This month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down a decision that clarifies “ambiguity” regarding statutory employer status in Pennsylvania’s Worker’s Compensation Act. Keith Williamson was hurt in a car accident while transporting tomatoes between a PA warehouse and a Maryland processing facility. Six L’s (the tomato growing company) employed F. Garcia & Sons to transport the tomatoes. Williamson was a truck-driver employed by Garcia. Garcia does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, so Williamson argued that Six L’s was his statutory employer, secondarily liable to cover the costs of his injury-related expenses. Williamson successfully argued that the PA Workers’ Compensation Act created a “class of statutory employers,” who are liable for their employees even if the relationship is not as direct as say premises-based employment. In what is being referred to as a “game-changing decision,” the Court ruled that any person contracting out work that is a “regular or recurrent part of their businesses” must guarantee the benefit of workers’ compensation insurance.
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