Employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, while independent contractors are not.
An employer would concede a claimants’ employment status when he is clearly an employee, but there are times when an employer would hold out that a claimant is an independent contractor. In these situations, workers’ compensation benefits are denied, and the Court would be tasked with making a determination of whether the claimant is an employee or an independent contractor.
Statutorily, in New Jersey, all employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for all “employees” by either a valid workers’ compensation insurance policy or through self-insurance (based upon the financial ability of the employer to meet its obligations under the law and the permanence of the business). In some states employers can “opt-out” of the mandatory workers’ compensation requirements. New Jersey is not one of those states.