2021 Georgia Code
Title 34 - Labor and Industrial Relations
Chapter 9 - Workers' Compensation
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 34-9-2. Applicability of Chapter to Employers and Employees - Generally

Universal Citation: GA Code § 34-9-2 (2021)
    1. As used in this subsection, the term "farm laborer" shall include, without limitation, any person employed by an employer in connection with the raising and feeding of and caring for wildlife, as such term is defined in paragraph (77) of Code Section 27-1-2.
    2. This chapter shall not apply to common carriers by railroad engaged in intrastate trade or commerce; nor shall this chapter be construed to lessen the liability of such common carriers or take away or diminish any right that any employee of such common carrier or, in case of his or her death, the personal representative of such employee may have under the laws of this state; nor shall this chapter apply to employees whose employment is not in the usual course of trade, business, occupation, or profession of the employer or not incidental thereto; nor to farm laborers or domestic servants; nor to employers of such employees; nor to any person, firm, or private corporation, including any public service corporation, that has regularly in service less than three employees in the same business within this state, unless such employees and their employers voluntarily elect to be bound; nor to any person performing services as a licensed real estate salesperson or associate broker who has a written contract of employment providing that he or she shall perform all services as an independent contractor.
  1. This chapter shall not apply to any common carrier by railroad engaging in commerce between any of the several states or territories or between the District of Columbia and any of the states or territories and any foreign nation or nations nor to any person suffering injury or death while he is employed by such carrier in such commerce; nor shall this chapter be construed to lessen the liability of such common carrier or to diminish or take away in any respect any right that any person so employed or the personal representative, kindred, relation, or dependent of such person may have under the act of Congress approved April 22, 1908, relating to the liability of common carriers by railroad to their employees in certain cases.
  2. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section, this chapter shall apply to employees of the Department of Corrections who are engaged in farm and livestock operations.
  3. This chapter shall not apply to persons who perform services pursuant to a written contract stating that the provider is an independent contractor and such person buys a product and resells it, receiving no other compensation; or to independent contract carriers who perform services for an employer who is a publisher or distributor of printed materials in transporting, assembling, delivering, or distributing printed materials and in maintaining any facilities or equipment incidental thereto, provided that:
    1. The independent contract carrier has with the employer a written contract as an independent contractor;
    2. Remuneration for the independent contract carrier is on the basis of the number of deliveries accomplished;
    3. With exception to providing the area or route which an independent contract carrier may or may not service, or providing materials or direction for the packaging or assembly of printed materials, the employer exercises no general control regarding the method of transporting, assembling, delivering, or distributing the printed materials; and
    4. The contract entered by the independent contract carrier for such services does not prohibit it from the transportation, delivery, assembly, or distribution of printed materials for more than one employer.
  4. A person or entity shall otherwise qualify as an independent contractor and not an employee if such person or entity meets all of the following criteria:
    1. Is a party to a contract, written or implied, which intends to create an independent contractor relationship;
    2. Has the right to exercise control over the time, manner, and method of the work to be performed; and
    3. Is paid on a set price per job or a per unit basis, rather than on a salary or hourly basis.

      A person who does not meet all of the above listed criteria shall be considered an employee unless otherwise determined by an administrative law judge to be an independent contractor.

    1. As used in this subsection, the term "sports official" means any person who is a neutral participant in a sports event, including without limitation an umpire, referee, judge, linesman, scorekeeper, or timekeeper. The term "sports official" does not include any person, otherwise employed by an organization or entity sponsoring a sports event, who performs services as a sports official as a part of his or her regular employment.
    2. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a person shall qualify as an independent contractor and not an employee if such person performs services as a sports official for an entity sponsoring an interscholastic or intercollegiate sports event or if such person performs services as a sports official for a public entity or a private, nonprofit organization which sponsors an amateur sports event.

(Ga. L. 1920, p. 167, § 15; Ga. L. 1925, p. 282, § 1; Code 1933, §§ 114-107, 114-108; Ga. L. 1937, p. 528; Ga. L. 1973, p. 232, § 2; Ga. L. 1974, p. 1143, § 2; Ga. L. 1975, p. 190, § 3; Ga. L. 1983, p. 700, § 3; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 34; Ga. L. 1988, p. 936, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 323, § 2; Ga. L. 1994, p. 97, § 34; Ga. L. 1996, p. 1291, § 2; Ga. L. 1997, p. 726, § 1; Ga. L. 2007, p. 616, § 1/HB 424.)

Cross references.

- Liability of railroad employers for injuries to employees, § 34-7-40 et seq.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to § 28-9-5, in 1988, a comma was deleted following "foreign nation or nations" near the beginning of subsection (b).

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1993, the paragraph designations (1) through (4) in subsection (d) were substituted for the designations (A) through (D).

U.S. Code.

- The Act of Congress approved April 22, 1908, referred to in subsection (b), is commonly known as the Federal Employers' Liability Act and is codified as 45 U.S.C. §§ 51-60.

Law reviews.

- For article surveying Georgia cases in the area of workers' compensation from June 1979 through May 1980, see 32 Mercer L. Rev. 261 (1980). For article surveying developments in Georgia workers' compensation law from mid-1980 through mid-1981, see 33 Mercer L. Rev. 323 (1981). For article, the historical origins and economic structure of workers' compensation law, see 16 Ga. L. Rev. 775 (1982). For annual survey article discussing workers' compensation law, see 52 Mercer L. Rev. 505 (2000). For article, "Workers' Compensation," see 53 Mercer L. Rev. 521 (2001). For annual survey of workers' compensation law, see 57 Mercer L. Rev. 419 (2005). For annual survey on decisions impacting workers' compensation, see 69 Mercer L. Rev. 357 (2017).



  • General Consideration
  • Usual Course of Business
  • Farm Laborers
  • Fewer Than Three Employees Regularly in Service


Benefits payable by bankrupt self-insured employer.

- The State board of workers' compensation may permit payment of benefits to injured workers when a self-insured employer files for relief under Chapter 7 or 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, provided those benefits are not collected directly from the self-insured employer's bankrupt estate. 1989 Op. Att'y Gen. 89-50.

Newspaper dealers.

- Newspaper dealers are employers within the meaning of the workers' compensation law (see now O.C.G.A. § 34-9-1 et seq.), and would be subject to the requirements thereof, unless exempt therefrom because of having less than three employees, as provided therein. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 613.

Superior court judges.

- Since superior court judges are elected officials, they are not covered by the workers' compensation law (see now O.C.G.A. § 34-9-1 et seq.). 1980 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 80-71.


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 82 Am. Jur. 2d, Workers' Compensation, § 117 et seq.


- 99 C.J.S., Workers' Compensation, §§ 136 et seq., 238 et seq.


- Extraterritorial operation of Workmen's Compensation Statutes; conflict of laws, 3 A.L.R. 1351; 18 A.L.R. 292; 28 A.L.R. 1345; 35 A.L.R. 1414; 45 A.L.R. 1234; 59 A.L.R. 735; 82 A.L.R. 709; 90 A.L.R. 119.

Workmen's compensation: application to employees engaged in farming, 7 A.L.R. 1296; 13 A.L.R. 955; 35 A.L.R. 208; 43 A.L.R. 954; 107 A.L.R. 977; 140 A.L.R. 399.

Workmen's compensation: compensation for death of or injury to peace officer employed in private plant, 8 A.L.R. 190.

Applicability of state Anti-trust Act to interstate transaction, 24 A.L.R. 787.

Workmen's Compensation Act: applicability of state compensation act to injury within admiralty jurisdiction, 25 A.L.R. 1029; 31 A.L.R. 518; 56 A.L.R. 352.

Workmen's compensation: liability of general or special employer for compensation to injured employee, 34 A.L.R. 768; 58 A.L.R. 1467; 152 A.L.R. 816.

Teamster as independent contractor under workmen's compensation acts, 42 A.L.R. 607; 43 A.L.R. 1312; 120 A.L.R. 1031.

Convict or prisoner as within Workmen's Compensation Act, 49 A.L.R. 1381.

Ownership of leased or rented property as constituting business, trade, occupation, etc., within workmen's compensation acts, 50 A.L.R. 1776.

Workmen's compensation: what is casual employment, 60 A.L.R. 1195; 107 A.L.R. 934.

One transporting children to or from school as independent contractor, 66 A.L.R. 724.

Applicability of state workmen's compensation acts to intrastate employee where railroad company is engaged in both interstate and intrastate commerce, 80 A.L.R. 1418.

Workmen's compensation: continuity and duration of employment required by provision of act making its applicability depend on number of persons employed, 81 A.L.R. 1232.

Construction, application, and effect of provisions of workmen's compensation acts that make one's status as employee dependent upon amount of earnings, 87 A.L.R. 958.

Needy persons put to work by municipality or other public body as means of extending aid to them as within protection of Workmen's Compensation Act, 96 A.L.R. 1154; 127 A.L.R. 1483.

Workmen's compensation: employer taking out insurance covering employees not otherwise within act as an election to accept the act, 103 A.L.R. 1523.

Who are "workmen" or "operatives" within workmen's compensation act, 129 A.L.R. 990.

State Workmen's Compensation Act as applicable to motor carriers and their employees engaged in interstate commerce, 133 A.L.R. 956; 148 A.L.R. 873.

Workmen's compensation: what amounts to acceptance or election to come within act by employer as to whom act is not mandatory, 136 A.L.R. 899.

Insurance soliciting agent as employee or independent contractor within Workmen's Compensation Acts, 138 A.L.R. 1122.

Constitutionality of provisions of Workmen's Compensation Acts which are limited to residents of state, 147 A.L.R. 925.

Application for, or award, denial, or acceptance of, compensation under state Workmen's Compensation Act as precluding action under Federal Employers' Liability Act by one engaged in interstate commerce within that act, 6 A.L.R.2d 581.

What constitutes total or permanent disability within the coverage of disability insurance coverage issued to farmer or agricultural worker, 26 A.L.R.3d 714.

Liability of owner or operator of premises for injury to meter reader or similar employee of public service corporation coming to premises in course of duties, 28 A.L.R.3d 1344.

Homeowner's or personal liability insurance as providing coverage for liability under workmen's compensation laws, 41 A.L.R.3d 1306.

Unemployment compensation: trucker as employee or independent contractor, 2 A.L.R.4th 1219.

Workers' compensation: injuries incurred during labor activity, 61 A.L.R.4th 196.

What constitutes "agricultural" or "farm" labor within social-security or unemployment-compensation acts, 60 A.L.R.5th 459.

Application of workers' compensation laws to illegal aliens, 121 A.L.R.5th 523.

Validity, construction, and application of statutory provisions exempting or otherwise restricting farm and agricultural workers from worker's compensation coverage, 40 A.L.R.6th 99.

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