Pennsylvania Unemployment Alert: “Independent Contractors” May Be Eligible for Unemployment and Other Benefits

In recent years, many Pennsylvanians have been required to work as “CONTRACTORS.” Businesses have a BIG financial incentive to call their workers “contractors” rather than “employees.” Specifically, many businesses have used the “contractor” label to avoid legal obligations such as social security contributions, unemployment and worker’s compensation insurance, overtime pay, and other workplace laws.

Now that the CORONAVIRUS has struck, many “contractors” are realizing that the boss does not provide unemployment insurance.

Here’s what you and your family need to know if you’ve been working as a “contractor” and find yourself unemployed. YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS EVEN IF YOU WERE CALLED A “CONTRACTOR.” Under Pennsylvania law, a worker’s right to unemployment depends on the actual duties and responsibilities of the job. Even if the worker was called a “contractor,” he/she may be considered an employee for unemployment purposes if the boss exerted significant CONTROL over his/her job or if he/she did not operate a truly independent business.

Whether you or a family member or friend is an “employee” entitled to unemployment pay depends on a careful analysis of your actual job.  Our office is currently closed. But we can speak with you by cell phone. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about your eligibility for unemployment, please email Pete Winebrake at to arrange a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL phone consultation.

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