For those who work in construction and other businesses, whether a person is an "independent contractor" or an employee can make all the difference in the world with respect to how a person gets compensation for any workplace injuries.
With respect to its employees, an Arizona company must provide workers' compensation benefits on a no-fault basis that will cover the employee's medical expenses and lost income. However, not everyone a company pays for work is by that mere fact an employee. With respect to these other people, usually called independent contractors, an employer does not have to provide workers' compensation.
In some cases, it can be difficult to know for certain whether a person is an "employee" entitled to workers' compensation. In deciding whether a person is an employee, labels assigned by the employer matter relatively little. After all, an employer has an incentive to call a worker an "independent contractor" if doing so means not having to pay benefits.
Therefore, Arizona courts and administrative bodies will employ what is called a "totality of facts" test to difficult cases. Some of the facts that courts will consider include, among others, how the worker received payment, that is, whether the worker was paid by the hour or by the job, who supplied the equipment for the task and the length of the relationship between the worker and the employer.
It can be frustrating when a worker who thought that he or she was an employee finds out that he or she might not receive workers' compensation. In such cases, that worker may do well to secure the assistance of an experienced Arizona workers' compensation attorney.