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Leased Worker Considered A Temporary Employee

Leased Worker Considered A Temporary Employee

Leased Worker Considered A Temporary Employee
February 28
23:32 2016

Marciala was injured while working for True Plastics. Because she was actually employed by Dynamic Staffing, Inc., she filed for and received workers compensation benefits from its carrier. Then she filed suit against True Plastics for the same injuries. True Plastics CGL carrier denied coverage because of the employer’s liability exclusion. True Plastics argued that Marciala was only a temporary worker and not an employee.

True Plastics, Inc. requested Dynamic Staffing, Inc. to provide a worker for a specific order that it needed to prepare for the Flexhead Company. True Plastics anticipated the job would last between six and seven weeks but did not supply that information to Dynamic. Dynamic supplied Marciala Sanchez.

Marciala was trained for the Flexhead job and after the materials for the job were received, worked only on that job. She was injured three weeks into the job. After her injury, the job was left unfinished and True Plastics lost Flexhead as a client.

Dynamic’s workers compensation carrier responded to Marciala’s claims. However, Marciala also filed a claim against True Plastics who forwarded the claim to Central Mutual Insurance Company, their Commercial General Liability carrier, for defense and indemnity. Central Mutual declined both based on the Employer’s Liability exclusion.

True Plastic argued that the Employer’s Liability exclusion did not apply because Marciala was not an employee. Their argument was that the definition of employee included leased employees but not temporary workers. Marciala was working on a short term project so she was a temporary worker. Central Mutual argued that because Marciala was furnished for an indefinite time period she could not be considered temporary.

Both the trial and appellate court focused their attention the definition of temporary worker. The policy definition states that a temporary worker is “a person who is furnished to you to substitute for a permanent employee on leave or to meet seasonal or short-term workload condition.”

All agreed that Marciala was not substituting for a permanent employee on leave and was not meeting a seasonal condition. The entire case centered on whether she was employed for a short-term workload condition.

The evidence provided that she was trained only on the one job, that her work assignment started only after the material was received, that after working three weeks she had completed half of the order and that after her injury, the job was left uncompleted and the customer lost. Based on this evidence, the trial court concluded that Marciala was employee only for a short-term workload condition. She was, therefore, a temporary worker and not an employee. Central Mutual was required to defend and indemnify True Plastics.

The appeal court affirmed the trial courts opinion.

Central Mutual Insurance Company v. True Plastics, Inc. & another Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Worcester, 84 Mass.App.Ct.17,992 N.E.2d 385

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