Are independent contractors eligible for workers' compensation in Rhode Island?

Some workers are exempt from claiming workers’ compensation benefits. Babysitters, domestic employees, sole proprietors of businesses, and independent contractors are not entitled to workers' compensation after an injury on the job in Rhode Island.

However, this does not mean that workers who are injured have no way to get payment for their injuries. Depending on the facts of the case, a worker who has been labeled an independent contractor may be eligible to seek payment through a work injury lawsuit. Independent contractors and workers' comp

Independent Contractor vs. Employee

An independent contractor is hired by an employer to do a specific job for an agreed-upon rate. Contractors are not only exempt from workers’ compensation but also unemployment, overtime, and other work-related benefits. As a result, employers often wrongly classify employees as independent contractors. So, if you’re injured while working, you should closely examine the terms of employment to determine if you fit the definition of an independent contractor. Contractors differ from employees because they:

  • Are free to work for other employers
  • Have a signed contract outlining the responsibilities of the worker and employer
  • Are free to perform work at the time and manner they prefer
  • Perform work that requires a particular or specialized skill
  • Set their own hours and use their own tools
  • Can be paid either by the job or by the hour
  • Do not have a long-standing working relationship with the employer
  • Operate their own business or have their own employees

Even if an injured worker is an independent contractor, he or she can still get compensation. Unlike regular employees, contractors are not barred from suing an employer for a workplace injury or illness. We can examine the facts of your case and advise you on the best way to move forward with your claim. Contact our work injury attorneys today to schedule your no-obligation consultation.