Massachusetts Lawsuit Highlights the Importance of Worker Classification

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act), people hurt while working can often recover workers’ compensation benefits. People must meet certain qualifications in order to obtain such benefits, however. First, their harm must be work-related, which generally means that it must occur while they are at work or performing a work-related task for the benefit of their employer. Further, the injured party must be an employee in order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits under the Act. In other words, independent contractors cannot recover any benefits under the Act if they are hurt at work. Recently, the Massachusetts Attorney General filed a lawsuit against a ridesharing company due to alleged worker misclassification. If the lawsuit is successfully, it could result in many more workers being covered under the Act. If you were hurt while working, you may be owed benefits under the Act, and you should confer with a Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney about your rights.

The Ridesharing Company Lawsuit

It is reported that, in Massachusetts, ridesharing companies are embroiled in a legal battle initiated by the Attorney General, who alleges that the companies have wrongly classified their drivers as independent contractors. According to the Attorney General, these drivers should be considered employees under state law, entitling them benefits, including workers’ compensation coverage. The lawsuit claims that ridesharing companies have misclassified thousands of drivers in Massachusetts and have failed to comply with the state’s worker-friendly laws governing independent contractors.

It is alleged that the state is seeking to enforce proper classification and hold the companies accountable for any violations. The ridesharing companies, on the other hand, argue that they are technology platforms that facilitate connections between drivers and riders, rather than traditional transportation companies that employ drivers directly. They contend that their drivers are independent contractors who value the flexibility of their work arrangements. The outcome of this trial could have significant implications for the ridesharing companies’ operations in Massachusetts and may set a precedent for how gig worker rights are addressed in other states and cities across the country.

Workers’ Compensation Rights Under Massachusetts Law

Under Massachusetts law, there’s a clear distinction between the workers’ compensation rights of employees and independent contractors. Employees are entitled to various benefits, including workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation benefits, which include medical and wage loss benefits, help employees obtain necessary medical care and provide a source of income in the event an employee sustains a work-related injury or illness.

Employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, ensuring they’re protected in case of accidents on the job. In contrast, independent contractors are generally not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits because they are considered self-employed individuals responsible for their own insurance coverage. As such, it is important to properly classify workers to ensure they receive the appropriate protections and benefits under Massachusetts workers’ Compensation laws.

Talk to a Dedicated Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Whether a person injured at work can recover workers’ compensation benefits depends, in part, on whether they are an employee or independent contractor. If you were hurt while working, it is smart to talk to an attorney about your rights. Attorney James K. Meehan is a dedicated Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney, who can aid you in protecting your interests. To contact Attorney Meehan, you can use our online form or call him at 508-822-6600 to arrange a confidential meeting.