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Understanding Independent Contractors Vs. Employees for Workers’ Compensation

Since employers do not have to pay for workers’ compensation for independent contractors, some may attempt to classify workers as such even when they are clearly employees. Workers cannot become independent contractors simply because that is the employers preference or because the employer and employee agree. Employers who misclassify their workers could face serious financial and legal consequences.

Determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee requires a detailed analysis of the facts and circumstances. The following are three facts about workers’ compensation and the independent contractor classification:

  1. If an employee’s wages are reported on a 1099 form that is not by itself an indication that the worker is an independent contractor.
  2. If multiple workers on a job site are performing the same function, it is very unlikely that they are independent contractors.
  3. If an employer improperly attempts to label workers as independent contractors in order to avoid paying workers’ compensation in Idaho, the employer may face severe consequences. This could include large premium payments due following an audit, cancellation of the policy, civil or criminal charges, fines—even jail time.


Generally, the key to the classification of independent contractor vs. employee is whether the worker retains control over the arrangement. Independent contractors have control over their schedules, the number of hours worked, the jobs that are accepted, job performance, and how the job is completed. In contrast, employees typically work according to a schedule set by their employer, and their performance is directly supervised that employer. There are exceptions to these rules—making it important to consult with an attorney if you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits in Idaho.

The attorneys at Morton Law Offices have assisted many other clients with their workers’ compensation claims. Read the firsthand accounts of our past clients on our client testimonials page. If you would like to contact Mr. Morton for an intial consultation you may contact him at 208.344.5555 or toll free at 888.716.8021 or by way of the online contact form at http://www.mortonlawyers.com/contact.cfm

For additional articles regarding Workers Compensation go to our document library at http://www.mortonlawyers.com/library/workers-compensation/


Alan Morton
Advocate for Justice/Trial Lawyer