A common misconception exists that all employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance regardless of what kind of work they do, which employer they work for or what industry they work in. However, the law does exclude some categories of workers from coverage. While some variation exists from state to state, generally speaking, independent contractors; volunteers; federal and railroad employees and longshoremen; and business owners, partners, and sole proprietors are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Therefore, if someone working as a member of one of these exclusionary categories gets hurt on the job, they can benefit from speaking with an experienced West Palm Beach work injury lawyer at Franks, Koenig, & Neuwelt about their legal options. They may be covered by workers’ comp, but if not, there may be alternative legal solutions available to them.
Independent contractors are not employees as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Therefore they are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This distinction is why it is so critical to classify workers correctly. Sometimes, workers are misclassified unintentionally. Other times, employers try to pad their bottom line by misclassifying employers as contractors intentionally. If you believe you may have been misclassified and are entitled to benefits, contact a West Palm Beach work injury lawyer for legal guidance.
Volunteers, interns, and other unpaid workers are, by definition, not employees. Consequently, they are excluded from workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Though it’s not required, some organizations do purchase coverage for these team members anyway. The exception to this rule involves volunteer first responders such as firefighters and police officers. In an emergency, any volunteers asked to help by a firefighter or a police officer are generally covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Federal and Railroad Employees and Longshoremen
Federal employees, railroad employees, and longshoremen (also known as dock workers) have a form of workers’ compensation insurance. However, it operates through separate mechanisms from the traditional state system. These workers can benefit from connecting with a West Palm Beach work injury lawyer concerning how to obtain the full benefits available to them in an efficient manner.
- Federal employees are covered through the Federal Employee’s Compensation Act (FECA).
- The Federal Employers’ Liability Act covers railroad workers. This legislation is also known as the Railroad Workers Act.
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act covers longshoremen who get hurt or sick from exposure to something while working on United States waters and piers.
Business Owners, Partners, and Sole Proprietors
In most states, the owners, partners, and sole proprietors of a company are excluded from coverage under the workers’ compensation insurance. In a few other states, these individuals can elect to buy into the workers’ compensation program by paying the applicable premiums.
Other Excluded Workers
State laws exempt some different types of employees from workers’ compensation coverage. Here are a few examples of workers that may need to explore alternative solutions to workers’ compensation benefits with the help of a West Palm Beach work injury lawyer in the event of a work-related injury:
- Part-time domestic staff such as babysitters and housekeepers
- Part-time maintenance and lawn care staff
- Intermittent workers who work only a few hours in one year
- Taxi drivers
- Specific categories of agricultural workers
For more information, or to speak with a skilled work injury lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL, call The Law Offices of Franks, Koenig, & Neuwelt today!
“My attorney from Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt, Eric Lakind, returned my calls when I had a question or an issue. Lisa and Kim regularly communicate through emails and telephone to ensure that my injury is being taken care of and insuring that the workers compensation company is doing what they are supposed to be doing.”