In Georgia, an employee who is hurt while at work is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, however, independent contractors and other types of workers are not entitled to benefits under Georgia law. Determining if you are an “employee” can be very complicated and you have to determine whether an employee/employer relationship exists and that is not always as simple as “I work for Company X and therefore I am an employee”.
The basic rule for determining if you are an employee has two seemingly simple criteria: 1) a person in the service of another, who is 2) under contract of hire.
In Georgia, there is no requirement for a written contract of employment and actual pay may not necessary in the case of volunteer firefighters, police, elected officials, etc. Additionally, minors (even if working in violation of the child labor laws), migrant workers and temporary employees can benefit from workers’ compensation.
Some types of employment that are not covered by workers’ compensation in Georgia include domestic servants, farm laborers, sports officials, and independent contractors. In the case of independent contractors, there may be some debate as to whether you are an actual employee or an independent contractor. In this case, there are several factors that we look at to determine your status and whether you would be eligible for benefits. The most important factor is if the employer had the right of control – i.e., does the employer control the hours, supply the materials and otherwise direct the employee on the manner and method of work? If so, the worker is most likely an employee and eligible for workers compensation.
If you are not sure if you are entitled to benefits, contact the Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera for a free consultation.