Lawsuits over employee status could drive up workers’ comp troubles

insurance agent desk sign

From Insurance Business America, Caitlin Bronson discusses the growth of the lawsuits over the classification of a worker as an employee or independent contractor and the implication for insurance agents who provide insurance to the companies who are accused of misclassifying workers.  Caitlin writes:

For insurance agents, the heightened scrutiny means additional pressure to help employers correctly classify employees. That’s something many companies and agents overlook while submitting workers’ compensation applications, said La’Troya McKinney, commercial lines account manager with Abram Interstate Insurance Services in California.

“One thing I always tell people is that 1099 is not an employment status,” McKinney said. “If an employer is scheduling their time, telling them who to see or where to go, they are an employee under the labor code and they can be fined up to $150 per day per employee for not having comp in place.”

She added that though these stipulations apply primarily in California – where 1099 status is under strictest review – it doesn’t hurt for agents across the country to adopt a similar no-risks attitude.“I tell people that if they base their decisions off regulations in what is one of the most rigid states, they can’t go wrong,” she said.

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