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Act 72 defines Independent Contractor for Workers’ Compensation Purposes

February 15, 2019

By John W. Zatkos, Jr., Esq.

The Pennsylvania Construction Worker Misclassification Act (Act 72) Established the Definition of an Independent Contractor for Purposes of Workers’ Compensation

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB), in Vicenty v. A Tech Electric, Inc., determined that the evidence pointed to an employer/employee relationship and not that of an independent contractor, thereby allowing the injured worker to pursue workers’ compensation benefits.

The WCAB determined that where the employer controls a claimant’s manner of work, the claimant’s direct supervisors, or employees of the defendant, control the entire work site and the claimant is directly paid by the employer, there is sufficient evidence to support that the injured worker is an employee of the employer and not a general contractor or independent contractor.

two contractorsThe injured worker is usually confronted with this situation when he or she is told that he or she is an independent contractor or general contractor and given a 1099 tax return. The employer alleges that this is specific proof that the injured worker is not an employee and therefore has no rights to workers’ compensation benefits. Very often, this is untrue, as that is not specific evidence to support an allegation that one is a general or independent contractor.

The Pennsylvania Construction Worker Misclassification Act (Act 72), which went into effect on February 10, 2018, established the definition of an independent contractor for purposes of workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation, and worker classification.

We request that if you or someone you know has this type of case, please allow us to review it and pursue your potential rights under the Workers’ Compensation laws because these laws are very fact specific and very important to the protection and pursuit of your workers’ compensation rights. Contact us or call (412) 338-1177.

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