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Author Topic: MS Independent Contractors  (Read 3580 times)
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« on: August 05, 2013, 08:32:17 AM »

In MS state statute 71-3-3(r) reads as follows:

(r) "Independent contractor" means any individual, firm or corporation who contracts to do a piece of work
according to his own methods without being subject to the control of his employer except as to the results of the work, and who has the right to employ and direct the outcome of the workers independent of the employer and free from any superior authority in the employer to say how the specified work shall be done or what the
laborers shall do as the work progresses, one who undertakes to produce a given result without being in any way controlled as to the methods by which he attains the result.

We have an insured who operates a funeral service/cemetery.  They hired contractors to open and close graves which they are saying are independent contractors.  All are uninsured and most are individuals working by themselves.  Should these individuals be treated as uninsured subs and included in premium calculations.  The insured answered all the pertinent questions to establish an independent relationship, but the opening and closing of graves is an integral part of their business operations.
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2013, 01:04:57 PM »

According to the You must login to view links.
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Workers’ Compensation Educational Association, Inc.

Independent contractor vs. employee - Only an employee of the employer has the right to maintain a claim for benefits.  See MS. Code Ann §71-3-3(d) and 71-3-7.  In general terms, a claimant is found to be an employee if the employer has the right to control the work activities of the claimant or, if that is unclear, the nature of the claimant’s work is an integral part of the work of the employer.  Employees of an uninsured subcontractor are considered the “statutory employees” of the general contractor for whom the sub-contractor was working at the time of the injury.  See MS. Code Ann §71-3-7.

It sounds like they are employees to me, but to be sure you should gather more information:

  • Who supplies the tools and equipment?  If the insured supplies, this indicates employee status.
  • Do the workers perform excavation for other customers?
  • Are the workers You must login to view links.
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  • Do the workers carry General Liability insurance?
  • Do the workers advertise their services?
  • Does the insured reimburse the worker for any expenses?

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