Rhode Island Workers’ Comp Bill Would Expand Definition of ‘Employee’

Employers would need to prove a worker is independent contractor

January 31, 2024 Photo

The Rhode Island Senate has introduced a bill that would change the definition of “employee” to expand eligibility for workers’ compensation. An “employee,” according to Senate Bill 2236, “means any person providing labor or services for renumeration.”

Furthermore, according to the bill, the burden of proving an employee is an “independent contractor” would be placed with the employer. The employer would need to prove that “(i) The person is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact; (ii) The person performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and (iii) The person is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business, of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.”

The new definition of “employee” would also expand access to temporary disability and unemployment benefits. The bill has been referred to the Senate Labor Committee.

About The Authors
Angela Sabarese

Angela Sabarese, Associate Editor of CLM. angela.sabarese@theclm.org

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