Construction companies are intentionally exploiting this loophole in an attempt to skirt liability for injuries and deaths occurring while in the course and scope of employment.
Dallas, TX (PRWEB) February 07, 2013
A recent study conducted by the University of Texas and the 'Workers Defense Project' has reported that 40% of all construction workers in Texas are intentionally misclassified as "independent subcontractors" instead of "employees" - and it isn't by accident. Employers know that under Texas' labor laws, employees are given far more rights than contract workers. The main one being that with an employee, the employer is liable for injuries, while with independent subcontractors, they are not.
Dallas attorney Michael Grossman took this opportunity to expand upon the legal aspects of this unfortunately common practice. Read his full response here.
"Construction companies are intentionally exploiting this loophole in an attempt to skirt liability for injuries and deaths occurring while in the course and scope of employment. They want the best of both worlds. They're hoping to reap the benefits of an employee, while avoiding all responsibility when something goes wrong." explains Dallas personal injury lawyer Michael Grossman. "In Texas, if an employee is injured due to the employer's negligence, the construction company may face lawsuits, an increase in their workers' compensation premiums, or fines from OSHA. No such risks occur with an independent subcontractor."
Mr. Grossman goes on to say "The part that I find most troubling is that Texas law is already very favorable to construction companies; perhaps too favorable. Notwithstanding the issue at hand in this discussion, if a Texas construction company elects to buy into the state-run workers' compensation program, they are effectively provided with a shield against almost every type of injury-related lawsuit that could feasibly come their way."
To Mr. Grossman, the solution to this problem is simple. "We must amend the Texas Workers' Compensation Act to either allow a misclassified employee to seek damages for the unfair denial of workers' compensation benefits when such underhanded tactics are used by the employer, or we must expand the definition of 'employee' within the context of the Texas Workers' Compensation Act to provide ordinary benefits to contract laborers who meet the appropriate criteria."
If you're a construction worker, currently classified as a contractor, and you've been injured in a work-related accident, you need to consult with a Dallas lawyer to go over your legal options. An experienced Texas construction accident lawyer may be able to dispute your employment classification in order to get you the benefits you deserve.