What is an Employee for Purposes of a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Compensation Claim

The workers’ compensation system in New Jersey is designed to provide benefits when someone is hurt on the job. Often, there’s no real issue as to whether the injured person was an employee. If you are on the company’s payroll, have submitted a W-4 and receive a W-2, then you’ll be considered an employee. But what if the employer alleges that you’re an independent contractor? Can you file a workers’ compensation claim against the company to whom you were providing services?

In New Jersey, the assumption is that anyone providing services to an employer is an employee for workers’ compensation purposes unless all of the following conditions can be shown:

  • The worker has been and will be free from direction or control of the performance of duties, both as agreed upon in any contract, and in fact,
  • The services provided are outside the usual course of business, or are performed outside all the places of business where such services are performed, and
  • The worker customarily performs these duties in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business

If a dispute arises regarding whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development will customarily complete a “worker classification questionnaire,” based on an interview with the worker. Among the questions asked to determine status are:

  • Type of business you operate—is it a sole proprietorship, partnership or other legal entity?
  • Are you required to work fixed hours?
  • Did you have other clients at the time you provided the services?
  • Approximately what percentage of your income was from the employer during the period you worked for them?

Contact Our Office

To arrange a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.

We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. There will be no attorney fees unless we get compensation for your losses.

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