Unique Workers' Compensation Aspects of Independent Contractors and Traveling Employees
Recognize the common factors courts consider in determining whether or not a worker was an employee at the time of an injury.
While the decision of whether or not to pay a workers’ compensation claim is multi-factored, high on the list of elements is whether the injured worker was in the course and scope of employment. And as black and white an issue as that might seem to be, it is not always so cut and dry. There will be times a worker is designated an independent contractor and thus ineligible from workers’ compensation benefits. The worker may claim that despite the classification, they were in fact an employee, and thus entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Alternatively, there is the ever-thorny issue of whether a worker that sustained an injury outside of the workplace was considered a traveling employee, which would likely make any claim for benefits for the injury compensable. This topic will provide an overview of the many components considered by the courts in determining whether a worker was in an employment relationship at the time of an injury. In doing so, the material will inform and provide guidance to employers and insurance professionals on the many components of the traditional master-servant relationship that are critical in making judgment calls on compensability.
• You will be able to discuss significant legal developments relative to the gig economy and their potential impact on workers’ compensation systems.
• You will be able to explain the concept of worker classification and the drawbacks of misclassification.
• You will be able to identify the key differences between employees and independent contractors.
• You will be able to recognize the common factors courts consider in determining whether or not a worker was an employee at the time of an injury.