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Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Employers will often attempt to classify an employee as an independent contractor to avoid paying worker’s compensation claims if the employee is injured on the job.
In Sellers v. Tech Service, the South Carolina Court of Appeals held that an employee, who fell from a ladder on the job, was not an independent contractor and that Tech Service was responsible for providing worker’s compensation insurance to Sellers.
The Employment Test: Employee or Independent Contractor?
If an employer/employee relationship exists, the employer must provide worker’s compensation insurance. The primary question that the court will ask is “whether the alleged employer has the right to control the employee in the performance of the work and the manner in which it is done… The test is not the actual control exercised, but whether there exists the right and authority to control and direct the particular work or undertaking.”
The Courts have found that there are four “employment test factors” to consider when determining whether an employer has the right to control the employee:
Direct evidence of the right or exercise of control. In this case, direct evidence included:
Furnishing of equipment. The Court determined that Tech Services had provided Seller’s equipment, finding that:
The method of payment. The Court found that:
The right to fire. “The power to fire, it is often said, is the power to control.” Although it was not clear whether Tech Services had the right to terminate Sellers without incurring liability, the Court found that the following facts made it likely that Tech Services had the right to fire Sellers:
The Court also noted that “South Carolina’s policy is to resolve jurisdictional doubts in favor of the inclusion of employers and employees under the Workers’ Compensation Act.” This means that, if it is a close call, the Courts will rule in favor of classifying a worker as an employee and bringing them under the umbrella of worker’s compensation coverage.
Injured on the Job in South Carolina?
If you have been injured on the job, our worker’s compensation attorney will meet with you, gather the evidence that you will need to make your claim, and help you to get the compensation that you are entitled to.
If you or someone you know has been injured on the job in Myrtle Beach, Conway, or Rock Hill, SC, call now and schedule a free consultation with a Myrtle Beach worker’s compensation lawyer on the Axelrod team. Call us at 843-353-3449 or fill out our contact form today.
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