Employers in Minnesota must purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage for all of their employees. While most workers are covered and can receive benefits, independent contractors cannot. Below, we note each type of worker and whether that type of worker can receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Full-Time or Part-Time Employee
All employees who perform services for an employer for hire may receive workers’ compensation benefits for injuries or death that arise out of and in the course of employment. (Minn. Stat. § 176.021.) Employees may be full time or part time. Minnesota law classifies minors and undocumented workers as employees if they perform services for another for hire.
Temps and Leased Employees
Workers who get sent to temporary assignments by a temporary employment agency (commonly called “temps”) can receive workers’ compensation benefits. In Minnesota, the courts consider both the temp agency and the company to which the temp is sent on assignment to be employers. These joint employers are jointly responsible for workers’ compensation for the temp. The employers can agree privately who will pay for the insurance coverage – usually the temp agency.
Similarly, some agencies “lease” employees to another company. The agency agrees to provide employees for a short- or long-term assignment and acts as an employer for some obligations to the employee. The courts consider both the leasing agency and the other company to be employers for purposes of providing workers’ compensation coverage. (See Rackow v. Kujak Transport, 44 W.C.D. 388 (W.C.C.A. 1991).)
Independent contractors in Minnesota may not receive workers’ compensation benefits for work-related injuries. The only exception is if they or the company for which they perform work purchases insurance coverage. Some injured workers may be misclassified as independent contractors by their employers, when they are actually employees. Minnesota courts use a five-factor test to determine whether a worker is an employee or a contractor. A future blog will discuss this test in detail.
If you believe you are an employee entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, contact a qualified Minnesota attorney today. Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.