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Nevada’s workers’ compensation coverage provides benefits for workers who were injured on the job. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program that pays for the cost of medical treatment and provides other benefits to injured employees. In exchange for participating in the workers’ compensation system, employers who provide workers’ compensation coverage are insulated from liability for additional damages claimed by an employee for a work-related injury that occurred in the course and scope of their employment.

In Nevada, the vast majority of employees are covered by workers’ compensation. But in instances where a worker is truly an independent contractor, workers’ compensation benefits will not be available.

Even though many employers call their workers “independent contractors,” determining whether a worker is truly an independent contractor is more complicated than it may seem. And in some cases, after a workplace injury, an employer will claim that an employee was an independent contractor even though the worker was really an employee and entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Who Is an Independent Contractor in Nevada?

In general, only workers who receive a W2 are considered employees. Independent contractors are not considered employees and are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, under Nevada law, all relationships in the construction industry are considered employer-employee relationships, even if the workers are called independent contractors.

To be considered an independent contractor in Nevada, the alleged employer must show that:

  • The work is not in the construction industry, and
  • The worker has an independent enterprise.

To qualify as an independent enterprise, the worker must:

  • Not be in the same trade, business, profession, or occupation as the employer,
  • Present themselves as being engaged in a separate business, and either
    • Hold a business or occupational license in their own name; or
    • Own, rent, or lease property used in furtherance of the business

Workers Comp for Independent Contractors

Even if you are an independent contractor and were injured on the job, you should still file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. It is better to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in order to avoid missing the filing deadline, then resolve the question of whether you are an employee or an independent contractor after the claim has been filed.

To determine whether a worker is truly an independent contractor, the Nevada Division of Industrial Relations will use the following criteria to evaluate whether you are truly an independent contractor. To qualify as an independent contractor, a worker must meet three of the following conditions:

  • The worker maintains control over the means and method of performing the work and the results. This must be the primary condition negotiated between the contractor and the employer.
  • The worker has complete control over determining the work process and when that work is performed.
  • The worker is not required to work for a single business.
  • The worker can hire their own employees to assist with the assignment and labor.
  • The worker has invested in their business by purchasing or leasing tools, materials, equipment, obtaining licenses, or securing access to a workspace.

The Division of Industrial Relations will also evaluate the following three standards to determine the relationship between the worker and the hiring company.

  • Behavioral Control. The worker directs or controls how and when the work is performed, and the business that hired the worker has no right to direct or control the manner in which the service is being performed.
  • Financial Control. The worker has complete financial control over the tasks they have been hired to perform, including determining the cost of the job and how the cost should be met. The hiring company does not interfere with the economic aspects of the worker's job.
  • Type of Relationship. There is a clear business-to-business relationship between the worker and the hiring company, and the relationship is only that of hiring an outside source to perform a specific job for an agreed-upon amount of time. If the hiring company interferes or initiates control, the worker may be considered an employee.

Does Workers’ Comp Cover Independent Contractors?

Independent contractors who are injured on the job are not eligible for workers’ compensation coverage and must provide their own means of compensation for medical treatment and lost income. However, the vast majority of workers in Nevada are considered employees, even if they are called independent contractors by their employers.

The Vander Laan Law Firm Will Address Your Legal Needs with Compassion and Competence

At the Vander Laan Law Firm, LLC, experienced workers' compensation attorney Natalia Vander Laan will evaluate your situation to determine whether you are an employee and are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. If you are entitled to benefits, Ms. Vander Laan will assist you in recovering them. And if your employer has misclassified you as an independent contractor in an effort to prevent you from receiving your workers’ compensation benefits, Ms. Vander Laan will fight for the benefits you are entitled to receive.

The Vander Laan Law Firm handles workers’ compensation cases on a contingency fee. This means that if there is no recovery, no fee is owed. Natalia Vander Laan cares deeply about her clients and works hard to help them achieve peace of mind. She is proud to help people who have been injured on the job and fights to protect their rights.

Learn more about Natalia Vander Laan’s unique approach to workers’ compensation law, then contact the Vander Laan Law Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case.