Rhode Island Independent Contractors: What you need to know

Whether a worker is an “employee” or an “independent contractor” is critical when it comes to important issues such as pension eligibility, workers' compensation coverage, wage and hour law, and many other matters. In some situations, federal law will govern, but the question is most often resolved by looking to state law, particularly in areas such as unemployment tax liability, workers' compensation, and state wage and hour requirements.
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Independent contractors are specifically excluded from coverage under Rhode Island's workers' compensation law (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-29-2). A person is presumed to be an “independent contractor” for purposes of Rhode Island's workers' compensation law if he or she has filed a written notice of designation as an independent contractor on form DWC-11-IC with the director of the Department of Labor and Training (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-29-17.1). The filing of the notice of designation creates a presumption that the individual is an independent contractor not covered by workers' compensation. This presumption does not preclude a finding of independent contractor status by a court when the notice is not filed with the director. The designation applies until it is withdrawn. Copies of form DWC-11-IC may be obtained on the Internet at http://www.dlt.ri.gov/wc.
Rhode Island uses the Internal Revenue Service's tests for determining independent contractor or employee status for purposes of coverage under the unemployment compensation requirements (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-42-7).
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Last reviewed on September 13, 2016.

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