The NY Attorney General took action yesterday to rein in the growing emergence of "on-call staffing." The new dynamic of on demand staffing continues to be a growing trend in the employment arena. It is sort of an Uber on steroids.
The historic legal concepts that determine compensability in workers compensation cases have traditionally been defined by the concept of "arising out of and in the course of employment." Those parameters are indeed going to be challenged by the concept of "on-call employment."
Defining where employment begins and where it ends has increasingly become a problem in the virtual world established by the Internet. Conductivity of the employer to the employee has become easier through the evolution of new applications of texting and e-mail.
The legal tests to define status of scope of employment will be challenged. New factual situations, generated by technological advancements, will expand the application of the legal doctrines involving the "right of control" and nature of the work" in the developing arena of on-call employment.
Defining the new parameters will place yet another economic burden upon the administration of the expensive workers' compensation system. Interestingly, this new dynamic, energized by new technological advancements, may ultimately be yet another driving force to a 24 hour, universal coverage concept. How workers' compensation programs meet this new challenge will prove to be very interesting.