When FedEx Ground delivery driver Edward Maskowsky hurt his back on the job two years ago, he tried to draw on workers’ compensation for help. But following the recent decision by a state workers’ compensation commissioner that may reflect a national trend, Maskowsky has discovered that compensation for his injury is one delivery the carrier service need not make.

Maskowsky, the commissioner concluded, was an independent contractor, not an employee, who would otherwise qualify for benefits. “The greater weight of the substantial evidence indicates that [Maskowsky] was a sole proprietor and an independent contractor,” Workers’ Compensation Commissioner George Waldron wrote in his Jan. 31 ruling.