NC Appeals Court Says Injured Off-Duty Law Officers are Joint Employees

From the Insurance Journal, discusses a recent case in North Carolina in which the North Carolina Court of Appeals said that an off-duty police officer who was directing traffic for a construction company was jointly employed both the sheriff’s office and the construction company. William writes:

The question has arisen many times around the country: Is an injured, off-duty law officer, moonlighting on security or traffic control, considered an employee of the law enforcement division or a private company?

The North Carolina Court of Appeals answered this month with a firm “both,” deciding that an officer in that scenario is jointly employed. The severely injured deputy sheriff is now due workers’ compensation benefits from the sheriff’s insurer and from a bridge-building company’s carrier, the court said in Stephen Lassiter vs. Robeson County Sheriff’s Department, Synergy Coverage Solutions, Truesdell Corp. and the Phoenix Insurance Co.

The court also, for the first time, addressed the question of whether a moonlighting officer is considered an independent contractor, excluded from the grand bargain of the workers’ compensation statute.

“Here, we recognize plaintiff was, at the time of his injury, acting as a law enforcement officer, conducting traffic duty—an official duty of law enforcement officers,” Judge Jefferson Griffin wrote in the Dec. 19 opinion. “In so doing, plaintiff retained his official status as he was neither acting solely on behalf of a private entity nor engaged in some private business of his own.”

Read the full story at NC Appeals Court Says Injured Off-Duty Law Officers are Joint Employees

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.