Independent contractors are not eligible for workers' comp

The state of Maryland offers a workers’ compensation program that is designed to help you recover from a workplace injury or illness. However, here at McGowan & Cecil LLC, we know that this program is a complex one with many guidelines. One of those guidelines concerns independent contractors vs. employees.

The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission states that if you are classified as an independent contractor, you will not be covered by the state’s program. However, if you can show that your relationship with the company falls under the guidelines of an employer-employee relationship, then you may be able to receive benefits.

Typically, if you are an independent contractor, you sign an agreement with the company to provide a specific service but you remain in control of your hours and workload. For example, you work from home and provide web design services to a company. You are paid for the work that you accomplish, but you set the terms of when you work, how much work you do and what type of work you will do. In this case, you would be correctly classified as an independent contractor.

However, let’s say that you work for a company that states you have to be available between the hours of 8:00AM to 5:00PM. The company also determines how much work you need to accomplish. In this situation, the court may decide that you are incorrectly classified as an independent contractor since the company has more control over your work. Therefore, if you develop carpal tunnel from the job or back problems, then you might be able to claim workers’ compensation. For more information about benefits and injured workers, please visit our web page.

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