The gig economy has taken off in recent years, and many workers have turned to gig work to provide a secondary income or keep cash coming in during their normal job’s slow season. Others rely on gig work as their main source of income, and being a flexible worker in the gig economy can lead to some lucrative opportunities. However, being a gig worker also has some potential drawbacks, one such being the potential complications you may run into if you suffer an injury on the job. In today’s blog, we examine how gig workers can rightfully collect workers’ compensation after a work injury.
Getting Work Comp As A Gig Worker
Whether you’re delivering food, giving people a lift or connecting with clients through a smartphone app, there’s a decent chance that the company paying you sees you as a gig employee or an independent contractor. Even though they classify you as this type of employee on their end, that’s not what matters in the eyes of workers’ compensation law. Instead, your employment status will be determined based on an application of rules created to classify employees.
In Minnesota, you are likely considered an independent contractor if you can say yes to the following categories:
- Do you maintain a separate business with your own office, equipment or materials?
- Do you hold or have you applied for a federal employer tax ID number?
- Have you filed business or self-employment income tax returns with the IRS?
- Are you operating under contract to perform services for a person for a specific amount of money and under which you control the means of performing the service?
- Are you incurring the main expenses related to the services you’re providing?
- Are you held liable for a failure to complete services?
- Do you receive pay on commission or per-job or competitive bid basis?
- Could you suffer a profit or loss under the contract you’ve agreed to?
- Does your individual business depend on the relationship of business receipts to expenditures?
- Do you provide your own tools?
Obviously this is a pretty extensive list, and oftentimes we run into clients who can say yes to some of these points and no to others, which only complicates matters further. Also, we’ve worked with clients who say their employer has specifically told them they are ineligible for injury benefits, even though they are. Don’t take your employer’s word at face value if you suffer an injury. There is a small chance that they are intentionally misleading you, but there’s the much bigger possibility that as these new jobs emerge and the laws change that you actually are protected with injury compensation. Even if they aren’t intentionally trying to keep you from filing, it’s the employee who suffers when they are misguided about injury compensation, so talk to a lawyer about your options today.
If it turns out that you are technically employed by the business, you’re absolutely covered by the workers’ compensation system. Even if you are a gig employee, you may have compensation options if another party’s negligence or product failure contributed to your injury, so don’t assume you’re out of options. Give Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm a call today to see if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
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