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Dustin W. Osborne Explores Workers’ Compensation Issues Facing PEOs in CLM Magazine


Dustin W. Osborne Explores Workers’ Compensation Issues Facing PEOs in CLM Magazine

April 5, 2023
Dustin W. Osborne

Dustin W. Osborne, partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Workers’ Compensation group, explored in an article written for CLM Magazine how improper onboarding with professional employer organizations can lead to workers’ compensation issues.

“The primary issue arises in claims when the injured worker is not covered by the leasing agreement and, accordingly, not covered by the PEO’s insurance policy,” Dustin writes. “Typically, if the client company hires any non-leased employees (and/or wishes to protect itself from the claims of uninsured subcontractors working for it), the client company must purchase a separate workers’ compensation policy to cover the employees not leased on their contract with the PEO.”

Dustin emphasizes that on a national scale, courts will favor finding workers’ compensation coverage. Because of this, crafting a defense to workers’ compensation claims in the PEO environment is critical and a pillar of defense lies in clear, unambiguous terms within the leasing agreement.

“At a minimum, this leasing contract must make clear which employees it will cover for purposes of workers’ benefits, how these employees are hired, and what work activities will fall under the leasing contract,” he writes.

Dustin concludes the article with a list of good general practice items for PEOs to provide in the instance of workers’ compensation claims to strengthen their defense.

“Without providing precisely the evidence required–including drawing out the necessary additional facts and testimony through trial–the courts will continue to pin these claims on PEOs.”


The Dual Employment Duel,” CLM Magazine, April 3, 2023


Dustin W. Osborne’s practice focuses on the defense of complex workers’ compensation claims. In representing clients in all types of workers’ compensation litigation, Dustin handles matters from their inception through resolution, and, if necessary, on appeal. In addition, as a member of the firm’s New York Workers’ Compensation Subrogation team, Dustin assists employers and insurance carriers in navigating all issues pertaining to compensation liens and subrogation, including calculating and protecting liens, responding to requests for lien compromises, and obtaining lien recoveries for clients. His background also includes commercial litigation, and he is an emerging authority in sports and entertainment law.