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Definition of Independent Contractor

Independent contractor is a person who contracts to do work for another person according to his or her own methods and processes. A true independent contractor is not subject to another's control except for what is specified in a mutually binding agreement for a specific task. There are several factors that the courts and labor law enforcement agencies look at in determining whether you are an employee or an independent contractor.

In regard to workers' compensation, an employer may claim that an employee is an independent contractor rather than an employee in order that they do not have to provide workers' compensation coverage for that employee. In so doing, the employer is lowering their workers' compensation insurance premium that they have to pay. The truth of the matter may well be that the individual is really an employee and not an independent contractor. A person who is a true independent contractor is someone who does a specific job and has control over the method, manner and means of doing that job. If you are being referred to as an independent contractor when you believe that you are really an employee of an employer, you need to contact your state's workers compensation system and/or speak to a workers compensation attorney about your rights to be covered by workers' compensation in the event of a work-related injury or illness.

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