Delivery drivers have become more ubiquitous. That is because online shopping has greatly caught on among consumers who want items delivered to their homes. But the sight of more delivery drivers also can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic as people maintain social distancing and prefer to shop from home.
Working as a delivery driver may prove challenging. It is a fast-paced job where the chance of an injury may surface at any delivery stop or route. Injuries sustained in road collisions, from strains while lifting merchandise, dog bites and slip and falls are not uncommon. This makes you wonder: What are your rights if injured on the job? And do you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?
Employee or independent contractor?
According to career insights website Zippia, more than 1.3 million delivery drivers work in the U.S. Roughly 80% are men, the average age of a driver is 48 and more than 60% of drivers are on the job two years or less.
That lack of longevity on the job may be why companies often choose not to invest in and hire workers for this job, instead relaying on independent contractors. This is a critical detail when it comes to workers’ compensation matters.
Employment status sometimes misclassified
In California, a number of delivery drivers are independent contractors. Such workers not only are not subject for protection related to state and federal hour and wage laws, but they also do not qualify for workers’ compensation regulations.
Make sure to know your employment status as a delivery driver. Some delivery drivers are employees. In some instances, companies intentionally misclassify these workers as independent contractors to thwart the system. This is deceiving, especially when an employer/employee relationship exists.
If you are classified as an independent contractor, this jeopardizes any claims related to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. If this employment classification is inaccurate, this represents a time to seek legal advice.