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If you are injured while performing services or completing a job for another person or company do not assume you are an independent contractor–and, therefore, not entitled to the benefits available to employees under the California Workers’ Compensation System.

In certain circumstances, individuals injured “on the job” will receive a letter from their “employer” or their employer’s insurance company that they are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits because they are not an employee under the law. Do not assume this is correct. There is often a very fine line as to whether an individual is considered an employee or an independent contractor.


An employee, generally speaking, is an individual who, while performing services for another individual or company, is under their direction and control as to the details and manner in which the work is to be done. However, there are many factors that enter into this determination, just a few which include whether type of job, the manner of payment, who provides the tools and implements to do the job or whether there is supervision, etc.

Clearly, if you are injured while performing services on behalf of another person or company and are denied workers’ compensation benefits, you have nothing to lose – seek out the opinion of an attorney familiar with these issues, preferably a Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law.

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