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“Control test” and “relative nature of the work test” used to find that petitioner was respondent’s employee within the meaning of NJ Workers’ Compensation Act.

July 1, 2018
Hopkins v. Capone Transportation, LLC, Docket No. A-5180-14T2, 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 871 (App. Div., decided Apr. 16, 2018)

The Judge of Compensation found the petitioner entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for his work-related injuries. In affirming the Judge of Compensation’s holding, the Appellate Division relied on Pollack v. Pino’s Formal Wear & Tailoring, 253 N.J. Super. 397 (App. Div. 1992), where the court set forth the “control test” and the “relative nature of the work test,” two tests used to determine if a party is an “employee” within the meaning of the New Jersey workers’ compensation statute.

Applying the control test, the Appellate Division found that it was not refuted that Capone Transportation could control the petitioner’s work because, according to the petitioner, the foreman told him what needed to be done at the job site. As for the relative nature of the work test, the Appellate Division found that the work the petitioner performed at the employer’s client’s site was an integral part of Capone Transportation’s demolition business. Although the petitioner was not questioned as to the extent to which he relied upon the wages he earned from Capone Transportation, the fact that he was available for work when hired by Capone Transportation was indicative of his need for, and likely reliance on, the income he received from that entity.

Accordingly, the Appellate Division found sufficient support in the record for the Judge of Compensation’s determination that the petitioner was an employee of Capone Transportation within the meaning of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act and entitled to workers’ compensation.


Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2018

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