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Who is an employee for workers' compensation purposes?


Being injured on the job can take its toll, physically, mentally and financially. For these reasons, those who are considered to be employees in New York may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits, if they suffer an injury at work.

Per New York's workers' compensation law, several factors determine whether a person is considered an employee, and thus entitled to workers' compensation benefits. One factor is the right to control. If a person or business entity controls the way that a worker has to perform his or her job duties, then that worker may be an employee. Conversely, if the worker maintains control over the way he or she performs his or her job duties. as well as when he or she works, that worker may be an independent contractor, who is not covered by workers' comp.

Another factor is the character of the work done. If a worker's job duties are consistent with the type of work that the employer is in the business of, then that worker may be an employee. But, if a worker is doing something for the employer other than the type of work the employer engages in, then that worker may be an independent contractor.

A third factor is the way the worker is paid. In general, employees are paid on a regular basis, such as hourly or weekly. Moreover, employees generally have taxes withheld from their paychecks and may receive employee benefits. On the other hand, independent contractors are generally paid for completing the task as a whole.

A fourth factor is who is providing the materials needed to do the job. If a business provides the worker with the materials needed to do the type of work the business does, then that worker may be an employee.

The final factor is the employer's right to hire and fire employees. In general, if a business retains the right to hire workers and fire workers, then the workers may be employees. Independent contractors, on the other hand, determine for themselves when and how they are to perform their jobs.

When determining whether a worker is an employee covered by workers' comp, all of these factors will be considered. Therefore, workers who have been injured on the job and are wondering whether they can obtain workers' comp may want to speak to an attorney, who may be able to provide more information.

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