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Woman misclassified as independent contrator seeks benefits

Many people work as independent contractors, and in their cases, they often do not have a right to workers' compensation when they're hurt on the job. For independent contractors, the fact is that a personal injury claim may be the only option for getting compensated.

Sometimes, people are misclassified as independent contractors, and that makes it more likely for them to go without the workers' compensation they deserve. That's what happened in this case.

According to an April 19 news report, an exotic dancer who was injured on the job was identified as an independent contractor, but she was really an employee. The woman was injured during a nightclub shooting.

The woman worked in clubs in Charlotte and in those in South Carolina in 2008. She was shot in South Carolina while working at Boom Boom Room Studio 54. She paid a tip-out fee and was allowed to perform after providing her age and identification. She hadn't filled out an employee application and did not have an employment agreement.

While performing, a gun was fired. The bullet struck her in the abdomen. She has extensive scarring and is unable to work as an exotic dancer. She also suffered injuries to her pancreas, kidney, uterus, intestines and liver.

She applied for workers' compensation temporary total disability and medical benefits because the nightclub did not have workers' compensation insurance. She was denied, with the denial claiming she was an independent contractor.

The South Carolina Supreme Court reversed that decision, stating that because the club could fire her and controlled and directed her work, she was an employee and should receive workers' compensation.

This ruling was south of the North Carolina border, but it could affect you, too. If you're injured and denied compensation because of misclassification, your attorney can help.

Source: Business Insurance, "Injured exotic dancer was employee, not independent contractor," Kristen Beckman, April 19, 2017

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