South Carolina’s Supreme Court has recently issued an opinion declaring that an exotic dancer is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits resulting from injuries she sustained during a shooting at the club. In June 2008, a stray bullet struck the dancer in the abdomen when a fight erupted in the club. The dancer suffered numerous injuries from the shooting, including injuries to her intestines, liver, pancreas, kidney, and uterus. The dancer’s doctors removed one kidney, and tragically, the dancer may not be able to have children due to injuries to her uterus. Furthermore, the injuries have allegedly prevented her from working as a dancer.
After the incident, the dancer filed a claim for benefits with South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission because the dancer’s employer did not have insurance. Initially, the dancer was denied benefits because she was considered an independent contractor and not an employee. Ultimately, however, the Supreme Court reversed course and ruled that the dancer was an employee, which allows her to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The Supreme Court found that the dancer’s employer had enough “control” over the dancer to show that she was an employee, not a contractor.
Independent Contractor Versus Employee
Whether a worker is entitled to worker’s compensation benefits depends on if the worker is considered an “employee.” Under South Carolina law, the definition of an employee is meant to be fairly broad and encompass numerous workers. The statutory definition of an employee means:
“every person engaged in an employment under any appointment, contract of hire, or apprenticeship, expressed or implied, oral or written, including aliens and also including minors, whether lawfully or unlawfully employed….”
Notably, an employee does not include “a person whose employment is both casual and not in the course of the trade, business, profession, or occupation of his employer.” The fundamental consideration in determining whether a worker is an employee is “the degree of control the employer exercises over the worker.” Factors to consider include (1) direct evidence of the right to, or exercise of, control; (2) method of payment; (3) furnishing of equipment; and (4) right to fire.
Employers often try to avoid having to pay workers’ compensation benefits by improperly claiming that a worker is an independent contractor. A South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney can help an injured worker obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation attorney David R. Price, Jr., P.A. can help you defend issues relating to employee misclassification.
Contact a Greenville Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered a work-related injury, a Greenville workers’ compensation attorney can help protect your rights. David R. Price, Jr. is a Greenville workers’ compensation attorney who has extensive experience helping injured workers obtain compensation for their injuries. David R. Price, Jr. can help you submit a claim with the South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Commission to make sure that you receive just compensation.
Contact David R. Price, Jr. for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. You can call us today at 864.271.2636 or visit our office at 318 West Stone Avenue in Greenville.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.