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You say employee, your employer says contractor: who is right when NY workers’ comp benefits are at stake?

Sometimes determining if a worker is an independent contractor or an employee can be challenging.  Here are some things you need to know.


Businesses in New York like to hire independent contractors.  When they do, all they typically have to do is pay an hourly rate to the contractor.  They don’t have to pay benefits, overtime, taxes, workers’ comp insurance premiums and more.  This can be a significant cost savings, and a strong incentive for them to keep their workers classified as independent contractors.

You may not think it matters that you are called an independent contractor, but you may feel differently if you are hurt on the job.  This is because independent contractors don’t get workers’ compensation benefits.  However, you may be able to make the argument that you were misclassified and should have been an employee and get benefits after all.


Signs that you may be an employee, not a contractor:

  • Your job duties have changed over time, and you should be classified as an employee, not a contractor.
  • If the business you work for controls or directs what work needs to be done, you may be an employee
  • If the business you work for can dictate how you do your work, you may be an employee
  • If you do not have a significant investment in the work you are doing for a business, then you could be an employee (a contractor is more likely to have a significant investment in the work.)
  • If you do not risk losses from the work you do and you don’t have the opportunity to make a profit, then you are most likely an employee.  Contractors run their own businesses and are affected by ups and downs in their businesses income.
  • If you receive any benefits from the business you do work for, such as insurance payments, pension payments, paid leave or other benefits, then you could be an employee.  Contractors do not get these types of benefits from their clients.
  • If you perform critical, core work for the business you could be an employee.  Contractors are hired for their special skills, and don’t typically perform core business functions.
  • If you are treated like an employee – you work at the businesses office, the business sets your schedule and monitors your work, and takes disciplinary action if you don’t meet expectations.

Let a real New York workers’ comp attorney investigate your case

If you are an independent contractor who was hurt on-the-job in New York and think you deserve workers’ comp benefits, please contact our office today.


Markhoff & Mittman, P.C.

14 Mamaroneck Avenue

Suite 400

White Plains, NY 10601


Toll Free: 866-205-2415

Phone: (866) 205-2415

Fax: (914) 946-0810

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They kept my best interests at heart. Updates on a regular basis of the status of the case and returning of calls was much more prompt after I started dealing with the same lawyers and support team.
Danielle Dexter, Workers Comp Client from Westchester County