Some employers might try to avoid compensating a worker for a work-related injury or illness by claiming the worker was not an employee and instead was an independent contractor. Independent contractors are not entitled to workers' comp benefits (with some exceptions). Here are a few examples of North Carolina workers' comp claimants that the system recognized as independent contractors and therefore not eligible for benefits:
- A person engaged in selling newspapers was held not to be an employee of the newspaper and was therefore held to be an independent contractor when he had authority to solicit subscriptions and was free to select his own methods of sales. This is true, although some degree of supervision was exercised by the newspaper.
- A deceased hauler of lumber was considered to be an independent contractor where he hauled logs for the defendant at a specified rate per 1,000 board feet, employed his own helpers, and worked in his own way without any directions from the defendant.
- A scallop shucker was held to be an independent contractor when she received no training or instruction as to how to shuck scallops. She used her own equipment and she was paid per pound of scallops shucked. She was under minimum supervision and set her own work hours.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission reviews work injury claims on a case-by-case basis. If you're concerned your position will be classified as independent contractor status and you're avoiding a workers' comp claim because you think it may not be accepted - contact our workers' comp attorneys for a complimentary case evaluation. There is a statute of limitations for work injuries in North Carolina, so don't wait too long.