When you get injured while at work, it is important for workers’ compensation purposes that you are a qualifying employee of the company. In New York, the state has made it easier for contractors working on construction sites to be fully covered by the main employer’s workers’ compensation insurance through the 2010 Construction Industry Fair Play Act.
According to the Workers’ Compensation Board, the Construction Industry Fair Play Act helps ensure that workers are properly classified as employees and not independent contractors. Since many construction contractors subcontract work, it leads to these subcontractors as being considered independent contractors and not employees. As independent contractors, they are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
The Act made it much more difficult for employers to label workers as independent contractors by requiring that the independent contractor label only be used for workers who meet three specific criteria. These criteria include the person works outside of the usual course of business, has complete control over work activities with no direction from the employer and that the person is already working independently in his or her trade.
The Act goes on further to include a test that will determine if a worker is an independent contractor or employee. The result of the Act is that most workers on a construction site are labeled as employees. What this means for you is that you are more than likely eligible for workers’ compensation should you be injured on the job even if you are a subcontractor. This information is for education and is not legal advice.