State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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CRB Case Annotations re: Section 31-275(9)

[Formerly § 31-275(5)]

Employee.

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THESE ANNOTATIONS ARE PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

Full texts of opinions, statutes and court decisions should be consulted and all citations and references fully researched by the reader.

The Annotations to Compensation Review Board Opinions are presented “as is” and the Commission makes no warranties as to the suitability of this information for any given purpose.
Please note also that Annotations change periodically due to several factors including, but not limited to, Appellate and Supreme Court decisions issued in workers’ compensation cases.

Jeremy M. Reid v. Sheri A. Speer d/b/a Speer Enterprises, LLC, 5818 CRB-2-13-1 (January 28, 2014).

Respondent defended claim on basis claimant was an independent contractor and not an employee; and refused to file a Form 43 arguing that would “abet a fraud.” Trial commissioner found that respondent’s business relationship with claimant had become very intrusive including use of time clocks, required texts, and specific directions as to what was to be done. Therefore as of date of alleged injury an employer-employee relationship existed. Respondent appealed, noting claimant used primarily his own tools and was paid without tax withholding, and received a 1099. CRB affirmed decision; citing right to control test in Covey v. Home Medical Associates, LLC, 5770 CRB-4-12-7 (July 25, 2013). See also, Reid, § 31-275(10); § 31-278; § 31-298; § 31-301 Appeal procedure; § 31-301 Factual findings.

Louis v. Reborn Autobody, 5807 CRB-4-12-12 (November 1, 2013).

Claimant injured at auto shop. He asserted he was employee of respondent. Evidence before trial commissioner was claimant did not work set hours and was paid 50% of what shop billed customers. Trial commissioner found claimant was not credible and had not proven employee-employer relationship. Claimant appealed and CRB affirmed trial commissioner. Manner of payment, lack of set schedule, and autonomous employment consistent with finding claimant was an independent contractor. See also, Louis, § 31-275(10); § 31-301 Factual findings.

Lee v. Empire Construction Special Projects, LLC, 5751 CRB-2-12-5 (August 8, 2013);

Michaelson v. Empire Construction Special Projects, LLC, 5752 CRB-2-12-5 (August 8, 2013).

Claimants injured at CT jobsite while working for MA contractor. Insurance carrier challenged CT jurisdiction over claimant’s injury, alleging insufficient nexus between CT and employment relationship. CRB affirmed finding of jurisdiction. Michaelson was CT resident injured while employed in CT. While Lee was RI resident, entirety of his employment relationship with Empire as of date of accident had been while working in CT. Discussion of precedent in Healey v. Hawkeye Construction, LLC., 124 Conn. App. 215 (2010) and Baron v. Genlyte Thomas Group, LLC., 132 Conn. App. 794 (2012) indicated reasonable to find CT had significant relationship to employment relationship. See also, Lee/Michaelson, § 31-278; § 31-286; § 31-288; § 31-342; § 31-343.

Danek v. Electric Boat Corporation, 5760 CRB-2-12-6 (June 5, 2013).

Trier concluded that claimant who sustained injury following transfer to employer’s facility in Norfolk, Virginia was not subject to Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Act. Claimant had accepted relocation incentives and signed agreement requiring repayment of signing bonuses if claimant left Norfolk employment within one year. Trier determined agreement constituted new contract which contemplated performance of duties outside Connecticut and claimant was not Connecticut resident when contract was signed. CRB affirmed trier’s finding that claimant and employer had entered into new contract but remanded for additional findings relative to whether circumstances surrounding creation of new contract created a significant relationship between Connecticut and the contract consistent with three-pronged test set forth in Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 218 Conn. 181 (1991) and Burse v. American International Airways, Inc., 262 Conn. 31 (2002). CRB rejected claimant’s contention that trier had concluded Workers’ Compensation Act did not apply to non-residents injured outside Connecticut. See also, Danek, § 31-275(10); § 31-301 Factual Findings; § 31-301-04.

Santiago v. Junk Busters, LLC, 5721 CRB-6-12-1 (January 8, 2013).

CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s conclusion claimant was not an employee at the time of a motor vehicle accident. It appears that at the time of the accident the claimant was traveling in a vehicle with an acquaintance. The business owner had requested that the acquaintance drive out to Washington, CT to photograph a property for a client. For this effort the acquaintance was to be paid $20 for the photograph and $20 for gas. Employer contended that he severed his business relationship with the claimant a week before the accident as he was not satisfied with claimant’s performance of assigned tasks. Following the car accident claimant suffered from memory impairment but argued that he would not have been in the car traveling to and from Washington, CT unless he was being paid by Junk Busters. Trial commissioner found the testimony of the business owner more credible than that of the claimant. Employer/Employee relationship presents question of fact. CRB affirmed. See also, Santiago, § 31-275(10); § 31-301 Factual findings.

Duarte v. Franstel of CT Corp., 5692 CRB-7-11-11 (November 13, 2012).

Respondent challenged finding that claimant was employed by respondent when claimant sustained injuries in fall from tree while trimming branches on third party’s property. CRB affirmed. Although testimony of various parties appeared inconsistent with evidentiary submissions, trier retains ultimate discretion to determine credibility of witnesses. Trier reasonably inferred that claimant’s co-worker was authorized to act as respondent’s agent and record supported trier’s determination that requirements were satisfied for establishing employment relationship as set forth in Hanson v. Transportation General, Inc., 245 Conn. 613 (1998). Trier reasonably inferred that evidentiary record did not support finding that legal standard for casual employment was satisfied. CRB deemed meritless respondent’s claim that trier’s Finding and Award was void because trier issued decision on Monday following expiration of statutory one-hundred twenty day deadline which occurred on preceding Saturday. Trier properly denied respondent’s Motion to Correct. See also, Duarte, § 31-275(1); § 31-300; § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-301-4.

Diaz v. Capital Improvement & Management, LLC, 5616 CRB-1-11-01 (January 12, 2012).

Respondent argued claimant was employee of another firm or a casual employee when injured. Trial commissioner credited claimant’s testimony he had worked for respondent for 15 months. CRB upheld finding; precedent in Vignali v. Richard Renner, 5473 CRB-5-09-6 (June 17, 2010) and Mangual v. Andrew LeBlanc d/b/a Express Tiles, 4957 CRB-1-05-6 (April 26, 2006) on point. See also, Diaz, § 31-275(10); § 31-288; § 31-291; § 31-294c.

Jordan v. Reindeau & Sons Logging, LLC, 5388 CRB-2-08-10 (December 18, 2009).

Claimant worked as “chopper” for timber harvesting business and injured on job. Claimant asserted he was an employee, pointing out he was paid by hour, often used respondent’s equipment and respondent found other work for him when they were not busy. Respondents argued claimant was an independent contractor as he used his own chainsaw and controlled his hours of work; also no tax withholding done of his pay and claimant had his own state forestry license. Trial commissioner found for respondent on jurisdiction. Claimant appealed. CRB affirmed trial commissioner. Sufficient evidence presented under the “totality of factors” test in Hanson v. Transportation General Inc., 245 Conn. 613 (1998) to sustain finding. Claimant worked in autonomous manner and provided his own tools, therefore case distinguishable from authority relied on by claimant; similar result in Schleidt v. Eldridge Carpentry, 5373 CRB-8-08-8 (July 14, 2009). See also Jordan, § 31-275(10), § 31-301. Factual findings.

Ojeda v. Forty-Five Pool Services, 5387 CRB-4-8-10 (September 8, 2009).

Claimant asserted he was injured while in scope of employment. Respondent did not attend hearing and had no insurance. Trial Commissioner found claimant credible and ordered award. Second Injury Fund appealed. CRB affirmed. Subordinate facts on record met standard in Hanson v. Transportation General, 245 Conn. 613 (1998) to determined existence of employer-employee relationship. See also, Ojeda, § 31-275(10), § 31-355.

Vazquez v. John Christino d/b/a Jack’s Home Improvements, 5380 CRB-4-08-9 (August 19, 2009).

CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s determination that claimant’s status as an illegal alien was not a legal bar to a contract of employment for purposes of Workers’ Compensation. Further, CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s determination that the respondent had the “right to control the means and methods of work” as required in an employment relationship. See also, Vazquez, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Schleidt v. Eldredge Carpentry LLC, 5373 CRB-8-08-8 (July 14, 2009).

Claimant injured on construction project, asserted he was employee of respondent at time of injury. Trial commissioner found factors both for employer-employee status and independent contractor status; but eventually concluded weight of factors was in favor of independent contractor status. Reasons included claimant being found not credible and persuasive; claimant filing taxes as sole proprietor and obtaining his own insurance, and claimant bringing his own tools to job site. Claimant appealed and CRB upheld dismissal. Trial commissioner properly evaluated “totality of factors” as required in Hanson v. Transportation General, Inc., 245 Conn. 613 (1998). See also Schleidt, § 31-275(10), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Jacobs v. James Dwy d/b/a New Home Exteriors, 5327 CRB-5-08-3 (May 28, 2009).

Claimant injured in fall off roof at construction site. Trial commissioner found claimant was employee. CRB upheld; evidence presented claimant used respondent’s tool on job and was directed as to what work to perform. See also Jacobs § 31-275(10), § 31-284(a), § 31-291, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-355(a), § 31-355(b).

Rodriguez v. ED Construction a/k/a E.D. Construction, Inc., 5316 CRB-7-08-1 (May 11, 2009).

Claimant asserted that he was employee at time of injury when he was burned by torch. Trial commissioner found claimant executed various forms with respondent and its insurer representing he was an independent contractor. Claimant appealed; asserting commissioner failed to apply “right to control” test. CRB affirmed result. Critical issue was not execution of exclusion forms, although since trial commissioner did not believe claimant was unaware of consequences this did go to credibility. Case similar to Maskowsky v. FedEx Ground, 5200 CRB-3-07-2 (July 28, 2008); claimant owned his own tools and was working in autonomous manner at time of injury; facts did not establish respondent’s “right to control”. Fact another injured worker of respondent was found an employee did not create stare decisis issue; decision herein is fact based and one trial commissioner cannot bind another. See also, Rodriguez, § 31-275(10), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Martinez v. C. Palmer & Sons, 5252 CRB-8-07-7 (October 21, 2008).

Claimant worked for subcontractor of respondent at new home construction site and was injured in nail gun accident. Respondent argued Commission lacked jurisdiction as it was not in “regular” business of new home construction; therefore they were not “principal employer”. Record was that respondent had built one house per year for 14 years, and trial commissioner found that this was not “part and process” of respondent’s business. CRB reversed. Record clearly demonstrates the prongs were met in Samaoya v. William Gallagher, 4951 CRB-7-05-6 (April 26, 2006), aff’d 102 Conn. App. 670 (2007). See also, Martinez, § 31-291, § 31- 355(b).

Badawieh v. Federal Express Corp., 5240 CRB-7-07-6 (September 4, 2008), appeal dismissed for lack of final judgment, A.C. 30358 (January 15, 2009).

Claimant injured while working for Federal Express, who included earnings from concurrent employment working for Connecticut Post in calculating benefits under a voluntary agreement. Fed Ex sought reimbursement under § 31-310 from Second Injury Fund for share of benefits. Second Injury Fund (SIF) declined, stating claimant was an independent contractor for Post. Trial commissioner found claimant was an employee of Post and SIF appealed. CRB remanded matter for additional findings; unclear from record if decision was compatible with precedent governing this industry such as DaSilva v. Danbury Publishing Co., 39 Conn. App. 653 (1995). See also Badawieh, § 31-310, § 31-275(10).

Maskowsky v. Fed Ex Ground, 5200 CRB-3-07-2 (July 28, 2008).

Driver of Fed Ex delivery truck was injured on job and claimed he was a Fed Ex employee, notwithstanding agreement he signed describing his relationship as being an independent contractor for Fed Ex. Trial commissioner found, applying Hanson v. Transportation General, 245 Conn. 613 (1998), that claimant was independent contractor and dismissed claim, noting claimant owned his own truck, could assign route to others, and did not have taxes withheld. Claimant appealed, noting respondent closely supervised claimant’s activities. CRB upheld dismissal. Hanson stands for “totality of the factors” test; trier of fact placed greater weight on factors consistent with independent contractor status. See also Maskowsky, § 31-275(10), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Kocur v. IQ Technology, LLC, 5210 CRB-1-07-3 (March 3, 2008).

Claimant suffered amputation of finger of non-master hand while operating machine at respondent’s shop. Respondent asserted claimant was independent contractor. Trial commissioner found respondent exercised “right of general control” over claimant’s work as per Hanson v. Transportation General, Inc., 245 Conn. 613 (1998). CRB upheld Finding and Award on appeal. Respondent’s defense focused on claimant’s skill level to assert he acted independently; precedent is that skilled professionals can be employees, see Hynd v. General Electric Company, 10 Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 77, 1151 CRB-4-90-12 (April 3, 1992). Respondent told claimant when he could work and owned the machines he worked on; trial commissioner properly applied Hanson test. See also, Kocur, § 31-275(10), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Parkman v. Express Courier Systems, Inc., 5203 01-07-03 (February 25, 2008).

Claimant suffered injury while delivering packages for respondent Express Courier Systems, Inc. Trial commissioner dismissed claim finding based on precedent in Hanson v. Transportation General, Inc., 245 Conn. 613 (1998) and Dupree v. Masters 39 Conn. App. 929 (1995); evidence supported finding of independent contractor status. CRB upheld dismissal on appeal. Claimant paid by the job, had no taxes withheld and determined when she would work. Case similar to Bonner v. Liberty Home Care Agency et al. 4945 CRB-6-05-5 (May 12, 2006); commissioner must resolve factual questions of whether employer-employee relationship exists. CRB also rejected argument preclusion should have entered against respondent Jason Napoletano; who hired claimant; facts did not establish subject matter jurisdiction of employer-employee relationship existed. See also, Parkman, § 31-275 (10).

Reeve v. Eleven Ives Street, LLC, 5146 CRB-7-06-10 (November 5, 2007).

Claimant injured in barroom brawl asserted he was employed as bouncer at time of injury. Respondent-employer did not appear but advised respondent Second Injury Fund claimant not an employee. Claimant’s only evidence re: employment was uncorroborated testimony; he produced no pay stubs or other documentation. Trial commissioner concluded claimant had not established jurisdictional fact of employer/employee relationship and dismissed claim. CRB upheld on appeal. Castro v. Viera, 207 Conn. 420 (1988), places burden on claimant to prove jurisdiction. See also, Reeve, § 31-275(10), § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301-9. Additional evidence.

Lema v. Eoanou, 5056 CRB-4-06-2 (January 29, 2007).

CRB affirmed trier’s finding that claimant was employed as carpenter/laborer by respondent at time of injury, which occurred while doing work at employer’s private residence rather than usual Westport job site. Respondent failed to persuade trier that claimant worked not for him, but for limited liability company that owned Westport property, and that work duties at respondent’s house were separate endeavor that fell under “casual employee” or “service in or about a private dwelling” exclusions in § 31-275(9)(B). Respondent’s occupation was as a home builder, claimant was paid in cash, no paperwork distinguished one job from the other and respondent told claimant and other workers how he wanted work done and where they would be working day-to-day. Nature of this business relationship was factual question going beyond property ownership. See also, Lema, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301-4.

Muniz v. Allied Community Resources, Inc., 5025 CRB 5-05-11 (November 1, 2006), aff’d, 108 Conn. App. 581 (2008)

Personal care assistant injured while working at home of disabled client. State funded aide’s employment, and regulations limited employment to less than 26 hours per week. Trial Commissioner found injury covered under the Act; CRB reversed. Claimant’s employment fell within exception to coverage for part-time household workers, so Commission had no jurisdiction over the injury, See also, Muniz, § 31-275(9); § 31-278.

Yurevich v. Dimitri Logvinski, 5013 CRB-7-05-10 (September 22, 2006).

Claimant injured thumb at construction site. Trial commissioner held that claimant acted as independent contractor, based on evidence regarding respondent’s level of control of the job site and the fact respondent did not withhold taxes from earnings. Claimant appealed. CRB upheld trial commissioner, finding fact pattern and legal issues virtually identical to Altieri v. R & M Builders, 3647 CRB-5-97-7 (December 18, 1998). Stare decisis compels similar result. See also, Yurevich, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Mankus v. Robert Mankus, 4958 CRB-1-05-6 (August 22, 2006), aff’d, 107 Conn. App. 585 (2008), cert. denied, 288 Conn. 904 (2008)

Claimant has burden of proving injury has occured in course of employment in order to confer subject matter jurisdiction on Commission. See Del Toro v. Stamford, 270 Conn. 532, 543 (2004). Evidence presented after issuance of original Finding and Award established claimant was not an employee when he was injured, so trier was justified in reopening and dismissing claim for want of jurisdiction. See also, Mankus, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-315.

Krupa v. Marenna Amusements, LLC, 4980 CRB-7-05-7 (August 11, 2006).

Evidence supported finding that claimant was an employee at time of injury, Respondent controlled worksite and elements of independent contractor status not present. See also, Krupa, § 31-275(1); § 31-275(10); § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307.

Bonner v. Liberty Home Care Agency, 4945 CRB-6-05-5 (May 12, 2006).

Affirmed. Trial commissioner determined that home health aide who worked independently and paid taxes as an sole proprietor was an independent contractor for the purposes of the statute, following reasoning in Dupree, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 316, 1791 CRB-7-93-7 (April 25, 1995), aff’d, 39 Conn. App. 929 (1995)(per curiam).

Mangual v. Andrew LeBlanc d/b/a Express Tiles, 4957 CRB-1-05-6 (April 26, 2006).

Respondent admitted claimant had worked “five to ten jobs” for his tile business over a four-month period. Trial commissioner appropriately determined claimant was not a “casual employee” as defined in the statute. Since respondent directly supervised work and provided all tools used, claimant was not an independent contractor. See also, Mangual, § 31-298, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Bugryn v. State/Department of Correction, 4888 CRB-8-04-11 (October 24, 2005), aff’d, 97 Conn. App. 324 (2006), cert. denied, 280 Conn. 929 (2006).

CRB affirmed commissioner’s conclusion decedent was not an employee when he suffered fatal heart attack. At that time, decedent was running on a track as part of employment application process. Purpose of exercise was to determine if candidate satisfied physical fitness requirements for correction officers. Decedent had not yet completed the application process, and was not an employee.

Szyska v. Norwalk Taxi, Inc., 4687 CRB-7-03-6 (February 3, 2005).

Despite claimant’s income tax claim of sole proprietor, commissioner was entitled to base his conclusion that taxi driver was employee of respondent on his findings regarding the actual operation of the business. Although the taxicab industry is heavily regulated by the Department of Transportation, this fact does not dictate a finding that a driver is an independent contractor.

Degnan v. Employee Staffing of America, Inc., a/k/a Labor Force of America, 4580 CRB-3-02-10 (October 27, 2003).

CRB affirmed trier’s finding that claimant was employee of temporary employment agency, whom he had worked for over the course of many years. In light of § 31-292 lent employee statute, findings allowed for legal conclusion that claimant was still an employee of LFA while working at Olympic Steel job site. See also, Degnan, § 31-292, § 31-348, § 31-355(b).

Netto v. Derby, 4535 CRB-4-02-6 (July 2, 2003).

CRB affirmed trier’s finding that part-time trainee for supernumerary police officer position was employee of city at time of injury. Claimant had been offered job, and completion of training was a necessary prerequisite. Though claimant was not being paid, he was receiving benefit of training itself, and had been provided with equipment by city, which had the right to control means and methods of training. Compensation rate should have been calculated pursuant to § 31-310a, as underlying employment relationship had commenced. See also, Netto, § 31-310a.

Beedle v. Don Oliver Home Improvement, 4491 CRB-3-02-2 (February 28, 2003).

CRB affirmed trier’s finding that claimant was employee of respondent on date of fall from ladder. Credibility determination; trier had discretion to accept testimony of claimant over conflicting testimony by three other witnesses. See also, Beedle, § 31-301-4.

Malchik v. State/Div. of Criminal Justice, 4455 CRB-2-01-11 (October 23, 2002), aff’d, 266 Conn. 728 (2003).

Board affirmed trier’s finding that claimant was no longer a state employee during a post-retirement time period when he helped state’s attorney’s office with its preparation for a criminal trial. Testimony established that there was no agreement between parties to pay claimant for his services, nor was claimant under direction and control of state after his retirement date. See also, Malchik, § 31-275(15), § 31-294c(a).

Smith v. Yurkovsky, 4324 CRB-3-00-12 (December 12, 2001), aff’d and remanded with direction, 265 Conn. 816 (2003).

Trier interpreted exclusion for workers who are “not regularly employed by the owner or occupier over twenty-six hours per week” by construing “regularly” to mean the “tax season” in which claimant (a home health care worker) was employed many more hours per week than during other times of year. CRB reviewed purpose of exclusion, and concluded that “regularly” refers to average number of hours worked weekly during 26 weeks preceding the injury. (Metro, C., DISSENTING) (“Regularly” should encompass 52, rather than 26, weeks preceding the injury.) Supreme Court affirmed board’s opinion however, remanded for further proceedings to determine whether claimant was regularly employed more than twenty-six hours per week during the majority of the fifty-two weeks immediately preceding the injury.

Owen v. Diversified Hospitality Group, 4204 CRB-3-00-3 (July 25, 2001).

Claimant was initially hired by respondent DHG, who subsequently entered into restructuring scheme whereby certain employment liabilities would be assumed by Flex-Staff, a Texas company with lower costs of doing business. Contract took effect October 1, 1990, though trier found that during initial stage of “phasing-in” period, Flex-Staff merely acted as payroll service while DHG retained control over means and methods of decedent’s work. Decedent died in work-related automobile accident on November 27, 1990. Held: Collateral estoppel doctrine did not apply to determination of Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission that decedent was employed by Flex-Staff at time of injury. Decision was subsequently set aside by Texas Court as part of compromise settlement, in which all liability was expressly denied. Also, no “identity of issues” existed, because joint employment relationship was possible in this case; one could find that both Flex-Staff and DHG exercised significant control over decedent’s work activities. See also, Owen, § 31-275(1), § 31-278.

Balogh v. F.J. Dahill Company, 4267 CRB-7-00-07 (July 2, 2001).

Board affirmed trier’s conclusion that claimant was an employee at the time of his injury. Respondent employer argued that it lacked sufficient control or supervision over claimant’s work. However, trier found that employer controlled claimant’s work, having told him how to safely use his ladder following a meeting on the topic that was held outside of claimant’s presence.

Merritt v. Nacom, 4098 CRB-3-99-8 (October 16, 2000).

CRB affirmed trier’s determination that claimant was acting as an employee, rather than an independent contractor, when he was injured while working for the respondent employer. Employer argued on appeal that claimant had signed a contract indicating that he was a “subcontractor,” had purchased his own disability insurance, and that the employer did not withhold taxes from his pay. However, numerous other factors indicated that claimant was under the direction and control of employer.

Stalker v. Derby, 4093 CRB-4-99-7 (August 10, 2000).

CRB affirmed trier’s finding that claimant was acting as an independent contractor rather than an employee of the Connecticut Post. The board thus affirmed the trier’s conclusion that the concurrent wage benefits provided under § 31-310 did not apply to the claimant’s concurrent employment with the Post. See also, Stalker, § 31-310, § 31-279-3.

Samuels v. Coconut Enterprises, 4078 CRB-1-99-7 (July 27, 2000).

Trial commissioner concluded that claimant failed to sustain his burden of proof that he was an employee of respondent. Claimant contended that trier erred by inferring that he was the operator of respondent business. Based on all of the evidence, including testimony of a witness, it was not unreasonable to infer that claimant operated business at the time of accident. Even without this inference, the record amply supports the conclusion that the claimant was not under the direction or control of the respondent at the time of his accident, and thus he may have been an independent contractor but not an employee. Board noted that claimant failed to provide any documentary evidence, such as his alleged employment application, time sheets, or payroll records, to indicate that he was acting as an employee.

Davis v. Edward J. Corrigan, 4024 CRB-2-99-3 (July 20, 2000).

Board concluded that the findings fully supported the trial commissioner’s conclusion that the claimant was acting as an employee rather than an independent contractor. The claimant was hired by the employer (a real estate developer who would purchase dilapidated buildings and refurbish them) to do repair work on a house in Connecticut. The trier’s findings supported the conclusion that the employer had the right to direct and control the claimant in the performance of her work. The board briefly found no merit to the argument that the claimant was not covered under the Act because she was allegedly not a citizen of this state, as the claimant was hired to do work “primarily in this state” under § 31-275(9)(B)(iv). See also, Davis, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Burroughs v. Jameson, 4019 CRB-1-99-4 (July 18, 2000).

CRB concluded that the evidence in the record fully supported the trier’s conclusion that the claimant was acting as an independent contractor.

Nadeau v. J.H. Scelza, Inc., 3903 CRB-6-98-9 (January 13, 2000).

CRB affirmed the trier’s conclusion that the claimant was acting as an employee of the respondent when he was injured. Although the claimant owned his own siding business and chose not to be covered under his workers’ compensation policy, he was injured while working outside the scope of his business. Specifically, the claimant was assisting the respondent with the removal of a window and was under the direction and control of the respondent for that project. See also, Nadeau, § 31-292.

Merlin v. Labor Force of America, Inc., 3920 CRB-4-98-10 (December 22, 1999), aff’d, 62 Conn. App. 906 (2001)(per curiam), cert. denied, 256 Conn. 922 (2001).

CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s conclusion that the claimant was an employee of the carpenter whom he was assisting on the day of his accident, rather than the employee referral agency that placed him at that job. Trier based decision on who had actual control over the means and methods of the claimant’s work, and permissibly exercised his discretion in ignoring evidence that LFA had represented that it would act as the employer for the purpose of administering employee benefits.

Murray v. Black Tie Limousine, 3899 CRB-3-98-9 (November 4, 1999).

CRB affirmed the trier’s decision that the claimant was an employee rather than an independent contractor. The findings and the record supported the trier’s determination that the respondent had the right to direct and control the claimant in his performance of his work. See also, Murray, § 31-294d, § 31-307. Prior decision at Murray, 3306 CRB-3-96-3 (August 21, 1997), § 31-315.

Johnson v. Braun Moving, Inc., 3861 CRB-7-98-7 (November 2, 1999).

CRB affirmed trier’s decision that claimant was an employee of moving company rather than contractor who had been hired by company to provide services on its behalf. Commissioner was not required to rely upon terms of contract between company and contractor, as other evidence supported finding that moving company controlled the means and methods of the claimant’s job duties on the date of injury. See also, Johnson, § 31-294d, § 31-298.

Puchala v. Connecticut Abatement Technologies, 3859 CRB-4-98-7 (September 27, 1999).

CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s finding that claimant was employee of uninsured asbestos removal company, and that he was injured in the course of his employment with them. Factual findings supported legal conclusion, and in turn were themselves supported by evidence in the record. Appellant had unsuccessfully attempted to argue that claimant was actually working for a demolition/land contracting company owned by the director of Connecticut Abatement. See also, Puchala, § 31-291. Subsequent decision at Puchala, 4232 CRB-4-00-4 (January 30, 2002), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Palaez v. Richard A. Nau, 3905 CRB-7-98-9 (June 3, 1999).

CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s decision that claimant was an employee rather than an independent contractor where the trier found that the respondent directed and controlled the work activities of the claimant.

Spiwak v. Daniel Gassner d/b/a DGC, 3760 CRB-4-98-1 (April 5, 1999).

CRB affirmed trier’s conclusion that claimant, who performed framing and roofing work, was an independent contractor. Trial commissioner found that claimant accomplished his job without direction, that no taxes were withheld from his pay, that he came and went from job sites at will, and that he used his own tools.

Altieri v. R & M Builders, 3647 CRB-15-97-7 (December 18, 1998).

CRB affirmed the trial commissioner’s conclusion that the claimant was an independent contractor. The findings of fact supported the conclusion that the employer did not have control over the means and methods of the claimant’s work. Moreover, the trier’s decision was also bolstered by the facts that the claimant held himself out as a fully insured home improvement contractor, and that no taxes were withheld from his pay.

Mitchell v. J. B. Retail Inventory Specialists, 3458 CRB-2-96-10 (March 31, 1998).

Claimant was a Rhode Island resident who was injured in Rhode Island. Her employer’s office was located in Connecticut. The trial commissioner found that the place of her employment relation was in Connecticut, and that of the 29 days she worked, she was in Connecticut for at least part of 19 of those days, though she was not in this state for 50% or more of her total work hours. As a traveling inventory specialist, she worked throughout New England and New York. The trial commissioner dismissed her claim, ruling that such a result was compelled by the CRB decision in Giordano v. Morganti, Inc., 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 21, 3023 CRB-7-95-3 (November 9, 1995). The CRB disagreed, holding that the phrase “at least fifty per cent of his employment time” in § 31-275(9)(B)(vi)(I) should be interpreted broadly to include cases where the claimant has worked in Connecticut for at least a part of 50% or more of the various days worked. Policy behind the statute and its relationship with general jurisdictional principles of the Act discussed.

Covillion v. Plante Brothers, Inc., 3364 CRB-7-96-6 (December 11, 1997), aff’d, 51 Conn. App. 901 (1998)(per curiam).

CRB affirmed the trial commissioner’s conclusion that the claimant was self-employed as a sole proprietor when he was injured. Also, § 31-291 does not apply where claimant is not an employee and thus no employment relationship exists. See also, Covillion § 31-291.

Kogut v. J&C Building Renovation Co., 3484 CRB-7-96-12 (September 8, 1997).

See, Kogut, § 31-291.

Dowling v. Slotnik, 3062 CRB-4-95-5, 3277 CRB-4-96-2 (February 5, 1997), aff’d, rev’d and remanded in part, 244 Conn. 781 (1998)(with dissenting opinion).

Definition of “employee” does not exclude illegal aliens. Federal criminalization of illegal alien employment does not preclude state from awarding workers’ compensation, as Chapter 568 is not punitive and does not relate to Immigration Reform and Control Act policies. Claimant’s falsification of information in job application does not affect existence of employment relationship or compensability of injury. Supreme Court affirmed holding that illegal aliens are not barred from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Court reversed the trial commissioner’s imposition of a $10,000 fine for failure to carry insurance, as evidence did not support the imposition of the maximum fine, and remanded for determination of a lesser fine. See also, Dowling, § 31-288, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, and § 31-307. Subsequent decision at Dowling, 3468 CRB-4-96-11 (May 6, 1998), § 31-290, § 31-296, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301(f).

Morrissey v. Lannon-Norton Associates, 3085 CRB-4-95-6 (December 23, 1996).

Trial commissioner found that claimant was an employee rather than an independent contractor. Corrections sought by respondent were primarily based on testimony of claimant and employer’s officers, and did not have to be granted by commissioner, as other inferences could properly be drawn from that testimony as well. No one factor is controlling in employment determination, including claimant’s reporting in tax return amounts realized from work with respondent as profits by personal contracting business. Right to control, not tax filing strategy, is ultimate legal issue.

Ogdon v. Treemasters, Inc., 3071 CRB-4-95-6 (December 20, 1996).

Claimant was hit by felled tree while operating noisy wood chipper. Commissioner found injury compensable. Affirmed. Failure of respondent to withhold deductions from claimant’s pay, as well as claimant’s not seeking unemployment benefits during time prior to accident, were not necessarily material to employment status. Sufficient evidence existed to support determination of employee status, e.g. control over work environment by employer and ownership of tree removal equipment. Burden on employer to establish both prongs of affirmative defense of intoxication under § 31-284(a). Not done here.

Downes v. Sica-Cohen, 2259 CRB-4-95-1 (December 13, 1996).

Trial commissioner found that nurse/ecologist was not an employee of medical practitioner. Affirmed; requested corrections to findings reflecting that much of claimant’s practice required direct supervision by physician, etc., were based on testimony that at best ambiguously supported her assertions. Commissioner had discretion to interpret testimony differently, or ignore it altogether. Also, language of § 20-87a(a) defining nursing practice as being under a physician’s direction does not translate into a legal requirement that the claimant must be an employee rather than an independent contractor.

Hanson v. Transportation General, Inc., 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 57, 3001 CRB-3-95-2 (October 18, 1996), aff’d, 45 Conn. App. 441 (1997), aff’d, 245 Conn. 613 (1998).

Commissioner found that decedent taxi driver was an independent contractor rather than an employee of Metro Taxi. Affirmed. Commissioner was not required to use “relative nature of the work” test instead of “control” test to determine if employment relationship existed. Neither the legislature nor the courts of Connecticut have strayed from the “right to control” test in these cases, and it was properly applied to the facts here. Employment status is a factual issue, and is subject to certain deference on review. Findings offered sufficient support for finding that decedent was an independent contractor.

Kramer v. Johnson, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 43, 2217 CRB-6-94-11 (October 16, 1996).

Trier failed to make any factual findings or conclusions as to whether the putative employer had control over the alleged employee’s work activities relating to a roofing project. Further, the finding lacks evidentiary support concerning payment for services and is unclear as to whether respondent and claimant had an employment agreement. Remanded.

Pepin v. Carvalho, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 350, 3012 CRB-1-95-3 (June 26, 1996), aff’d, 44 Conn. App. 931 (1997)(per curiam).

The CRB affirmed the trial commissioner’s conclusion that the claimant was an independent contractor rather than an employee. The trial commissioner found that the claimant and Carvalho agreed that the claimant would keep track of his hours; that Carvalho would pay the claimant upon completion in a cash lump sum; that Carvalho would not make any deductions or withholdings from the lump sum payment; that Carvalho left up to the claimant when to report to work; that Carvalho left up to the claimant to decide how many hours to work per day; and that Carvalho did not instruct the claimant in the manner he did the paint job.

Thornton v. Kabel, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 353, 3027 CRB-4-95-3 (June 26, 1996).

Trier found respondent directed claimant to perform certain activities related to the felling of trees. Claimant fell while descending from a tree, when the clip of his safety harness to the rope broke. Claimant sustained various injuries. Trier’s factual finding that claimant was an employee of the respondent affirmed on appeal. See also, Thornton, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Nelson v. Deb’s Inc., 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 274, 2228 CRB-3-94-12 (June 20, 1996), aff’d, 45 Conn. App. 909 (1997)(per curiam), dismissed, 244 Conn. 349 (1998).

Trial commissioner ruled that escort-masseuse was not an employee of the escort service. CRB affirmed. Commissioner had authority as fact finder to determine existence of employment relationship; he also had authority under § 31-298 to admit a signed, undated document entitled “Agreement” into evidence. Corrections urged by claimant depended on credibility of conflicting testimony, and were not erroneously denied; evidence in record supported decision that claimant controlled results and methods of her work. (Tracy, C., DISSENTING) (terminology of agreements irrelevant; escort service had authority to control appearance, conduct, and clientele of escorts, etc.). See also, Nelson, § 31-298.

Marandino v. Marandino’s d/b/a John Marandino, 3130 CRB-6-95-7 (June 4, 1996).

The trial commissioner found that the decedent was a sole proprietor at the time he suffered a fatal heart attack on May 20, 1992, and thus was not covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act. The trial commissioner further found that the claimant had not elected to be covered under the workers’ compensation system pursuant to § 31-275(10). See also, Marandino, § 31-301-9. Subsequent decision at, Marandino v. Marandino’s, 3130 CRB-6-95-7 (March 20, 1997), § 31-275(10) and § 31-294c notes.

Tavares v. Noel, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 172, 2010 CRB-7-94-3 (March 8, 1996).

CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s award of benefits for compensable injury sustained by an illegal alien. An employee who is an illegal alien is not barred from receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

Carrier v. Voisine, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 105, 2093 CRB-3-94-7 (January 11, 1996).

Trial commissioner found claimant generally acted as independent contractor, but absence of signed agreement left respondent in control of claimant’s work activities, thus making claimant an employee. Reversed; not enough evidence to support decision. Commissioner inappropriately focused on fact that subcontracting agreement had not been properly signed, instead of studying respondent’s actual right to control the means and method of claimant’s work.

Giordano v. Morganti, Inc., 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 21, 3023 CRB-7-95-3 (November 9, 1995).

See, Giordano, § 31-278. Jurisdiction/Disqualification.

Zawadski v. Zaleski, 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 322, 1973 CRB-1-94-2 (September 15, 1995), aff’d, 43 Conn. App. 909 (1996)(per curiam).

CRB affirmed commissioner’s determination that claimant was an employee rather than an independent contractor. The employer was a general contractor who hired a laborer who brought the claimant to work at the job site at the request of the employer. The employer had the right to control the claimant’s work.

Fassano v. D’Addario Industries, 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 147, 1937 CRB-4-93-12 (June 20, 1995).

CRB affirmed commissioner’s conclusion that claimant was an independent contractor rather than an employee. The claimant’s alleged acceptance of additional job duties without additional pay is not a determinative factor.

Dupree v. Masters, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 316, 1791 CRB-7-93-7 (April 25, 1995), aff’d, 39 Conn. App. 929 (1995)(per curiam).

Commissioner found that employer did not withhold social security or federal income tax payments from claimant’s wages; tax forms showed that claimant paid his own taxes at self-employment rates. Work could have been performed either as employee or independent contractor. Commissioner’s ruling that claimant was not an employee supported by facts; affirmed.

Muniz v. Koteas, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 284, 1720 CRB-4-93-5 (April 21, 1995).

Despite language of rental agreement labeling claimant as independent contractor, commissioner was entitled to base his conclusion that taxi driver was employee of respondent on his findings regarding the actual operation of the business. Findings satisfied definition of employee in statute. See also, Muniz, § 31-298.

Phelan v. Soda Construction Co., 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 53, 1583 CRB-3-92-12 (December 20, 1994).

Sufficient evidence existed to find claimant was employee of respondent despite absence of tax withholding in wages. See also, Phelan, § 31-291, § 31-301. Factual findings, and § 31-355(b). See subsequent Phelan, § 31-310.

Calamari v. Durham-Middlefield Interlocal Advisory Board, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 397, 1577 CRB-8-92-11 (September 8, 1994).

CRB majority opinion supports trier’s finding claimant, who performed gate guard services for respondent employer, received no control or direction as to the means and method of his work and was therefore an independent contractor. (Waldron, C., DISSENTING) Evidence indicates employer had sufficient control over how claimant performed his work to establish an employer-employee relationship.

DaSilva v. Danbury Publishing Co., 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 360, 1647 CRB-7-93-2 (August 2, 1994), aff’d, 39 Conn. App. 653 (1995), cert. denied, 235 Conn. 936 (1995).

Newspaper carrier not an employee under the Act. (Miles, C., DISSENTING).

Pichardo v. East-West Theatre Productions, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 186, 1553 CRB-3-92-11 (May 2, 1994).

Finding that claimant, an aspiring actor, was not an employee but an independent contractor who engaged in a joint venture to perform in a theatrical performance supported by evidence.

Halliday v. Daw’s Critical Care Registry, Inc., 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 187, 1196 CRD-7-91-3 (September 14, 1992), dismissed for lack of final judgment, A.C. 11770, cert. denied, 225 Conn. 905 (1993).

Trier’s finding claimant an employee of Darien Convalescent Center supported by evidence. Remanded on § 31-297(b) (now § 31-294c) issue. See also, Halliday, § 31-294c.

Chute v. Mobil Shipping and Transportation, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 183, 1321 CRD-7-91-10 (September 1, 1992), aff’d, 32 Conn. App. 16 (1993), cert. denied, 227 Conn. 919 (1993).

CRB affirmed trier’s ruling denying claimant widow’s Motion to Preclude. Trier found no employer/employee relationship existed between decedent and respondent employer. Employer’s right to discharge decedent is not the equivalent of the employer’s right to control. The employer’s right to discharge and the tasks performed by decedent, are not the only factors to be considered in determining the requisite control necessary to establish the existence of an employer/employee relationship. See also, Chute, § 31-294c and § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Russell v. R.N. Russell Welding, Inc., 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 174, 1173 CRD-5-91-2 (September 1, 1992), aff’d, 226 Conn. 508 (1993).

CRB affirmed trier’s finding that decedent, President and Treasurer of R.N. Russell Welding, Inc. agent for service of process as well as sole shareholder, elected to be excluded from coverage. The mere fact that decedent did not serve the exclusion form upon himself pursuant to § 31-275(6)(D) (now § 31-275(10)(D)) does not make notice ineffective. Hence, fatal injury found not compensable under the workers’ compensation act.

Reale v. Carducci, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 158, 1205 CRD-5-91-3 (June 30, 1992).

CRB’s review of issues on appeal after remand does not change resulting disposition. Factual finding supports trier’s conclusion claimant was an employee at the time of his injury.

Keefe v. Flynn, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 98, 1169 CRD-2-91-1 (April 23, 1992).

Trier’s finding claimant, a truck driver, was an employee of respondent-employer will not be disturbed where findings and conclusions are supported by evidentiary record. The evidence showed the respondent directed the route of each trip, and paid gas, insurance and licensing fees.

Hynd v. General Electric Company, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 77, 1151 CRD-4-90-12 (April 3, 1992).

Remanded so that further factual findings may be made on the issue of the putative employer’s control over the claimant’s work activities. No findings to support legal conclusion claimant, a proofreader for respondent employer, was an independent contractor. The fact that claimant was a professional in and of itself does not make her an independent contractor.

Zawadzki v. Kochanowicz, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 62, 1120 CRD-5-90-10 (February 26, 1992).

CRB review of record below indicates trial commissioner relied on the credibility of the witnesses in finding claimant was an employee and not an independent contractor. Also, as evidence could suggest an employer/employee relationship and trier found such existed, CRB cannot say trier’s conclusion arose from an unreasonable factual inference or that his conclusion was so unreasonable as to justify appellate interference. See also, Zawadzki, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Hart v. National Academy of Hairdressing, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 10, 945 CRD-6-89-11 (April 15, 1991).

Trier’s determination claimant was not an employee will not be disturbed on appeal where factual finding is supported by evidence.

Reale v. Carducci, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 31, 901 CRD-1-89-8 (January 17, 1991).

Remanded as trial commissioner failed to make specific findings to support conclusion claimant was an employee. See also, Reale, supra.

Clark v. Armando Massini, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 14, 857 CRD-2-89-4 (January 9, 1991).

Trier’s factual finding claimant was employee of Massini and not TRA Contractors, Inc., a solely owned corporation of Massini, will not be disturbed.

Milliron v. Armando Massini, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 14, 858 CRD-2-89-4 (January 9, 1991).

See, Clark, above.

Vanzant v. Hall, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 122, 820 CRD-1-89-1 (July 6, 1990), rev’d, 219 Conn. 674 (1991).

Sufficient evidence before the trial commissioner to conclude respondent had the requisite control over the claimant necessary to establish an employment relationship. Section 31-275(5)(B) (casual employee). Whether claimant’s employment by respondent was (1) casual and (2) not for employer’s trade or business is a factual question. Further both requirements under the statute must be satisfied. Section 31-275(5)(D). Construction of a barn is not the type of service in or about a private dwelling contemplated by the statute. Supreme Court reversed CRB and held claimant was not an employee within the meaning of the act.

Rogers v. Mitchell, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 90, 803 CRD-7-88-12 (May 14, 1990).

Trial commissioner’s finding claimant was an independent contractor will not be disturbed where it was found respondent did not have the right to control the means and methods of work performed. See also, Rogers, § 31-301-9. Additional evidence.

Halliday v. Daw’s Critical Care Registry, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 74, 797 CRD-7-88-12 (April 27, 1990).

See, Halliday, § 31-291. Later decision in Halliday, 1196 CRD-7-91-3 (September 14, 1992), supra.

Pisani v. Messore, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 11, 753 CRD-3-88-7 (December 28, 1989), aff’d, 23 Conn. App. 806 (1990)(per curiam).

Whether a claimant is an employee or an independent contractor is a question of fact.

Kinney v. State, 786 CRD-3-88-11 (1989), 213 Conn. 54 (1989).

Superior court judge not an employee under the Act. See, Kinney, § 31-324.

Velez v. Richard Zappone, 7 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 79, 693 CRD-5-88-2 (September 14, 1989), no error, 21 Conn. App. 812 (1990)(per curiam).

Casual employee. Employment was occasional or incidental and not for the purpose of respondent’s trade or business. No employment relationship to support jurisdiction over the res. See also, Castro v. Viera, 207 Conn. 420 (1988).

Lindholm v. Moscowitz, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 7, 527 CRD-7-86 (August 18, 1988).

CRD affirmed trial commissioner’s finding as to casual employee status.

Bernier v. Cunningham Reporting Associates, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 137, 502 CRD-1-86 (July 15, 1988).

Trial commissioner’s finding that claimant was an employee was supported by evidence. Failure to withhold social security or unemployment taxes does not preclude finding of employment.

Tyson v. Southport Manor, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 84, 475 CRD-4-86 (May 12, 1988).

Employee listed with a Nurses’ Registry as a Home Health Aide but employed by a patient in a convalescent home is not an employee of the convalescent home.

Ukers v. Brook, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 51, 372 CRD-7-85 (April 7, 1988).

Trial commissioner’s ruling that claimant was an employee of respondents as individuals would not be disturbed as payment to claimant from corporate funds is only a factor to be considered in determining employment status.

Chillington v. Spenard’s Roofing, 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 102, 389 CRD-7-85 (June 15, 1987).

Where claimant filed a tax return in which he stated he was engaged in business under the name of Twin Ridge Roofing, accepted checks from general contractor made out to same, and had a general liability policy of the business, evidence supported conclusion he was a subcontractor.

Barnett v. Stafford, 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 7, 219 CRD-1-83 (March 2, 1987).

Assistant dog warden held public official.

Gadacy v. Busk, 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 1, 431 CRD-4-85 (February 26, 1987).

Claimant who performed tasks of a carpenter among other tasks found to be an employee.

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