Like any insurance coverage, reporting more workplace injuries can result in higher costs to employers for their workers’ compensation coverage. Now the results of a recent investigation by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggest that employers are discouraged from reporting workplace injuries and illness because it could affect their workers’ compensation rates.
The report from the GAO, a nonpartisan government research organization, noted, “Several researchers and labor representatives said that because employers’ workers’ compensation premiums increase with higher injury and illness rates, employers may be reluctant to record injuries and illnesses.”
According to an article on the Insurance & Financial Advisor website (www.IFAwebnews.com), the report also found evidence that “businesses sometimes hire independent contractors to avoid the requirement to record workers’ injuries or illnesses because they are not required to record them for self-employed individuals.”
It’s important to know that under Pennsylvania law, an independent contractor may still be entitled to workers’ compensation. Just because an employer makes you sign an independent contractor agreement and pays you based on IRS Form 1099, you may still have the protection of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. The attorney team at Michael J. O’Connor & Associates can review the facts of your case to determine if you are covered under Pennsylvania law. If you have been injured on the job, contact us for a free initial consultation. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.