IES Blog

Controversy stems from workers’ comp. case

Posted on December 23rd, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

A recent court case in Maine could have far-reaching implications regarding the rights of temporary workers, Business Insurance reports. Specifically, a Maine high court judge ruled a workers' compensation claimant cannot sue an employer that contracted with an employment agency for his labor.

Charles Doughty was hired by community-based employment service provider Work Opportunities in 2008, which assigned him to a position at Poland Spring's bottling facility in Hollis, according to FindLaw.  It's not common for Poland Spring to use agency-supplied temp workers on an as-needed or seasonal basis.

While attempting to clear a machine jam, Doughty fell and hit his head and was taken to a local emergency room.

Shortly after the incident took place, Poland Spring released Doughty from his position, citing unreliability because he committed an "unsafe act."

According to Business Insurance, Doughty missed several medical appointments assigned for him by Work Opportunities, which later determined that he was no longer eligible for assignments. This led Doughty to file petitions against both Work Opportunities and Poland Spring seeking workers' compensation.

However, because Doughty didn't have a contract for hire with Poland Spring, he did not have a right to file for discrimination against the client company. He was granted temporary benefits to be paid by Work Opportunities, and the case was closed.

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