How the ‘ABC test’ could affect your right to seek workers’ comp

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Unfortunately, not everyone in Hackensack who sustains an orthopedic injury at work can get workers’ compensation. If you are an independent contractor, your employer does not have to provide workers’ comp insurance coverage. In New Jersey, only direct-hire employees are entitled to this benefit.

This is one reason why many businesses like to classify most of their workforce as contractors rather than employees. But just because your employer claims you’re a contractor who cannot qualify for workers comp doesn’t necessarily make it true. Figuring out the truth about your work classification could be as simple as A-B-C.

The A-B-C’s of New Jersey workers’ comp classification

New Jersey workers’ compensation law applies the “ABC test” when there is a dispute over a worker’s classification. The test presumes that a worker is a qualified employee (except for certain exemptions) unless the following three things are all true:

  1. The worker has been and will continue to do their work without control from the business related to performance.
  2. The work is either outside the usual course of business for which such service is performed, or it is performed outside of all the places of business for the enterprise for which such service is performed.
  3. The worker generally works in an independently established trade, profession or business.

The burden is on the employer to prove that the injured worker is a contractor. If it cannot, the presumption that the worker is an employee and potentially entitled to benefits for a work-related injury or illness holds.

Taking on unfair denial practices

Employers and their workers’ compensation insurance carriers often use various tactics to try to avoid paying claims. Claiming that an injured worker is a contractor is just one such scheme. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you combat an unfairly denied claim.