As with many matters in workers' compensation law, the answer to that question depends on a number of factors.
With workers' compensation claims involving subcontractors and contractors, the first question to ask is whether the injured worker had a legally recognized employee-employer relationship with the alleged employer. In other words, did the alleged employer have the right to control the manner of the worker's employment? This question came up in a Maryland case in 2013.
The Court of Appeals heard a case involving a worker who was covered under workers' compensation, but the worker wasn't able to get benefits through the direct employer, a subcontractor. Therefore, the court looked to Maryland law to assess the relationship between the injured worker and the contractor.
The court found that the relationship was such that the contractor was the "statutory employer" and thus liable to the subcontractor's injured employee.
Again, the case centers on the contractor's right to control the worker's manner of employment. Since the contractor had control in this manner, the contractor was responsible for providing workers' compensation.
If you have questions about your own workers' comp claim, then you should speak with an attorney with experience in this area of law. Despite the fact that many protections for Maryland workers are already in place, disputes over workers' comp benefits often arise, especially when there are questions regarding how an injured worker has been classified.
The Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission has more information on recent decisions in workers' comp cases.
To learn more about your rights as an injured worker, please visit our workers' compensation website.