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Rhode Island bill would expand ‘employee’ definition for workers comp

R.I. capitol

Rhode Island lawmakers have introduced legislation clarifying what types of workers would be considered employees for workers compensation purposes.

Senate Bill 2236, filed Wednesday, would, among other things, expand the definition of “employee” to include “any person providing labor or services for remuneration.”

The burden would be placed on an employer to prove that the worker is an independent contractor not eligible for workers comp benefits.

An individual would not be considered an employee if an employer can prove the person is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity, performs work that is outside the usual course of hiring, or is customarily engaged in an independently established trade.

The bill would also amend the definition of employee for the purposes of unemployment benefits and wage laws.