Employers, particularly small employers, sometimes try to avoid their obligation to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their workers by telling the workers that they are independent contractors, not employees. More often than not, however, it is illegal for an employer to designate someone who performs services for the employer as an independent contractor.
New Hampshire law presumes that any person who performs services for pay for an employer is an employee. The employer can only rebut the presumption by proving that the person meets twelve (12) separate criteria, including among other things such as: (1) the person holds himself out to be in business for himself; (2) the person supplies the tools to be used in the work; (3) the person has control over the time when the work is performed; (4) the person is responsible for satisfactory completion of the work and maybe held contractually liable for failure to complete the work; (5) the person’s remuneration is not determined unilaterally by the hiring party; (6) the person is not required to work exclusively for the employer; (7) the person is responsible in the first instance for any expenses associated with the work; and (8) the person hires and pays the person’s assistants if any.
An employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance for its employees. If you suspect that you have been mischaracterized as an independent contractor, or if you have suffered a work injury and your employer is telling you that you are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits because you are an independent contractor rather than an employee, you should contact an experienced New Hampshire employee rights attorney such as the attorneys at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. to learn your rights at (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.