North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system cushions the effect of work accidents. When such mishaps occur, the employee can get medical and wage benefits. This would continue until the worker is fit enough to resume work. This isn’t always an easy process, but Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers can help wounded employees get comp benefits.
Notably, though, only employees can receive workers’ compensation. That’s why it’s crucial to know the definition of “employees” under North Carolina’s workers’ comp law. Unfortunately, business owners often deny their workers’ employment status. For example, they could classify an employee as an independent contractor.
They do this to deny your comp claim. Therefore, it’s always best to hire a Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney after a job injury. An excellent lawyer can accurately determine your employment status. Then, they’d help you get compensation for your injuries.
Which Employers Must Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
North Carolina employers who have three or more employees must purchase workers’ comp insurance. These include businesses operating as:
- Sole proprietorships
- Limited Liability Companies (LLC), and
Conversely, these businesses can qualify as self-insured employers. As a result, a business owner cannot enforce an agreement or contract that relieves them of their workers’ comp obligations.
Who Is an Employee Under North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act?
North Carolina law defines an employee as any person engaged in employment under any:
- Contract of hire, or
Notably, this engagement could be expressed or implied. The employment agreement can also be oral or written. Furthermore, aliens and minors can be employees, whether lawfully employed or not. However, there are exceptions to this wide definition. Persons not included as hired workers include:
- Casual workers not engaged in the course of the employer’s trade, business, profession, or occupation.
- Executive officers, directors, or committee members of non-profit corporations. However, this class of workers can become employees after fulfilling certain conditions.
- Employees of certain railroads
- Domestic servants directly engaged by the household.
- Farm laborers when less than ten full-time workers
- Federal government employees working in North Carolina
- Agricultural produce sellers on commission or other compensation from the producers.
Other Relevant Factors
Notably, sole proprietors, members of Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs), and partners aren’t considered employees. However, the law counts them when calculating whether a company has three or more employees. Furthermore, suppose a business employs one or more persons for activities involving radiation. Then, such an employer must have workers’ comp insurance.
Finally, the term “employee” also includes a deceased worker’s:
- Legal representative
- Dependents, and
- Other people to whom compensation may be paid.
What About Independent Contractors?
An independent contractor isn’t one just because their employer says so. Furthermore, it isn’t sufficient that the business owner has issued a Form 1099 for taxation. Instead, the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) can still classify such workers as employees. The Commission can do this after considering certain factors. One crucial element would be the employer’s degree of control over the work details.
What About Subcontractors?
Subcontractors ordinarily aren’t workers. However, an employer may bear workers’ compensation liability for the subcontractor’s employees’ work-related injuries. This would be the case where the subcontractor doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance. In addition, the employer will bear this liability regardless of the number of employees they and the subcontractor have.
How Do I Know My Employer’s Insurance Carrier?
Workers should know whether their employers have workers’ comp insurance. This way, you’re sure of compensation after a job accident. So, you can always identify your employer’s insurance carrier. All you have to do is obtain this information from the NCIC’s in one of these ways:
- Use the Insurance Coverage Search System
- File a Form 18 making a compensation claim against your employer
- Your employer or their insurer files a Form 19 reporting your injury
What If My Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Some business owners disregard work comp laws. They carry on business without purchasing the mandatory workers’ comp insurance. If this happens, your employer can face stiff penalties. These punishments include fines and criminal prosecution.
However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll bear the financial consequences of your injury. Instead, your employer must still pay your medical bills and wage replacement benefits. It doesn’t matter that they don’t have insurance. In addition, you can file a lawsuit against such an employer.
Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help You!
Have you sustained a work-related injury or occupational disease? If you have, then you may be eligible for compensation. First, however, you need the best Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys. This is because your employer can deny you “employee status” to reject your claim. Our lawyers have dealt with many unscrupulous employers. So, we can guarantee excellent results and maximum work comp benefits. You just have to call us today for a FREE consultation.