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South Carolina Workers' Compensation and Employee Misclassification

workers compensation claim formSome employers purposely misclassify their workers as independent contractors as a way to save money. By not listing certain workers as employees, a company may pay less for workers’ compensation insurance. If misclassified employees are hurt on the job, they may not receive workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and lost income.

Most workers in South Carolina qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If you report to a job at a certain time and take instructions from a supervisor, or you meet other legal standards, you probably do, too.

The attorneys of Land Parker Welch LLC help injured workers obtain the benefits they deserve under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation program. If you need help with a workers’ comp claim, we’d like to talk to you about it.

Contact us now for a free claim review.

Employee Misclassification Is a Problem

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program. Employers are required to provide coverage for their employees. Most workers must be covered, but some – such as independent contractors – isn’t. If an employer can simply declare employees independent contractors, it can save money.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) calls misclassification of employees a serious problem for employees, employers and the entire economy. Misclassified employees are also often denied access to such benefits as overtime pay, minimum wage, and unemployment insurance. Employee misclassification also results in substantial losses to state workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance funds, as well as to Social Security and Medicare funds.

Independent Contractor or Employee?

For people who are injured in a workplace accident, the problem of employee misclassification becomes serious after they file for workers’ compensation benefits. They may be surprised when their claims are denied and they are notified that they are not recorded in the system as employees.

In most cases, the individual was misclassified as an independent contractor.

The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission requires coverage for full-time and part-time workers and others who have been hired to do certain jobs. The general test of whether a worker is an employee is whether the employer has the right and authority to control and direct the particular work or job task to determine how it is accomplished.

Factors include:

  • Any direct evidence of the right or exercise of control over the worker.
  • Who furnishes tools and equipment.
  • The method of payment.
  • Whether the alleged employer has the right to fire.

Appealing a Denied Workers’ Comp Claim

If you believe that you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, it is probably because you have been denied benefits, such as workers’ compensation. If you have been denied workers’ comp in South Carolina, you may appeal the decision, but you have a limited period of time to do so.

At an appeals hearing, you will be allowed to present evidence and testimony that support your claim. Your employer and its legal team are allowed to present evidence and testimony as well. Such a hearing proceeds much like a case in front of a civil court judge, with both sides presenting their cases, and the workers’ compensation commissioner handing down a decision.

The attorneys of Land Parker & Welch can help with your workers’ compensation appeals hearing. We can ensure you request a hearing on time (which is crucial), gather evidence of your employment status and be prepared to address claims from your employer.

The workers’ compensation appeals process can be lengthy and complex in South Carolina. The assistance of an experienced workers’ comp attorney may be the key to obtaining the benefits you deserve.

Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Land Parker Welch LLC can help you appeal a denial of benefits if you have been wrongly classified as an independent contractor.

Call us now or use our online contact form to set up a free legal consultation.

More Information:

Employee Misclassification as Independent Contractors, U.S. Department of Labor