From observations we have made after consultations with many of our clients regarding Workers’ Compensation issues, it seems like the majority of injuries occur to workers that are either hourly or part-time. Although it is uncertain whether this is generally the case throughout North Carolina or nationwide, it appears that it may have to do with the fact that most workers that are either hourly or part-time generally have jobs that require manual labor or physically strenuous work. As such, a common question in our consultations with potential clients is whether an hourly or part-time employee is eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits in North Carolina. The answer to this question is yes.
Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, all employees – whether hourly, part-time, seasonal, or fulltime – are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits as long as they work for an employer with more than three employees. This is done to make sure that workers are covered for workplace injuries, regardless of employment classification.
Although Workers’ Compensation covers almost all classes of workers, there are some exclusions. The most common type of worker that is excluded is an independent contractor. If an employee is designated as an independent contractor, the employer is not required to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance for that individual. However, this process cannot be used indiscriminately by the employer on all employees in order to avoid purchasing Workers’ Compensation insurance. If this is the situation, the North Carolina Industrial Commission will employ a predetermined test in order to determine whether is in fact an independent contract or a normal employee and thus, eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
If you or someone you know has been injured while at work, you should Contact Us for a free Workers’ Compensation consultation. By contacting an experienced Worker’s Compensation attorney, you will receive valuable legal advice and an experienced guide through the complex Worker’s Compensation process.
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James Minick is a criminal defense attorney in Asheville, NC and is the owner of Minick Law, P.C.