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Is an Ohio Independent Contractor Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?


Over the last decade, there has been an increase of Ohio independent contractors. There are now self-employed individuals within many industries, from industry professionals to service providers.

If you are an independent contractor in Ohio and are wondering if you are eligible for workers’ compensation, the answer is not a simple yes or no. Because while it is true that independent contractors are not employees, it is also true that some of these workers are misclassified.

Workers who believe they have a workers’ compensation claim in Ohio would be best served by talking to Columbus employment attorneys to understand their options.

What Is an Independent Contractor

A worker who is compensated for their work but are not employees are independent contractors. There could be a contract outlying the relationship or the understanding could be agreed to verbally. Because the worker is not an employee, the business does not withhold taxes. The independent contractor is responsible for making tax payments out of the financial compensation they receive for their work. For this reason, businesses do not carry unemployment or workers’ compensation insurance for these individuals, people who are not employees.

It can be a mutually beneficial relationship. With a lot of freedom, an independent contractor often decides when they will do the work. Plus, they can enjoy a variety of work from a range of businesses. On the other hand, employees are often told what they will be working on and when the work needs to be done.

Why Employers Misclassify Workers

Ohio companies have reasons for misclassifying workers. The main reason is that it can save the business a lot of money. Independent contractors are not entitled to minimum wage or overtime and the employer is not required to pay taxes, including unemployment insurance taxes or Social Security taxes, for a worker who is not an employee.

The practice of using independent contractors can be appropriate, but it can also be a way for an employer to enjoy the following:

  • Tax savings
  • Sidestepping the possibility of union organization
  • No obligation to supply health or pension benefits
  • Avoid verification of work visas

Moving Forward When an Independent Contractor Is Hurt at Work

If you were injured at work, as an employee or as an independent contractor, discuss your situation with Columbus employment attorneys. Most workers are not familiar with all of the classifications involved in workers’ compensation claims.

There are times when an employer has misclassified a worker. The practice can even happen throughout a company which can lead to collective legal action. In some circumstances the employer honestly did not understand the rules regarding independent contractors. In other cases, business owners actively misclassify workers to benefit from the avoidance of employee benefits and tax obligations.

The lawyers at Coffman Legal LLC are strong and committed advocates for all Ohio workers. Contact our attorneys today to further discuss your employment claim. They can guide you through the process of securing compensation that you deserve. Call 614-949-1181 for a free and confidential consultation.


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