Freelancers and contract workers are a growing work force in this country. Many people take on freelance work in addition to their regular jobs to generate more income, and many people choose to seek out freelance work full-time. Some economists think independent contractors are the future of the workplace, because more workers are demanding the freedom and independence freelance work offers. Technology has also made it easier than ever before to work from anywhere as a contractor.
If you’re working as a freelancer, though, things like workers’ compensation laws and legal claims in Hollywood and Florida can become more complicated. If you’re injured on the job, for example, what are your rights? How will you replace lost income and pay your medical bills? If you find yourself in this situation, contact a Hollywood personal injury attorney for legal advice. Flaxman Law Group is always standing by to help you if you have been injured.
What Kind of Worker are You?
The answer can be more complicated than you might think. You may assume that you are a full-time worker entitled to compensation, but if you are injured on the job you may find that your employer has misclassified you as an independent contractor. Whenever you take on a job, it’s important to read the employment agreement and to pay attention to how you are labelled. If you are a full-time or part-time worker you are generally covered by workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits. You also have additional rights. If you are listed as an independent contractor, you will generally not be subject to withholdings but you won’t be covered by workers’ compensation and other protections, either.
Some employers misclassify traditional workers as freelancers. They can often avoid paying higher workers’ compensation premiums if they do so. In some cases, the laws are complicated enough that employers might genuinely be confused. In general, you may be a traditional full-time or part-time worker if:
1) The company or employer controls the work you do and how you complete your work
2) The company provides tools for work and controls where and when you complete the work
3) The employer treats you like a traditional worker (for example, by offering benefits, withholding earnings, offering ongoing work, and letting you handle essential parts of their business)
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Being classified as a freelancer when you’re actually doing the work of an employee can be harmful to you financially, and it can become a real problem if you’re ever injured. The best way to protect yourself is to read all contracts closely and make sure you have the paperwork to prove your status as a worker.
If you do freelance work, it is important to take added precautions. If you’re a contractor and are injured, you may find your source of income cut off immediately if you’re too injured to work. You might also lose contracts and clients as you recover, meaning that once you’re feeling better you may lose even more money as you rebuild your business.
One of the best protections you can take is to buy the most comprehensive insurance possible. If you have subcontractors, you may be required by law to have insurance in place. Even if you don’t absolutely need it under current laws, get medical insurance, liability insurance, disability insurance, business insurance, and any other type of coverage you may find useful. Keep in mind that many of these expenses may be tax deductible, which can make the coverage more affordable. You can also join a freelancers’ union or group that gives you access to group insurance, benefits, or legal advice.
What Are Your Options After a Workplace Injury in Hollywood or Your Community?
If you’re a freelancer and have been injured or you are a worker who has been injured but misclassified as a contractor, you need legal advice. An attorney can review the specific benefits you may qualify for and can explain to you whether you have a legal claim.
If you need legal advice because you’ve been injured in a workplace in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group today. At Flaxman Law Group, we have made a firm commitment to never treat clients like numbers. We look at clients as people who deserve to be treated with sympathy, compassion and respect – especially since they are often going through a difficult time following an injury or loss. From the first day we meet to the final resolution of your case, we will be professional, honest, committed, and deserving of your business. We will listen and remain empathetic to the challenges that you may face. We will work to develop a solid and personalized legal plan for your situation so that you can get the results that can help you heal. To get started, contact our law firm for a free consultation.