According to the Economic Policy Institute, businesses misclassify between 15 and 20% of working Americans. In Louisiana, a study of 865 employers by the Louisiana Workforce Commission revealed that over 9,400 employees were misclassified as contractors. Misclassification is considered a form of labor fraud and can cost injured employees their workers’ compensation benefits. Here’s what you should know and how to get help from a Louisiana workers’ comp lawyer.
The act of misclassifying employees as contract workers rather than staff members is known as employee misclassification. Businesses can avoid having to pay unemployment insurance, workers’ comp insurance, and other taxes on their labor by using this illegal method.
Employees who are misclassified as contract workers are not entitled to the same basic legal protections as workers are. For example, the labor laws that apply to employees who work for a company do not apply to independent contractors who provide service to a business.
Workers’ Comp Benefits Denied to Independent Contractors
Independent contractors are not eligible for benefits from workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job. Usually, contractors carry their own insurance for this reason. Benefits injured employees get that contract workers do not include:
- Medical benefits for hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, etc.
- Indemnity benefits to replace two-thirds of your wages, up to a certain amount
- Assistance with vocational rehabilitation if your injury temporarily or permanently prevents you from doing the same kind of work
How Do I Know If My Employer Has Committed Workers’ Comp Fraud?
It might be difficult to know if your employer is engaging in workers’ comp fraud. In some instances, a company may not even be aware that it is committing this violation.
Seeking advice from the Louisiana Workforce Commission might be beneficial, however, government entities typically can only issue the offending business a warning or penalty. They cannot help employees who have suffered damages as a result of workers’ compensation fraud recover damages. This is best handled by an attorney with specific experience in workers’ comp and labor fraud cases.
Call The Wanko Law Firm, LLC
You need comprehensive, compassionate legal support after suffering a work injury. Ask questions or schedule a consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation case by calling The Wanko Law Firm, LLC at (985) 893-6530. Serving all of Louisiana, including Covington, New Orleans, Houma, Thibodaux, and Mandeville.