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Can "gig" workers claim workers' compensation?

The workforce is shifting and Missouri residents are undoubtedly enjoying the flexibility that comes with setting one's own hours. Additionally, "gig" workers often bring in significantly higher income than the federal minimum wage, increasing its attractiveness. However, gig work brings with it concerns of workplace protection.

Companies often classify gig workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Doing this allows employers to distance themselves, financially and socially, from gig workers. For those who are not aware, independent contractors are not entitled to workers' compensation, overtime pay, sick leave or healthcare. As a result, the workplace protections so painstakingly added to the system are slowly being erased.

This change has not gone unnoticed, as state lawmakers are trying to fill the gap. Another state has recently passed a law that would convert hundreds of thousands of independent contractors to employees, especially in the rideshare industry. This law claims that if an independent contractor's tasks are integral to the company's business and if he or she works more than 30 hours a week, then they must be classified as an employee. Driving is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country and more gig workers are applying for delivery or driving jobs than any other type of work. Therefore, it is important to figure out a way to keep them safe.

Understanding one's classification as an employee can seem overwhelming, especially for an injured worker who is struggling to get medical costs covered. It might be beneficial to get more information about legal options for recovery after getting injured when performing tasks connected to the job.

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