Check whether staff leasing provider is covered by Texas workers’ comp law

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Texas staff-leasing companies operate under the Staff Leasing Services Act. Employers who choose to use a staff leasing company can rest assured that, if the staffing firm elects to be covered by Texas’ workers’ compensation law, then so is the client company. That means that employees injured on the job can’t both collect workers’ compensation benefits and sue your organization for the same injury.

It’s a good idea to check whether or not your staff leasing company has workers’ compensation coverage. If it doesn’t, check with your insurance agent or company to find out what sort of policy you need to carry in case of an accident or an on-the-job injury.

Recent case: Nancy Vega was an employee of AMS Staff Leasing, assigned to work for Mid-America Services. While at work, Vega sustained injuries while riding in an automobile owned by Mid-America and operated by a Mid-America employee.

Vega sued the driver and Mid-America for negligence. But since AMS Staff Leasing had elected to be part of the Texas workers’ compensation system, the driver and Mid-America argued that workers’ comp covered Vega’s injuries. The trial court agreed, and Vega appealed.

The Court of Appeals of Texas agreed with the lower court and dismissed Vega’s negligence claim. It reasoned that if the staffing company was part of the workers’ compensation system, so was the organization the staffing company employees were assigned to. (Vega v. Silva and Mid-America, No. 05-96-00257, Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, 2007)

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