While independent contractors generally aren’t employees of a business, workers’ compensation laws can muddle the rules—especially when it comes to the construction industry.
All Minnesotan employers are required to hold workers’ compensation coverage or be self-insured (in rare instances). These benefits protect workers who are injured on the job. This is great for employees, but what does it mean for independent contractors?
Worker’s compensation rules are especially complex in the construction industry, where independent contracting is common. The State of Minnesota offers a guideline to understand how independent contractor status effects workers compensation.
The state outlines nine factors for determining whether an someone qualifies as individual contractor. The number one factor states:
“Maintains a separate business with the individual’s own office, equipment, materials and other facilities.”
While this covers the most important factor—that an individual operates a separate business or files self-employed tax returns, all nine factors must be met to achieve independent contractor status. It is important for employers and contractors to review all nine.
Even independent contractors performing building construction services may be considered an employee. In these instances the employer must provide workers’ compensation coverage.
This is a complicated area. While the state offers good information that we suggest you review, the specifics can still be confusing.
Independent contractors and business owners need to be aware of worker's compensation laws. If you believe you are entitled workers’ compensation from an employer but actually meet the requirements of an independent contractor, you could be leaving yourself susceptible should you be injured.
No matter your status, you deserve protection from injuries while on the job.