Friday, January 22, 2016

"Employee," within the meaning of the Labor Law.

Practice point:  The Labor Law defines "employee" as "a mechanic, workingman or laborer working for another for hire," § 2[5], and "employed" as "permitted or suffered to work," § 2[7].  To come within the ambit of § 240, imposing absolute liability on contractors, owners, and their agents to furnish safe equipment for employees, a plaintiff must demonstrate that he was both permitted or suffered to work on a building or structure and that he was hired by an owner, contractor or their agent.

The Appellate Division determined that plaintiff, as movant for summary judgment, met his prima facie burden of showing that he was an employee for hire, "permitted or suffered" to work at the site on the day of his accident, and defendants violated the requirements § 240, which was a proximate cause of the accident.  However, in opposition, defendants raised a triable issue of fact as to whether plaintiff had permission to perform work at the site on the day of the accident.

Student note:  Labor Law § 240(1) imposes "upon owners, contractors and their agents a nondelegable duty that renders them liable regardless of whether they supervise or control the work" for failure to provide proper protection from elevation-related hazards. 

Case:  Aslam v. Neighborhood Partnership Hous. Dev. Fund Co., Inc., NY Slip Op 00316 (2d Dept. 2016)

Here is the decision.

Monday's issue:  The measure of damages in a fraud claim.