Workers' compensation is a great program for employees who suffer an injury on the job in Washington. However, the keyword there is “employee.” If you are not an employee, then you do not have access to this coverage. If you suffer an injury while working, you are the one who has all liability. So, any medical bills or lost work time comes out of your pocket. However, there is some talk about making employers responsible for independent contractors to whom they provide work.
Forbes explains that independent contractors have historically always been considered their own boss, so they do not qualify for typical employee benefits, including workers' compensation. This often leads to people working jobs they really do not like simply for the security of the benefits that come from being an employee. The opportunities for independent contractors are expanding and offer a lot of freedom that employee work options do not.
Many employers are turning to the independent contractor model because they can save money doing so. The face of the workforce is changing, but the rules are staying the same. This leads to many workers not having proper insurance coverage.
The idea of offering 1099 workers coverage under workers' compensation is one that many employers shun because of the costs. However, it would help to make sure that more of the workforce has this important coverage, which would benefit everyone in the long run by reducing lawsuits and ensuring workers can get medical care for a quick recovery so they are back on the job. This information is for education and is not legal advice.