Warning about uninsured roofing contractors and how to collect workers’ compensation benefits through “statutory employment.”
Our law firm has seen an uptick in roofing companies trying to evade their responsibilities under Michigan law. Private employers with 3 or more employees, or at least 1 employee working 35 hours or more per week, must purchase workers’ compensation insurance.
Directors and officers of uninsured corporations are personally liable for payment of workers’ compensation benefits. Additional penalties include substantial fines and possible imprisonment up to 6 months. A civil suit can also be filed if employer negligence was involved.
Uninsured roofing companies are typically uncollectible and this is a major problem for disabled employees seeking benefits. However, it is possible to make a claim against a general contractor as the statutory employer.
Any general contractor that engages in a business venture with an uninsured subcontractor may become the “statutory” or “shoot-through” employer. This means the general contractor becomes primarily responsible for the payment of workers’ compensation benefits. For example, a construction company that uses an uninsured roofing contractor may be held responsible if someone gets hurt.
Michigan law requires payment to individuals hurt on-the-job. Benefits include lost wages and medical treatment. The amount paid should equal 80% of your after-tax average weekly wage. All reasonable and necessary medical should be covered without deductibles or co-pays.
Watch out for employers who refuse to make a workers’ compensation claim because you are considered an independent contractor. A 20-factor test published by the IRS determines employment status in Michigan and unfair decisions should be challenged in court.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by espresso650b.Tags: Michigan workers comp lawyers, Roofing