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My “employer” calls me an independent contractor. How will this affect me if I get hurt on the job doing work for him/her?

The first thing I like to say to anyone who asks me this question is QUIT the job! You are about to be set up for failure!

#1- This boss of yours is probably controlling your time, how you perform the job, when you do the work and is probably supplying you with the equipment and tools to do the job. If he is doing all this, you are not an independent contractor, you are en employee.

#2- So now you get hurt performing this job. Do you think for a moment he will offer you his policy of workers' compensation insurance coverage to get you medical care and pay you benefits while you are temporarily out of work? Don't kid yourself. This person will deny your claim in a heartbeat. You will be forced to hire an attorney and it will take 6 months to get you any relief. By that time, this shyster will be bankrupt.

The advantage of calling you an independent contractor is your “boss” pays no taxes on your behalf (no FICA-Social Security taxes), probably offers no health insurance, no retirement plan, no sick pay, no vacation pay, no overtime pay and of course, no workers' compensation benefits if you are injured.

In Georgia, the laws established defining the employment relationship heavily favors the creation of an employer-employee relationship and NOT an independent contractor status of the worker.

However, this may change as there are now “app-based” workers that Silicon Valley has named “marketplace contractors”. What does this mean? These new workers provide labor that is accessible through an on line marketplace. Examples are Uber and Lyft. The next will be TAKL or other repair services that you summons on line with their app.

Numerous states have carved out of their workers' compensation laws places for these marketplace contractors. There are no signs this phenomenon will hit Georgia, but I predict that the allure of not paying workers' compensation premiums, no taxes, no vacation, etc., will be too enticing to resist in the long run. Litigation will surely follow soon.

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