Working in the “gig economy,” as opposed to traditional employment, can have certain advantages like greater flexibility. It can also have certain disadvantages, especially if you’re hurt while on the job. Many employers may strive to classify their workers as independent contractors in order to avoid certain liabilities like providing workers’ compensation insurance. This problem is of particular importance for Lyft, Uber and other rideshare drivers because they, by the very definition of their jobs, are at a highly elevated risk of suffering injuries on the job as a result of a vehicle accident. If you are a Lyft or Uber driver hurt while working, there are several things you should do to get the benefits you need and deserve. Start by getting capable legal representation from a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.
A court ruling released last year in California is a reminder of some good news that exists for Uber and Lyft drivers in Illinois. In the California case, which was resolved by that state’s Supreme Court last April 30 and was reported by cnn.com, C.L. was a delivery driver for a courier service. The courier company classified him as an independent contractor. The driver later sued, alleging that the classification was improper and that he was really an employee.
Independent contractors versus employees
The Supreme Court sided with the worker. In reaching that decision, the court adopted something called the “ABC Test,” which is one of the most helpful tests for workers seeking to be classified as employees and not as independent contractors. That test looks at three things very closely to decide if you are an employee or an independent contractor. They are:
- the level of control you are placed under
- whether or not your work is “outside the usual course” of the employer’s business
- whether or not you are engaged in an “independently established trade, business or occupation” of the same type of work