FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION [NO.
Law, PLLC, by: R. Scott Morgan and Patarick Feilke, for
J. GLADWIN, JUDGE
Brookshire Grocery Company files this one-brief appeal from
the August 9, 2016 Arkansas Workers' Compensation
Commission (Commission) opinion in which the Commission
affirmed and adopted the Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ)
January 14, 2016 decision that found that it was a dual
employer of appellee Cleon Morgan at the time of his injury.
aged sixty (D.O.B. December 5, 1956), completed his high
school education and training at the police academy. His
health history includes a recent non-work-related back
surgery. His work experience includes employment as a
volunteer sheriff, a city police officer, and since January
2010, a deputy sheriff for Jefferson County. As a deputy
sheriff, he serves warrants, transports prisoners, conducts
routine patrols, performs security checks, handles security
at the county courthouse, and works motor-vehicle accidents.
He is provided a uniform, a badge, a Taser, a gun, and a
patrol car by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department
(Department) and is authorized to make arrests within
Jefferson County. Appellee works from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
five days a week for the Department.
one year of service, the Department allows officers to work
part time with its permission. This permission must be
renewed in writing each year. The Department does not allow
anyone to work more than twenty hours per week in part-time
employment. Deputies are allowed to use their county-issued
equipment to perform their private, off-duty jobs.
2012, appellee began working part time for appellant
approximately ten hours per week after having learned about
the job opportunity through the Department. Appellant did not
provide any equipment or employee benefits to appellee;
likewise, he received no training or supervision from
primary job for appellant is to be visible up front in
appellant's store, and his duties include apprehending
shoplifters and keeping order in the store. While working at
appellant's location, appellee is also allowed to
apprehend people with outstanding warrants-that are unrelated
to appellant-transport them to jail, then return to
appellant's store and resume his job duties as a security
February 19, 2014, appellee injured his ankle while securing
a shoplifter while performing his security-guard duties at
appellant's place of business. Initially, appellee
thought he had sprained his ankle, but after receiving
medical treatment, he was diagnosed with ligament tears. He
missed five weeks of work from both his job for appellant and
his job for the Department.
the injury, appellee's supervisor at the Department told
him that the injury was covered by workers' compensation
but that the Department's carrier had denied the claim.
Appellee paid for his medical treatment with his group health
insurance and used sick leave from the Department during his
time off from work.
hearing was held before the ALJ to determine appellee's
entitlement to medical expenses and temporary
total-disability benefits. Specifically at issue was the
employment relationship between the parties. Appellant
claimed that at the time of the injury, appellee was acting
in his capacity as a deputy and that, accordingly, appellant
had no liability. The Department contended that appellee was
off duty at the time of the injury and was being paid by
appellant to act as a security guard. The Department argued
alternatively that appellee was acting as a dual employee
under appellant's control and that appellant is either
liable or should split appellee's expenses and benefits.
found in its January 14, 2016 opinion that appellee was a
joint employee of both appellant and the Department at the
time he suffered his injury and that both were liable for
benefits and expenses. The ALJ determined that appellee was
employed full time as a county deputy and part time as a
security guard for appellant. It was noted that both
employers acquiesced to this symbiotic relationship, and both
benefited from the relationship. The Commission affirmed and