Independent Contractor vs. Employee in Illinois

Independent Contractor vs. Employee in Illinois

According To The Workers’ Compensation Commission, Not Everyone Who Gets A 1099 Is An Independent Contractor

The percentage of employees who get health insurance benefits and the other legal protections afforded to full-time employees is getting smaller and smaller, even as Americans work more and more hours per week. One of the strategies employers use to reduce costs is to classify as many workers as possible as independent contractors, even when the workers are doing the work of full-time employees. According to the IRS, everyone who gets a form W-2 is an employee, while everyone who gets a 1099 is an independent contractor, but in other areas of the law, it is not that simple.

Employment lawyers represent many workers who allege that their employers have misclassified them as independent contractors when they are really employees. From the perspective of workers’ compensation law, actions speak louder than words. Employees are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits when they get injured at work, but independent contractors are not. When 1099 workers file workers’ comp claims, the Workers’ Compensation Commission decides on a case-by-case basis whether the interactions between the employer and the injured worker are characteristic of an employment relationship or an independent contractor relationship. If your employer is refusing to pay for treatment of your work injuries on the grounds that you are an independent contractor, contact a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer.

Employer Disagrees With Injured Trucker About Whether He Is an Employee

Antoni began his truck driving job in 2007. Upon accepting the job, he signed paperwork that classified him as an independent contractor, but he did not understand it well, because of his limited English language proficiency. He later testified, through an interpreter, that he thought the employer would not give him any work if he did not sign. In March 2009, Antoni got injured at work. While walking behind the truck to check the load in the trailer before embarking on a trip, he slipped and fell, briefly losing consciousness as a result. For months after the accident, he continued to suffer pain in his neck, back, and left shoulder.

This began a lengthy dispute about whether Antoni was an employee or an independent contractor. Antoni argued that the Workers’ Compensation Commission should treat him as an employee, since the truck he drove belonged to the company, and when driving it, he followed its rules about routes, gas stations, and checking in with the employer at the beginning of the workday. The company engaged the services of some drivers as employees and others as independent contractors; employees got paid every Friday, while independent contractors got paid at the conclusion of each trip. Antoni had received all of his paychecks on Fridays. The employer argued that, because Antoni had so much flexibility about his work schedule, and because of the signed agreement, he was an independent contractor. The employer mentioned that, from October 2008 to February 2009, Antoni had not worked for the employer because he was visiting his relatives in Poland, and he had resumed working for the employer upon his return to Illinois.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer About Accidents at Your Independent Contractor Job

A workers’ compensation lawyer can help make the best determination and argument as to whether you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Call or text Connolly Injury Law at (312)780-0816 today.


By Connolly Injury Law |

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