Alabama Legislature Amends Workers’ Compensation Act
Although not exactly a broad sweeping reform of the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act, the Alabama legislature recently amended the statutory definitions of “employer” and “employee”.
Effective July 1, 2022, a marketplace platform is no longer considered an “employer”, and a contractor that works for a marketplace platform is no longer considered an “employee” for purposes of workers’ compensation. Under Alabama law, a marketplace platform is an entity that offers a digital network or mobile application that connects potential customers to service providers, and accepts service requests exclusively through the digital network. Examples of marketplace networks Uber, DoorDash, and Buzd. In order to be excluded from coverage, the marketplace platform and contractor must agree in writing that the contractor is an independent contractor, the platform cannot unilaterally prescribe specific hours during which the contractor must be available to accept service requests, the platform cannot contractually prohibit the contractor from accepting service requests for other platforms or engaging in another occupation or business, the platform cannot mandate furnished equipment or tools essential for the performance of the work (except as required by law or for safety reasons), and the contractor must bear substantially all of the expenses they incur in performing services.
About the Author
This blog submission was written by Charley Drummond, an attorney with Fish Nelson & Holden, LLC, a law firm dedicated to representing self-insured employers, insurance carriers, and third-party administrators in all matters related to workers’ compensation. Fish Nelson & Holden is a member of the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network. If you have any questions about this submission or Alabama workers’ compensation in general, please contact Mr. Drummond by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling him directly at (205) 332-3414.