A North Carolina company is stuck paying comp to a worker it claims it never hired.
Nelson Campos-Brizuela was told by an acquaintance, Felipe Quintero, that he could help with a job pouring concrete at an elementary school.
Campos-Brizuela accepted, showed up for work, and promptly suffered a near amputation of his right hand while trying to clean a concrete pump.
The company Quintero worked for, Rocha Masonry, denied his comp claim, saying Campos-Brizuela wasn’t its employee. Quintero, it said, didn’t have the authority to hire him.
A comp commissioner agreed with the company. But the full commission reversed, and the decision to award benefits was upheld by an appeals court.
Quintero, said the court, had told Campos-Brizuela he’d receive a paycheck from the company. And at the job site Quintero supervised other workers. Plus, the company had occasionally hired others as temporary assistants.
Campos-Brizuela believed he’d been hired, said the court, and he was in fact doing work for the company when he got hurt.
The bottom line, according to the court: An employee is any person “engaged in an employment under any appointment or contract of hire or apprenticeship, express or implied, oral or written, including aliens, and also minors, whether lawfully of unlawfully employed.”
The case is Campos-Brizuela v. Rocha Masonry, L.L.C.