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Florida: Maintenance Worker Was not the Statutory Employee of Public Utility

November 21, 2020 (1 min read)

While the provision of electricity to its Florida customers required that a Florida utility company maintain its equipment, a company with whom the utility contracted for maintenance work did not do so on the basis of any subletting of the utility's "contract work," held a state appellate court. Accordingly, where two employees of the maintenance company sued the utility for injuries sustained at the utility's facility, they were not statutory employees [see § 440.10(1)(b), Fla. Stat.]; their civil actions were not barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Florida Workers' Compensation Act. The court stressed that the utility would be entitled to immunity if it was considered a “contractor” that “sublet any part” of its “contract work” to the maintenance company as “subcontractor.” The court added that to be considered a contractor, the utility’s primary obligation in performing a job or providing a service must arise out of a contract. Then part of that contract must be “sublet” to another. Those where not the facts herein. The utility’s obligation to maintain its equipment arose not out of a "contract," out of a regulation promulgated by the Public Service Commission.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Tampa Elec. Co. v. Gansner, 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 14601 (2d DCA, Oct. 16, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 111.04.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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