Cottrill v. Thermo Electron North America, LLC, No. 09CA34 (Ohio Ct. App. 05/17/10).
Ruling: The Ohio Court of Appeals upheld the grant of summary judgment in favor of a manufacturer on a temporary employee's personal injury suit. The exclusive remedy provision of Ohio's workers' compensation system barred the employee's suit.
What it means:
In determining whether a temporary employee is employed by an employment agency or the contracting company, Ohio courts focus on the day-to-day control of the worker rather than administrative matters.
Summary: An employment agency contracted with a manufacturer to provide temporary workers. The employee filled out a job application for the agency and was told to report to work at the manufacturer. The employee, who used a cordless electric drill in her work, wore gloves that were too large. A drill bit caught on her glove and caused substantial permanent injuries to her hand. The employee sued the manufacturer for her personal injuries. The manufacturer argued that although the employee was technically employed by the agency, the exclusive remedy provision of Ohio's workers' compensation system applied. The court affirmed summary judgment for the manufacturer, ruling it was the employer for workers' compensation purposes.
The court rejected the employee's argument that she was employed by the agency. The court stated that although the employee completed timesheets for the agency, was paid by the agency, was trained by the agency, applied to work at the agency, and was designated an independent contractor in contractual documents, the focus should be on the day-to-day control of the employee.The manufacturer controlled what the employee performed at its facility and how she performed those jobs. The agency had no supervision at the manufacturer.
The manufacturer paid the appropriate sums to the state workers' compensation insurance fund, so according to state statute, the company could not be held liable for damages for the employee's injury.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
September 2, 2010
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