Are you an Employee or Independent Contractor?

employee-or-independent-contractor2Independent contractors are usually not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  The Iowa Supreme Court has established several factors to distinguish an employee from an independent contractor for purposes of workers’ compensation coverage.  Please understand that no single factor is controlling.  Courts will consider the following criteria in determining whether someone is an employee or independent contractor.

  1. Hourly Wage vs. Fixed Price Payments

If your boss pays you an hourly wage for all work performed then you have an argument that you are an employee and not an independent contractor.  However, if you receive fixed payments for each particular job or project then you may be considered an independent contractor.

  1. Tools, Equipment, and Supplies

Independent contractors normally provide their own tools and equipment when working a particular job.  Conversely, if you utilize tools, equipment, and supplies furnished by your boss to complete work then you may be an employee.

  1. Supervision and Control

If your boss supervises and controls all of your work then you are most likely an employee.  On the contrary, if you have complete freedom to control the outcome of the work then that is evidence you are an independent contractor.

  1. Nature of business

Independent contractors typically provide services for multiple customers and advertise their areas of specialization, i.e., roofing, construction, or fencing.

  1. Employment of Assistants

Independent contractors have the authority to employ workers, supervise their activities, and pay their wages.  Employees have no such powers and privileges.

  1. Length of Employment

A longer period of employment at a certain job tends to establish an employer-employee relationship.

  1. Intention of the Parties

If your boss informed you that you are performing contract labor work at the time you accepted the job then you might be classified as an independent contractor.  On the other hand, employees are full-time workers with a firm schedule of set hours.

If you have sustained a work-related injury, please call Walter Thomas at Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP, at (712) 325-9000 or toll free at 800-726-5695 today for legal advice on how to proceed with your potential claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits.

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