What’s So Special About A Special Employer

When an accident occurs on a construction site, the injured party typically sues
the owner of the property, the general contractor and the various subcontractors. There is a wellestablished, yet under utilized doctrine of law which, under the right circumstances, provides the same immunity from liability to
a general contractor or subcontractor as that provided to the plaintiff ‘s employer under the Workers Compensation Bar. The New Jersey Special Employer Doctrine provides immunity under the Workers Compensation Bar for qualified parties, regardless of who actually paid the employee’s salary and Workers Compensation benefits.*

1.New Jersey’s Special Employer Doctrine In determining whether a general contractor or a subcontractor can be considered a special employer, the court must look at the following factors:

a. the employee has made a contract of hire, express or implied, with the special

b. the work being done is essentially that of the special employer;

c. the special employer has the right to control the details of the work;

d. the special employer pays the employee;

e. the special employer can hire or fire the employee.

Blessing v. T Shriver and Co. 94 NJSuper 426, (App.Div. 1967); Kelly v. Geriatric and Medical Services Inc. 287 NJSuper 567 (App Div. 1996); 1996); Gore v Hepworth 316 NJSuper 234 (App.Div. 1998); Marino v Industrial Crating Co. 358 F3rd 241 (2004); Volb v. G.E. Capital Corp. 139 NJ 110; Murin v. Frapual Construction Co. 240 NJSuper 600 (App.Div. 1990); Antheunisse v. Tiffany & Co. 229 NJSuper 399 (1988).

What’s so Special about a Special Employer.pdf