Is your Independent Work Done for a Business Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Arizona Injury Law Group


In a recent case of determining whether two Arizona workers were employees of a company or just random hires, the conclusion was that the two gardeners hired were, in fact, considered employees of a landscaping company. After a vehicular accident, while traveling to work one morning, the pair were treated for minor injuries and received chiropractic treatment. They also filed workers’ compensation claims for bill repayment. The company refused to pay as it claimed it did not hire employees on a regular basis.


Here are some of the deciding points on why they were viewed as employees. It is important to note that a set of combined circumstances can change how one case is viewed one way and in another case with different circumstances, could have different results. If there is any question of whether a worker is an employee or not, an Arizona workers compensation attorney should be contacted at once.

Workers Compensation

  • Both workers were “on-call” as needed by the landscaping company, as presented in Arizona Revised Statutes Title 23. Labor § 23-902(A-D),
  • One employee kept the company’s landscaping truck and tools at home and picked up the other worker when going to any job given by the landscaping company,
  • The amount and variety of work given by the company to the two workers were consistent over a range of months, working regular daily shifts.


Whether the reader is an employer or an independent contractor, workers compensation lawyers in Phoenix, or other parts of the state, should be contacted first about how to write contracts for hiring independent workers. The employer in this case could have protected himself from liability if he had taken the following steps.

The term “On-Call” should never be used in any communications (including verbal) or transactions, indicating that independent contractors are governed or regulated by a business owner or any manager in any manner. In a manual working position like landscaping, it might be hard to get away from an hourly fee if the job is conducted at the location of a third party, the client of the landscaping business. Therefore, the client of the business has hours to be observed as to when workers can be on the property.

In an independent contract drawn up, the employer can state what needs to be completed for that job, when it should be completed, and what fees will be paid upon completion. Independent contractors would provide their own transportation and their own tools to complete the job on their own time, based on the contract.

Independent contractors can request a repayment of expenses for the job, such as gasoline and toll fees if the business agrees to this in the contract. Documentation must be provided, however, such as mileage and time-stamped gas receipts. This ensures employers are not paying for bills from another job attended on the same day as the contracted job. Employers must state in the contract that the business is not responsible for bills from any accidents during the completion of the job.


Arizona Injury Law Group offers experienced and Certified workers’ compensation lawyers and legal services for injured workers. Whether you are an Arizona business or working as an independent contractor, get help quickly so you keep yourself (and your business) safe. Call for your free consultation! (480) 535-3482.

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