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How does worker classification impact your right to workers’ comp?

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

Worker classification determines a lot of things about your job. Your employer may classify you as an employee or an independent contractor.

If you are an independent contractor, you may lose certain benefits that you typically get as an employee, including the right to make a claim and collect benefits from workers’ compensation. So, you want to be sure that your worker classification is correct.

Proper classification

The biggest issue with worker classification is that employers often make mistakes. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission explains that how your employer pays you is not enough to determine your classification. Furthermore, simply calling you an independent contractor does not make you one in the eyes of the law.

Regardless of anything else, you are an employee for workers’ compensation purposes if your employer has control over the methods and means by which you work. This is the main factor considered when determining your worker status.

Control over your work means that your employer tells you what to do, how to do it and when to do it. It exerts a lot of control over your work from start to finish. In an independent contractor situation, you usually have control over the work. Your employer may assign you work to do, but you control every other aspect of completing it.


If you are not a true independent contractor under workers’ compensation regulations, then your employer must provide you with benefits as long as it employs more than two employees. However, if you are an independent contractor, then your employer does not have to provide you with this coverage.