Workers’ Compensation 8 : Special Employee

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Q: I am an experienced sheet metal mechanic and was recruited and hired by an agency to work at a manufacturer, pursuant to a purchase order agreement between the agency and the manufacturer.

The agency provided my paycheck, carried workers’ compensation, liability and unemployment insurance, and withheld Social Security, but only the manufacturer could terminate my assignment to its facility.  The agency was precluded from substituting, reassigning or removing personnel selected by and assigned to work at the manufacturer.  The manufacturer also had the right to hire agency employees, on a direct basis and without the agency’s consent, subject to insignificant limitations.

I reported only to the manufacturer’s supervisor, who regularly directed, instructed, assigned, supervised and controlled my work duties.  One day, I injured myself.  Afterwards I collected workers’ compensation benefits funded by the agency.  Can I sue the manufacturer?

A: A general employee of one employer may also be in the special employ of another, notwithstanding the general employer’s responsibility for payment of wages and for maintaining workers’ compensation and other employee benefits.  A special employee is someone who is transferred for a limited time to the service of another.

It sounds like you were the manufacturer’s special employee.  Therefore, the receipt of workers’ compensation benefits is your exclusive remedy, and you are barred, under sections 11 and 29(6) of the Workers’ Compensation Law, from bringing a negligence action against the manufacturer.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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