Joint Employment Test In North Carolina

Situations may exist under which an employee may properly be considered to be in the joint employment of two employers so that both become jointly responsible to pay compensation if the employee is injured by accident arising out of and in the course of such employment. Collins v. Edwards, 21 N.C. App. 455, 458, 204 S.E.2d 873, 876, cert. denied, 285 N.C. 589, 206 S.E.2d 862 (1974). Our courts utilize the following three-prong "special employer" test to determine whether an employee may be deemed to have joint employers for purposes of the Act. See id. at 459, 204 S.E.2d at 876. When a general employer lends an employee to a special employer, the special employer becomes liable for workmen's compensation only if: (a) the employee has made a contract of hire, express or implied, with the special employer; (b) the work being done is essentially that of the special employer; and (c) the special employer has the right to control the details of the work. When all three of the above conditions are satisfied in relation to both employers, both employers are liable for worker's compensation. Arthur Larson & Lex K. Larson, Larson's Workers' Compensation Law 67 (1999) (hereinafter Larson), cited with approval in Collins, 21 N.C. App. at 459, 204 S.E.2d at 876. Continuance of the "general" employment is presumed, and the party asserting otherwise must make a "clear demonstration that a new . . . employer was substituted for the old." Larson 67.02, quoted in Collins, 21 N.C. App. at 460, 204 S.E.2d at 877.