contractor, contact a Charleston independent contractors’ rights lawyer.
Could an Independent Contractor Receive Workers’ Compensation?
If someone works in Charleston as an independent contractor, they may not be entitled to worker’s compensation, which provides employees with broad coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and disability for injuries suffered in the workplace.
South Carolina workers’ compensation laws generally require any employer who employs four or more employees to provide workers’ compensation insurance, but independent contractors are exempt from this requirement. This exemption often results in lawsuits before the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission to determine proper employee classification.
Right to Control Test
Because the line between an employee and an independent contractor is often blurred, the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission and the courts employ a test known as the right to control test. Under this test, a worker can be considered an employee if:
- There is evidence the employer has a right to exercise control over the employee
- There is an established method of payment
- The employer furnishes the employee with equipment
- The employer maintains a right to fire the employee
It is important to carefully review these factors with a seasoned attorney to determine whether an individual is covered under the state workers’ compensation system. An independent contractors’ rights lawyer in Charleston could be of assistance when it comes to making these kinds of determinations regarding a worker’s rights.
Speak with a Charleston Independent Contractors’ Rights Lawyer
Given the rapidly changing workforce in Charleston and elsewhere in America, you may find you have many questions regarding your rights as an independent contractor. A Charleston independent contractors’ rights lawyer is prepared to answer your questions and explain your rights in the workplace.
If you believe your rights as an independent contractor were violated, a local attorney could work to furnish evidence that you were wronged and entitled to compensation for your losses. Call today to get the help you may need to fight for your rights.