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Workers' Compensation

Illinois: City Water Meter Reader Is Employee and Not Independent Contractor

A water meter reader was an employee of the city and not an independent contractor where it exercised considerable control over her labor—the worker was required to read 1200 meters during an allotted time frame and during the daylight hours; she was provided with a specialized equipment, including a computerized wand and electrical cables with which to read the meters; and she was provided with route books and suggested routes of travel. That she had to provide her own transportation was not controlling. Nor was the fact that the city withheld no taxes from her pay. The court added that the nature of the reader’s work allowed the city to perform part of its general business—the provision of water to its citizens. Her work was a regular part of the cost of supplying water to customers and the Commission appropriately determined that the reader was an employee for purposes of workers’ compensation coverage.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See City of Bridgeport, v Illinois Workers’ Comp. Comm’n, 2015 IL App (5th) 140532WC, 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 918 (Dec. 10, 2015) [2015 IL App (5th) 140532WC, 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 918 (Dec. 10, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 61.05 [61.05]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law