Skip to main content

Exit WCAG Theme

Switch to Non-ADA Website

Accessibility Options

Select Text Sizes

Select Text Color

Website Accessibility Information Close Options
Close Menu
Noyes Law Office, P.C. Get back on the road to freedom!
  • Get Back On The Road To Freedom!
  • ~
  • Free No Obligation Consultation

Does Signing an Employment Application Mean I’m Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

EmpContract

A critical feature of workers’ compensation in Iowa is that it provides an “exclusive remedy” to a worker injured on the job. Here is what this means in practice. Normally, when you are hurt due to someone else’s negligence you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. But with a work-related injury, you lose the right to file such a lawsuit against your employer–you can only receive medical, wage replacement, and permanent disability benefits through workers’ compensation.

Iowa Court Dismisses Ex-Staffing Agency Employee’s Lawsuit Against Customer

Workers’ compensation may also cover situations where you work as a temporary employee for a staffing agency. In fact, the Iowa Court of Appeals recently addressed this subject. In this case, Cupps v. S&J Tube, Inc., the plaintiff was referred to an employer via a staffing agency. The agency required the plaintiff to sign an employment application, a document that included the following statement:

I acknowledge and agree that even though my work related activities may be under the control and direction of the Customer, my sole legal remedies in the event of a work related injury will be the Company’s workers’ compensation insurance and will not include any claim for damage against that Customer.

The plaintiff signed the application, and the agency subsequently assigned him to one of its customers, who is the defendant in this case. After working as a temporary welder for this customer for some time, the plaintiff gave his one-week notice of resignation. Near the end of his last scheduled day of work, the plaintiff was carrying some gear back to his car when he “slipped, fell, and was injured” outside the customer’s building.

The staffing agency paid the plaintiff workers’ compensation benefits for the accident, as he was still “on the clock” at the time of the slip-and-fall. But the plaintiff later filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, alleging its negligence caused his accident. In court, the defendant asserted workers’ compensation provided the plaintiff with an exclusive remedy for his injuries.

In response, the plaintiff maintained the employment application he signed with the staffing agency did not create a legally binding contract, that the clause relieving the customer of any damages was invalid, and that the plaintiff’s injury was not in fact “work-related.”

The Court of Appeals rejected all of the plaintiff’s arguments and affirmed a lower court’s decision to grant summary judgment to the defendant. First, while the job application itself did not create a contract, the plaintiff’s acceptance of an assignment with the customer did. Second, the language described above was “clear and unequivocal” with respect to the plaintiff’s acknowledgment that his “sole remedy” for a work-related injury was workers’ compensation. Finally, the “undisputed facts” of the case showed the injury itself occurred while the plaintiff was working for the customer.

Get Advice from an Iowa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Workers’ compensation provides employees with certain benefits while limiting their legal rights in other aspects. It is easy to get confused by how the law does, or does not, apply to your situation. So if you have been injured in any type of accident and need advice from a qualified Southeast Iowa Workers’ Compensation Attorney, contact the Noyes Law Office, P.C., today.

Source:

scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=7203166150269131671

https://www.noyeslawoffice.com/iowa-supreme-court-clarifies-rules-for-idiopathic-falls-and-workers-compensation/

  • $1 Million
    Truck vs. auto case. Policy limits a 35 year old married mother of two killed.
  • $812 Thousand
    Rear-End Motor Vehicle Accident
  • $650 Thousand
    Settlement for spouse of deceased worker.
  • $575 Thousand
    Premises Liability Settlement
  • $500 Thousand
    Auto accident settlement with resulting post-concussive head complications (no wage loss).
  • $350 Thousand
    Injury from work with complications after surgery.
  • $300 Thousand
    Policy limits for 88 year old man rear ended.
  • $190 Thousand
    Read-End Accident with Tinitus Diagnosis.
  • $180 Thousand
    Slip and fall with a broken arm and torn rotator cuff.
  • $190 Thousand
    Bilateral carpal tunnel injury- $135,000 against the employer and $55,000 against the Second Injury Fund.
  • $185 Thousand
    Injured back.
  • $175 Thousand
    Broken leg of a 67 year old.
  • $160 Thousand
    Broken hip of 83 year old woman.
  • $155 Thousand
    Non-displaced fractured hip.
  • $100 Thousand
    Aggravation of degeneration disk disease.
  • Previous
  • Next

Get Back On The Road To Freedom!

Free No Obligation Consultation

Our Southeast Iowa personal injury, workers compensation and bankruptcy attorneys serve clients in Fairfield, Ottumwa, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa City, Knoxville, Oskaloosa, Fort Madison, Muscatine, Keosauqua, Birmingham, Centerville, Bloomfield, Keokuk, Sigourney, Richland, Burlington, Washington & Columbus Junction.

Skip footer and go back to main navigation