Dunker v. Securitas Sec. Servs. USA, Inc.

Dunker v. Securitas Sec. Servs. USA, Inc, No. WC14-5780 (June 25, 2015)

This case arises out of an appeal by the employer from a compensation judge’s determination that Minnesota jurisdiction exists for the employee’s work injury in Wisconsin.

The employee was injured while working for Securitas at a job site in Wisconsin in April of 2013. The employee was living in Minnesota in March of 2014 when she saw an ad for security jobs with the employer at multiple sites in Minnesota. An offer was made to the employee which indicated the location for the position would be in Superior, Wisconsin. The employee accepted the position. The employer applied for a necessary permit to work in Wisconsin, although there was no evidence it was issued before the injury. The employee was provided with specific uniform from the location she was working as well as a general Securitas uniform for when she subbed other places.

During her employment, she worked 27 hours in Minnesota and 50.5 hours in Wisconsin. She earned more in Wisconsin than Minnesota as well. The compensation judge found that 43.27% of the employee’s earnings came from her work in Minnesota. The employer accepted liability for the injury and initially considered it to be covered by Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act. Subsequently, the employer denied Minnesota’s jurisdiction.

The compensation judge determined Minnesota jurisdiction existed, and the employer appealed. The W.C.C.A. analyzed the findings under Minn. Stat. 176.041, subd. 5a, which states “Except as specifically provided by subd 2 and 3, injuries occurring outside this state are not subject to this chapter.” Subd. 2 provides, in relevant part, that the statue applies where “an employee who regularly performs the primary duties of employment within the state receives an injury while outside this state…”; Subd. 3 applies when “an employee hired in this state by a Minnesota employer receives an injury while temporarily employed outside this state.”

The W.C.C.A. cited Burgard v. Innworks, Inc.  for  the proposition that the “statute does not require that more of the employee’s time be spent in Minnesota than elsewhere, only that the employee regularly perform ‘primary’ job duties in this state.”  The W.C.C.A. found that based on the above facts, the employee regularly performed primary duties of employment in Minnesota, and thus, jurisdiction exists under Minn. Stat. 176.041, subd. 2. When analyzed under subd. 3, the court found her employment in both Wisconsin and Minnesota to be temporary with regard to location. Thus, the Court found subd. 3 would also provide Minnesota jurisdiction in this case.