Who Is a Construction Contractor Under Minnesota Workers’ Comp Law?


Who Is a Construction Contractor Under Minnesota Workers’ Comp Law?

For workers in the construction industry, figuring out if you have workers’ compensation coverage can be tricky. Many construction workers who call themselves subcontractors are actually employees. However, their employers may not have insurance that covers them in case of a workplace injury. Since construction injuries happen often, it is important to get your own coverage if you are actually a contractor. If you are an employee, make sure your employer has coverage.

In Minnesota, anyone whose trade is to perform construction building or improvement services for hire for another person is considered an employee of the other person. Construction contractors are only true independent contractors if they meet a lengthy 9-factor test. A contractor:

  1. Has a separate business with his own office, equipment, and materials;
  2. Has a federal employer identification number (EIN) or has filed business or self-employment federal income tax returns
  3. Operates under contract to perform specific services for another person for specific amounts of money, and the contractor himself controls the means of performing the services
  4. Incurs the main expenses related to the services he is performing
  5. Is responsible for the satisfactory completion of the services, and is liable for a failure to complete the services
  6. Gets paid on a commission or per-job or competitive bid basis only
  7. Can realize a profit or suffer a loss from the contract
  8. Has continuing or recurring business liabilities or obligations
  9. Has a business whose success or failure depends on the relationship of income to expenditures

For example, a “contractor” who works for a painting company, uses all the company’s equipment to complete jobs, gets paid hourly no matter how good of a job he does, and receives direction from the company owner on how to complete jobs is probably an employee of the painting company, not a contractor.

To figure out if a construction worker is a true contractor for workers’ compensation purposes, a judge has to evaluate all nine factors. Sometimes, some of the factors will point toward the worker being a contractor, and some will point toward employee. Workers who get injured on the job and are not sure whether they are employees need to seek legal help. A lawyer can evaluate the worker’s situation and help him make a case for benefits.

Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? 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.