Illinois Workers Compensation and Interns

Received a call from a customer… fine dining restaurant in Chicago. The question was regarding interns and whether they were covered on the workers compensation insurance policy. This restaurant has many summer interns or “stages”… a French word I just learned.


In this case the insured was hoping that there would not be coverage (we actually would want them them covered because of the tort law consequences). They had a clumsy college kid and he had three minor incidents in a two week period. 


99% of the time the answer is YES – interns are covered… even if unpaid. The question falls back to the definition of an employee and for this I always refer to the IRS website for definitions. They site the Common Law Rules. In this case we would refer to the “Behavioral Controls”.

Behavioral Control refers to facts that show whether there is a right to direct or control how the worker does the work. A worker is an employee when the business has the right to direct and control the worker. The business does not have to actually direct or control the way the work is done – as long as the employer has the right to direct and control the work.

The behavioral control factors fall into the categories of:

·    Type of instructions given

·    Degree of instruction

·    Evaluation systems

·    Training


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