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In deciding whether a worker is an employee under the Workers' Compensation Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-275 et seq., there is no dispute about the ultimate test. It is the right of general control of the means and methods used by the person whose status is involved.
The spouse of the decedent filed a workers' compensation claim to recover survivor benefits for the death of her husband while he was driving a taxicab in accordance with his written agreement with defendant transportation company. Her claim was dismissed as a result of a finding that, on the date of the decedent's death, he had been an independent contractor and not an employee.
In deciding whether a worker is an employee under the act, should the "relative nature of the work" test be adopted as an alternative to the "right to control" test?
The court affirmed the judgment of the appellate court in denying her claim. The court declined to adopt the "relative nature of the work" test as an alternative to the "right to control" test because workers' compensation cases were governed by special rules of construction and the court found no cogent reasons to alter its long-standing judicial interpretation of the workers' compensation statute. The court held that any dual standard would complicate the administration of the system and that she failed to make any claim of constitutional vagueness of the current test. The court also found that the totality of factors of the control exercised by the transportation company indicated that the decedent was not an employee but, rather, an independent contractor.