Many members of the nation’s workforce are at considerable risk for on-the-job injuries. Recently, the development of “gig” workers adds an unexpected element to classifying workers and the benefits that they are eligible for. For example, companies like Uber and HopSkipDrive hire independent contractors who are not covered by Workers’ Compensation benefits in the event of a workplace accident.
Most of the estimated 54 million to 68 million independent contractors in the U.S. do not receive employee benefits, according to a 2016 report by the private-sector think tank McKinsey Global Institute. And as these on-demand businesses have grown to dominate the public transportation, delivery and domestic/home care industries, the incidence of work-related injuries and deaths has increased.
Gig economy jobs have strong appeal to employees because they offer flexible schedules and the ability to work independently. Employers benefit because they aren’t required to provide Worker’s Compensation benefits to independent contractors. Therefore, the company is not responsible to provide benefits should a worker get into an accident. This shifts the responsibility right to the workers.
According to a 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, transportation incidents accounted for close to half of fatal work accidents across all industries. Other gig jobs, like caring for someone in their home or delivering food in unsafe or poorly lit areas, also present danger. Yet gig economy companies are keeping down costs by hiring temporary employees and classifying them as independent contractors.
Workers Most at Risk
Young adults are particularly vulnerable because they might not understand how this system works, and may also be concerned about losing their jobs if they raise questions. If a worker is classified as an independent contractor, they will not be covered by an employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance in the event of a workplace accident.
Medical bills and missed time from a work-related injury can be real financial burdens for workers and their families. Living through this is a struggle that can quickly become overwhelming.
Delaware Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann & Wall Fight for Those Injured at WorkIf you’ve been hurt at work, there is somewhere you can turn for help. Our Delaware Workers’ Compensation lawyers at McCann & Wall can assist you with filing a Worker’s Compensation claim. We will fight for all entitled compensation. We have extensive experience and provide honest communication, perseverance, and integrity when you need it the most. Call us today at 302-888-1221 or contact us online.