Borrowed Servant Rule - Explained
What is the Borrowed Servant Rule?
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Table of ContentsWhat is the Borrowed Servant Rule?How is the Borrowed Servant Rule Applied?Borrowed Servant Liability
What is the Borrowed Servant Rule?
A borrowed servant rule is a legal rule which maintains that an employer is responsible for the activities of a borrowed employee or temporary employee. According to this doctrine, if an employer hires temporary employees such as laborers, electricians, and technicians to do temporary assignments in a company, during their period of employment with the company, the employer is liable for their actions. The borrowed servant rule is legally-binding to all employers. This doctrine maintains that employers owe borrowed servants (employees) the same responsibilities they owe their real employees.
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How is the Borrowed Servant Rule Applied?
Under the borrowed servant rule, special employers are held liable for the actions of their borrowed employees, that is, such an employer is liable for all actions of the temporary employee that happen while under their control. The regular employer of the particular worker is free from liability in a borrowed servant rule, rather, the liability is transferred to the employer who temporarily borrowed the employees. Under this doctrine, regular employers are exempt from liability given that the borrowed employees perform their duties to the special employer and not the regular employer.
Borrowed Servant Liability
The illustration below will enhance a proper understanding of the kind of liability special employer are responsible for under the borrowed servant rule; Chris owns a fumigation store, one of his clients requested he help fumigate his residence on a particular day. Chris's sales attendant is on sick leave on that day and Chris does not want to leave his store locked. Chris goes to Brandy, his friend who has a drug store across the street and negotiates with his friend to release one of his employees to help manage sales at his store. If on the day the borrowed employee assumes duty, the employee sells a wrong fumigation product to a client or the employee slips and injures at work, Chris is responsible for the liability and not Brandy. The borrowed servant rule is commonly used in workers compensation insurance claims. A borrowed servant rule is similar to a captain of the ship doctrine. In the latter doctrine, the manager of a firm is the captain of the firm, when such a manager has a borrowed employee in the, he is responsible for all the actions of the employee. The excuse that the borrowed employee is not directly working under a manager is not a tenable reason to be exempted from the captain of the ship doctrine.