LYNN LOPA v. BRINKER INTERNATIONAL, INC., et al., SC 18303

Compensation Review Board

 

Workers' Compensation; Whether the United States Postal Service is an Employer for Purposes of the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Act. The plaintiff sustained a compensable injury to her back arising out of her employment with Brinker International, Inc. On the date of her injury, the plaintiff held three jobs, working for Brinker, Timothy's Tavern and the United States Postal Service. The trial commissioner found that the plaintiff's General Statutes 31-310 compensation rate should be calculated based on her concurrent earnings from Brinker and the tavern, but rejected her claim that her postal service wages should be included, finding that the federal government is not an employer for purposes of the workers' compensation act. The compensation review board upheld that decision, and the plaintiff appealed. The Appellate Court (111 Conn. App. 821) affirmed the review board's decision. The court found that the postal service could not be an "employer" as defined by 31-275 (10) of the act because the postal service is part of the federal government and the federal government has not expressly consented to the jurisdiction of Connecticut's workers' compensation statutes. The Supreme Court will now decide whether the Appellate Court properly concluded that the United States Postal Service is not an employer under the workers' compensation act.