Advertising Disclosure Email Disclosure

Pennsylvania Supreme Court holds that the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act only applies to individuals who work for a business entity that performs construction services, not to an employer that is not in the business of construction.

October 1, 2018
Department of Labor and Industry, Uninsured Employer’s Guaranty Fund v. WCAB (Lin and Eastern Taste); 27 E.A.P 2017; decided Jun. 26, 2018; by Justice Wecht

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the decision of the Commonwealth Court and agreed with its interpretation of the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act. The Commonwealth Court noted that the dispositive issue was whether the claimant was an employee or an independent contractor. The employer was a restaurant, not a construction business, and the claimant was hired to perform remodeling work, not to work in the restaurant. In the court’s view, these factors demonstrated that the claimant was an independent contractor. The claimant argued to the Supreme Court that the applicability of the CWMA turned upon the nature of the work performed, not the employer’s business purpose. He argued he was performing services in the construction industry for remuneration and, therefore, could not be classified as an independent contractor for purposes of workers’ compensation. The Supreme Court rejected these arguments, finding that the claimant’s interpretation of the CWMA would lead to absurd results, such as classifying a homeowner as an “employer” simply by hiring a kitchen remodeler and possibly subjecting the homeowner to administrative and criminal penalties. According to the court, the CWMA refers only to those individuals who work for a business entity that performs construction services and is inapplicable where the putative employer is not in the business of construction.

 

 

Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2018

Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2018 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.

Affiliated Attorney

Francis X. Wickersham
Shareholder
(610) 354-8263
fxwickersham@mdwcg.com

Practice Areas

Before you send this email please note:

You are attempting to send email, through a link on our website, to an attorney of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin or an employee in our firm. Please note that your email may not be treated as confidential and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely upon the transmission of an email through this website if you are seeking to enter into such a relationship. Until such time as we have agreed to represent you, no information in your email will be treated as confidential. Please contact us directly by telephone at 1.800.220.3308 if it is your intent to seek legal counsel with our firm or convey confidential information.

If it is still your intent to send this email, knowing that it may not be treated as confidential, you may accept our terms of agreement by pressing "OK". If you choose not to accept these terms of agreement you may navigate away from this page by pressing "Cancel."