Workers' compensation is the main source of financial recovery for employees who are injured while carrying out a task during the course of their employment. Employees are barred from suing their employer in exchange for worker's compensation coverage. Every employer is required to carry workers' compensation. One of the first questions any person must ask when seeking to file a workers' compensation claim is, "Am I an employee?"
The guidelines used for determining when someone is an employee are outlined in the workers' compensation law of New York. A general definition of an employee is anyone who is providing services for a for-profit business. This includes non-paid volunteers and family members. Workers' compensation also considers borrowed workers, leased workers and some subcontractors as employees.
There are certain criteria examined in cases where a determination of employee status must be made. One of the most important criteria is the right to control. The right to control is the ability of a person or entity to direct the work of another. For workers compensation purposes, the more control over the manner and time work is to be completed, the more likely the laborer is an employee.
Two other criteria for determining employee status are the nature of work being completed and the method of payment for work. If the type of work being completed by the worker is the same as the type of work the business performs, the laborer is considered to be an employee of the business. This is especially true if the business withholds taxes or provides the worker with benefits.