Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Friday, June 27, 2014

Worker misclassification results in denial of benefits

Workplace injuries can often be prevented, but sometimes injuries occur because of the carelessness of a fellow employee. An example of this type of accident is a permanent hand injury suffered by a Pennsylvania truck driver when employees of other companies failed to properly cap his pressurized tank and later failed to safely correct the problem. As a result of these mistakes, the trucker suffered an injury for which he is seeking over $75,000 of damages.

Sources did not mention whether the trucker received workers' compensation benefits for his injuries. Truckers who are classified as employees, of course, have the ability to seek workers' compensation as a matter of course. There are situations, though, where truckers may not have this compensation available. This can happen when a worker is classified as an independent contractors when he is actually an employee. 

Truckers, and workers in any industry, who are misclassified as independent contractors can be denied access to benefits and protections due to them as employees. These include overtime wages and minimum wage, family and medical leave, unemployment insurance and workers' compensation. The latter are particularly important when workplace injuries occur, leaving the worker unable to fulfill his normal job duties.

Workers who have been misclassified do not have to sit back and allow an employer to take advantage of them. Relief may be possible through appropriate legal action. In pursuing such litigation, it is important to retain an attorney experienced in workers' compensation law.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Injured truck driver blames accident on inexperienced workers," Jim Boyle, June 13, 2014. United States Department of Labor, "Employee Misclassification as Independent Contractors," Accessed June 25, 2014. 


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