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Breese v. BF Staffing presents evidence that the temporary staffing agency is not the injured worker’s employer

February 10, 2021

Bonny Breese was placed through a temporary staffing agency as a leasing consultant for an apartment building. While working, she sustained multiple injuries when her shoe got caught and she fell. She sought ongoing disability benefits and payment of medical bills from BF Staffing. BF Staffing denied that Ms. Breese was an employee and the Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) agreed, denying her claim petition.

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) had to review whether the WCJ erred in determining that she was not an employee. It is the Claimant’s burden to establish there is an employee-employer relationship. During testimony, it was established that the apartment management company, not the temporary employment agency, provided office space and equipment, controlled her hours and work assignments, and had the authority to fire her. Thus, the WCAB agreed with the WCJ’s findings that the temporary staffing agency was not her employer and therefore, not obliged to provide Workers’ Compensation benefits.

What does this mean? It can be unclear who the true employer is when a working with a temporary staffing agency. It is imperative to look at who controls the employee’s hours, duties and has hiring and firing rights to understand the employee-employer relationship. If you have questions about your Workers’ Compensation claim, contact us online or call (412) 338-1177.

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