WCB Abuse Investigation Unit v. Ring
January 9, 2014
Penalties Employee v Contractor §102 (13)
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
The Workers’ Compensation Board Appellate Division has upheld the AIU's imposition of a $2,500 penalty on the owner of a taxi/courier business for failure to secure workers' compensation coverage for its employees.
The business owner engaged two additional drivers who used the business's vehicles to provide taxi and courier services, but the owner claimed they were independent contractors and required them to complete W-9s. The Board applied the relevant statutes, 39-A MRSA § 114 (since repealed) and § 102 (13) and determined that they were employees.
In this case, the business owner claimed to have no employees and therefore did not purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage. In other cases, a WC policy might exist, and the insurer could be held responsible to pay claims by undeclared employees whom the employer has incorrectly characterized as independent contractors.