Workers’ comp law was first established in Michigan in 1912 as a means to protect relations between businesses and the laborers keeping them going. Workers’ comp law guarantees medical treatment, vocational resources, and lost wages to employees injured on the job regardless of fault. In return, employees cannot file civil lawsuits against their employers to collect additional compensation for pain and suffering. Businesses, of course, are responsible for purchasing workers’ comp insurance for their employees. However, this leaves a lot of room for questions about independent contractors and other employees filing 1099s and earning non-employee compensation.
What Constitutes An “Employee”
Section 161(1)(b) of Michigan’s Workers’ Disability Compensation Act states, “if the worker does not maintain a separate business, does not hold himself or herself out to and render service to the public, and does not employ other workers, the worker will be considered an employee.” Only employees meeting these strict qualifications are eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits.
Can Independent Contractors Claim Workers’ Comp?
Independent contractors do not meet the eligibility requirements outlined to earn workers’ comp benefits as employees. If there is some sort of accident and an independent contractor is injured, they will be entirely responsible for covering their own medical care and other related needs. However, because independent contractors aren’t technically employees, it is possible to file a lawsuit and seek additional compensation for damages related to negligence with help from reliable attorneys. It is advised, of course, that you contact an attorney regardless of your employment status to guarantee you receive the benefits and/or compensation you’re entitled to.
Do Employers Need Workers’ Comp Insurance For Independent Contractors?
Employers in Michigan are required to purchase workers’ comp insurance for independent contractors if said contractors work full time (meaning a minimum of 35 hours per week for at least 13 weeks); if there are three or more employees working at a time; if they are a public employer; if they are an agricultural employer maintaining three or more full-time employees, or if the employer is overseeing one or more full-time domestic employees in a household. Not having required workers’ comp insurance can lead to serious civil or criminal consequences, including $1,000 per day in fines and up to six months of jail time. Company executives can even be held personally liable for accidents.
Injured On The Job? Don’t Wait To Receive The Benefits You Deserve!
To learn more about workers’ compensation laws in Michigan and what type of benefits you qualify for based on your employment status, speak with one of the seasoned workers’ comp attorneys at Aiello Law Group. Call us, today, at 313.964.4900 or fill out the form in the sidebar or on our contact page, and learn more about how we can help you.