Worker proves joint employment with vendor, State of Illinois
Day v. Illinois, State of/Dept. of Human Services, 17 ILWCLB 177 (Ill. W.C. Comm. 2009).
Ruling: The Workers' Compensation Commission held that a vendor and the Illinois Department of Human Services were liable as joint employers under the Workers' Compensation Act for the worker's injuries.
What it means: In Illinois, where an employee is injured working for a vendor under a program operated by the state, and both the vendor and the state control aspects of the employee's work and benefit from his services, both parties are liable as joint employers under the Workers' Compensation Act.
Summary: The employee was injured while working at a vending facility. He testified he was working as a replacement manager and was hired by a vendor under a program known as the Business Enterprise Program for the Blind, operated by the DHS. He followed the rules and regulations set forth in a vendor's licensing agreement, which defined the obligations of both the DHS and vendors operating the facility.
The commission determined that the vendor and DHS were joint employers at the time of the accident because both entities controlled aspects of the employee's work and benefited from his services. It explained that the vendor directed and controlled the employee in his daily activities at the facility. However, the DHS taught the employee how to operate the facility and monitored or had the right to monitor his performance after he was selected as replacement manager.
The commission affirmed the arbitrator's finding that the licensing agreement contained ample evidence of the DHS' right to control the employee's work. However, the commission clarified that there was no employment relationship between the employee and the Illinois Workers' Benefit Fund, which was named in the case because the vendor did not carry workers' compensation insurance.
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January 21, 2010
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