General and Special employers jointly and severally liable for compensation benefits

This is a Board Panel Decision

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

The applicant was a residential energy technician for Southern California Gas Company and a union regional officer for Utility Workers Union of America.

At the time of his injury the applicant was in a union vehicle driving to the union office to participate in a study for contract negotiations with the Gas company.

At trial,  The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) ruled the applicant was an employee of the gas company but not the union.

The Gas company filed a petition for reconsideration. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) indicated that it is possible for a worker to have two employers for workers’ compensation purposes. If one employer lends an employee to another employer, the lending employer is known as the  “general employer”. The employer bowering the employee is the “special employer”.

In this case the WCAB determined the gas company was the general employer and the union was the special employer. They discussed the 9 factors to determine a special employer.

In this case they determined there was a “dual employment relationship”. They found the applicant was employed by both the gas company and the union on the date of injury and therefore, they were joint and severally liable.

Robles v. Southern Calif Gas Co.

 Editor: Harvey Brown
Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela & Brown
3501 Jamboree Suite 602
Newport Beach, Ca 92660
(949) 689-5586


Harvey Brown
3501 Jamboree Rd. Suite 602
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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