independent contractor Illinois workers compensation law

Many Illinois employers are looking to “game the system” or find what they think are creative ways to avoid taxes.  Sometimes they do this by paying cash under the table.  Other times they do it by calling an employee an independent contractor.

While their main goal is usually to avoid payroll taxes, if you get hurt while working for them they will try to deny you benefits by saying that you didn’t really work for them.  The question is will they get away with it.

There are many factors the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission looks at to determine if you are in fact an employee or not.  If you are, no matter what they call you, you will be entitled to workers comp benefits.

The number one factor they look at is called right of control.  Does the company have control over you?  Can you turn down assignments and still get future work?  Can you do the same work for someone else including a competitor? Do you set your own schedule or do they dictate one for you?  If you are driving a truck can you set your own route? The more control they have the more likely it is you will be classified as an employee.

Other factors include:

  • Do you provide your own tools or equipment?
  • Is there a contract that sets out the term and scope of work for them?
  • Is there a uniform they make you wear?
  • Are you working at their premises day in and day out?
  • Are taxes taken out of your pay check?

All of these things are relevant. The more in your favor, the greater the chance you will prove you are really an employee and be able to win work comp benefits.  It’s REALLY important that if your case is denied because you are being called an independent contractor that you hire an attorney who has a track record of handling these cases and taking them to trial.  Experience is hugely important in these claims.

Bonus tip.  Some employers make you sign a document that states you agree you are an independent contractor.  That’s another factor, but doesn’t kill your case.  You can’t be made to waive your rights to work comp benefits and if they have control over you, you will still win.

If you have any questions or want to talk to an attorney for free, fill out our contact form or call us at 312-346-5320.  We cover all of Illinois.