Make sure your employer has workers’ comp. It may be awkward, but ask.
Don’t let the business call you a “contractor” if you’re an actual employee. Some do that to avoid the law. That way, it looks like they don’t have the three workers required for them to have to carry workers’ comp. It’s a tactic called “misclassification.”
How do you know which you are?
Contractor vs. Employee:
- Contractor: You set your own schedule, have your own tools, get paid by the project or can work for other employers.
- Employee: You have a set schedule, need permission for days off, use company equipment or get paid hourly or have a set salary.
Call 888-891-4895 to report employers breaking the law, or email FraudComplaints@ic.nc.gov.
Who is policing this?
According to a recent state audit, as many as 52,000 employers in North Carolina should have had workers’ comp insurance and did not. Stoogenke asked the commission’s director of compliance and fraud investigations, Bryan Strickland, why they aren’t catching more of the employers. Strickland said that he joined the agency in 2013 and has made sweeping changes, the biggest being a new database that flags employers who may be skirting the law. He said that the numbers show it’s working. Before Strickland arrived, the commission charged about 10 employers with breaking the law and collected $374,000 in fines. Last year, it charged about 150 employers and collected almost $1.5 million. Since July, the commission has already charged more than 210 employers.