Are You an Employee or an Independent Contractor?
If you are injured at work, are you entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits? The answer to that question may not be as clear as you might think. While it is true that the legislature passed last year AB5, which created a presumption that most workers are employees, employers can still rebut the presumption and demonstrate that a worker is properly classified as an independent contractor by establishing the worker is free from the control and direction in performing work; performing work that is outside the usual course of business for the company; and customarily engaged in an independently established trade. In response to AB5, lawmakers also passed Assembly Bill 2257, which exempted hundreds of contract-based jobs from adhering to AB5 and voters approved Prop 22 in November of 2020, which exempts app-based driving companies, such as Uber and Lyft, from classifying its independent contractor drivers as employees and from providing them with benefits such as Workers’ Compensation coverage. Because this “employment issue” can be complicated and is most assuredly very fact-driven, it is important to consult with a legal professional concerning your rights and remedies should you be injured while working. Consulting with a certified specialist in the field of Workers’ Compensation will help you navigate the often treacherous and ever-changing field of Workers’ Compensation law.