Illinois Truckers as Independent Contractors or Employees; Nature of the Business Test Matters


Illinois adopted a stricter test in 2007 that favors classifying workers as an employee rather than as an independent contractor. No single factor determines whether a worker will be classified as an employee or an independent contractor but the factors that will be considered are as follows:
  • whether the employer dictates the person's schedule
  • whether the employer pays the person hourly
  • whether the employer withholds taxes
  • whether the person can be discharged (fired) at will
  • and most important whether the employer may control the manner in which the work is done
Every case will of course be looked at individually but the courts will now look at whether the worker's services form a regular part of the employer's general business or whether their duties are part of their own separate business. If that's so, many workers will now be presumed to fall under workers' compensation coverage like in the case of many truck drivers and construction workers who are regularly and wrongly named as independent contractors.

There is a growing trend to classify owner-drivers of trucks as employees when they work continuously for a company and that driving forms an integral part of the employers business. By the court looking to the "nature of the business" test more workers who are labeled independent contractors will be treated as employees for workers compensation and be entitled to Illinois workers compensation benefits.

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the new "integral nature of the business" decision in Roberson (May 2007)

Many Illinois workers are wrongly classified as independent contractors to save the employer from workers compensation premiums and withholding taxes. Injured workers should contact an Illinois workers compensation attorney to determine whether they should be covered by Illinois workers compensation.

For questions call a Chicago workers compensation attorney for answers and assistance with a claim for benefits at info@workcomp-chicago.com.

Chicago Workers Compensation Attorney 8-10-09