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Doug Landau
Doug Landau
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If a worker is injured doing a "side job" is he still covered by comp ?

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Does Virginia Workers Compensation law cover side jobs ? In these difficult economic times, when the boss says to do a job, the worker, fearful of losing the pay check, usually does not ask who owns the property or to see a "work ticket" from the home office. Purcellville and Hamilton area workers comp injury lawyer Doug Landau has represented disabled workers who were injured doing "side jobs" for their bosses and foremen. These cases often turn on whether the workers was going the same kind of work they did normally on the job, and whether the foreman had "apparent agency." Apparent agency means that it was reasonably apparent to the worker that his boss was having him do something that he normally did on the job and that the boss was controlling the work to be done. (See below for a definition by the Virginia Supreme Court with legal terminology !)

"An act is within the apparent scope of an agent’s authority if, in view of the character of his actual and known duties, an ordinarily prudent person, having a reasonable knowledge of the usages of the business in which the agent is engaged, would be justified in believing that he is authorized to perform the act in question." Wright v. Shortbridge, 194 Va. 346, 353, 73 S.E.2d 360, 364-65 (1952). For a Virginia workers compensation case where the deceased worker was working on the roof of the business owner’s home, go to the VWC Search Judicial Opinions site.

The keys to this kind of on the job injury case is to establish an employee/employer relationship; who had control of the work to be done; and whether it was "apparent" or obvious to the injured worker that this was not the usual kind of work that the company did, but a "side job" or "independent contractor" arrangement.