Am I An Employee?

As the U.S. economy, along with the job market, struggles through troubled times, more and more employers have latched on to the idea of using contracted workers rather than direct-hire employees in their operations — and more workers, unable to find traditional full-time employment, have been willing to enter these arrangements. Usually, the worker must accept certain compromises that come with the territory, such as limited or no employer-paid fringe benefits. But they may be surprised to learn that in the eyes of the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL), they may be employees after all.

According to the Employer’s Guide to Workers Compensation published by the New Jersey DOL, the definition of Employee is interpreted more liberally and broadly for workers comp claims than it is for tax or unemployment compensation purposes. The guide goes on to state:

  • A variety of working relationships have been determined employer-employee, including some that would not appear to be a typical employment situation.
  • A contract or other agreement as to whether an individual is an employee is not binding in determining whether an employee-employer situation is present.

New Jersey courts have developed a test for defining an employer-employee relationship:

  1. The Control Test — Whether the business exercises supervision and control over what work is done and how it is done.
  2. The Relative Nature of the Work test — Whether the worker relies on income from the business and whether his or her work is an integral part of the business operation.

If the work relationship meets one or both of these criteria, the worker may be deemed an employee for purposes of workers compensation.

Posted in Workers Compensation

Tagged NJ workers compensation, workers compensation lawyers

Topics:  Contractors, DOL, Employee Benefits, Fringe Benefits, Full-Time Employees

Published In: Labor & Employment Updates, Worker’s Compensation Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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