Independent ContractorsIowa law doesn't require employers to provide workers' comp coverage for independent contractors. Unlike regular part- or full-time employees, independent contractors operate as independent entities or businesses separate from employers. However, there are complexities regarding the differences between independent contractors and employees in Iowa, which are important to understand. Failure to properly classify workers could also lead to legal repercussions under Iowa law.
Casual EmployeesEmployees who perform work under casual employment that falls outside the employer's business or trade are also ineligible to receive workers' comp benefits. On the other hand, some employers may hire temporary workers to assist with increased demand, particularly if this increase in demand is inconsistent enough to warrant hiring long-term employees. In these cases, employees may qualify for workers' comp, seeing as they're not casual employees while working in the employer's trade or at their facilities.
Agricultural EmployeesIn some cases, agricultural employees may qualify for workers' comp, but there are circumstances when they don't qualify. The law regarding the specifics around coverage for agricultural workers is also complex. However, in most cases, non-family farmworkers are able to receive coverage, provided the farm has a yearly payroll of more than $2,500.
Truck Drivers Who Own and Operate Their Own VehiclesGenerally, truck drivers who work under a trucking company and with company vehicles qualify for workers' compensation coverage. If truck drivers work for a trucking company while owning and operating their own vehicles, however, they may not receive coverage. Iowa law dictates that under certain conditions, owner-operators won't fall under the umbrella of workers' comp-qualifying employees. This could be particularly detrimental for truck drivers, as truck driving often comes with a higher risk of accidents and injuries than other types of work. The conditions listed in Iowa Code Section 85.61(.11)(c)(3) include:
- Truck owner-operators manage all vehicle maintenance tasks
- Truck owner-operators supply one or more drivers for the vehicle driven
- Truck owner-operators are responsible for covering the costs of fuel, supplies, repairs, personal expenses on the part of the driver, and collision insurance
- Workers' comp for the owner-operator isn't based on time or hours spent on the road, but instead on a percentage of lawfully published tariffs or rate schedules
- Truck owner-operators work on a contract indicating that the owner-operator is an independent contractor as opposed to an employee of the trucking company
- Truck owner-operators oversee the manner in which their vehicles are used to perform services in accordance with carrier operating procedures, shipping specifications, and regulatory requirements