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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Case Remanded to Compensation Court to Determine Employment Status

A NJ Appellate Court has remanded a negligence case from Superior Court to the Division of Workers' Compensation to determine when an employee held joint employment and subject to the Exclusivity Bar.

" It is well settled in this jurisdiction that for workers ' compensation  purposes
an employee may be simultaneously employed by more than one employer, either because
of the employee's separate contracting with multiple employers or because
his general employer has “lent” him to a special employer. The question to be
determined in the dual employment situation is whether, at the time of the injury,
the petitioner was, as a factual matter, the employee of one or the other
or both of the employers.
In determining which among multiple employers are liable for workers ' compensation ,
this court has noted the indicia of employment that ordinarily require
evaluation, including the existence of a separate agreement between the employee
and each employer, the determination of whose work is being done at the time of
the compensable injury, which has the right to control the details of the work,
which pays, and which has the power to hire, discharge or recall the employee.
The relative weight to be accorded these factors and the manner in which they
are to be balanced are not, however, ... subject to mechanical or automatic application.
Rather, the criteria determinative of the employment relationship
must be “rationalized and applied so that each case may be considered and determined
upon its own particular facts.” And, the dual employment situation,
the most significant inquiry is the determination of “whose interest the
employee was furthering at the time of the accident. ”

CHALMERS and FRED CHALMERS, Plaintiffs–Appellants,
--- A.3d ----, 2013 WL 5525694 (N.J.Super.A.D.) October 9, 2013

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