District of Columbia Independent Contractors laws & compensation compliance analysis

District of Columbia Independent Contractors: What you need to know

Whether a worker is an “employee” or an “independent contractor” is critical when it comes to such important issues 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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An employer-employee relationship is a prerequisite for determining whether an individual is eligible for workers' compensation coverage (DC Code Sec. 32-1501). The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has ruled that the test for deciding this question is whether the individual is hired to do work in which the employer specializes. The test has two parts. First, the nature and character of the individual's work must be examined, including the degree of skill involved, the extent to which it is a separate calling or business, and the extent to which, when performing this work, an individual can be expected to carry his or her own accident burden. The second part of the test is the relationship of the work to the employer's business, including the extent to which the work is a regular part of the employer's regular business, whether the work is continuous or intermittent, and whether the duration of the job is sufficient to amount to the hiring of continuing services, as distinguished from contracting for the completion of a particular job (Gross v. District of Columbia Dept. of Employment Services, 826 A.2d 393 (D.C., 2003)).
District of Columbia law applies the common-law rules for ...

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