The purpose of the Statutory Employer language in the Pennsylvania Work Comp Act is to extend coverage under the Act to subcontractors’ employees injured at work- ie, construction site. In a landmark case called Six L’s Packing Co. v. WCAB (Williamson), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in May 2012, overruled three decades of precedent by expanding “Statutory Employer” to any employer that subcontracts for services or work “of a kind which is a regular or recurrent part of the entity’s business“. Before Six L’s, the McDonald case prevailed as the precedent, but the Court has limited McDonald to cases where employers control the worksite. So, to be a Statutory Employer, you don’t have to be a premise-based contractor any longer.
The Six L’s Decision is very significant-and reflects the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act’s remedial philosophy. There are likely hundreds of unsuspecting Statutory Employers in Pennsylvania, who subcontract with a company whose employee’s do not have workers’ compensation insurance. In Six L’s, a tomato grower was secondarily liable to pay Pennsylvania Work Comp benefits to a truck driver hired to deliver its produce. This broadens the scope in a big way.
These situations can be complex. If you want more information on Statutory Employer or other areas of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law, call experienced PA WorkPlace Injury Lawyer, Michael W. Cardamone at 215-206-9068 or email Michael@Cardamonelaw.com- 7 days a week.