Publication Date


Document Type



In construing workmen's compensation statutes, problems which are perhaps as perplexing as the problems connected with the "arising out of and in the course of employment" test are the cases which have for determination the question of who is the employer within the meaning of the acts. This is particularly true where the controversies involve lessees and other contractors. In applying the statute to the recent case of Continental Oil Co. v. Sirhall, the Colorado court held that a filling station attendant, who was hired, paid and under the exclusive direction and control of the lessee-operator of the station, was nevertheless the employee of the lessor oil company, and it sustained his claim against the company for compensation for his injuries. Conceding that by the terms of the lease contract the lessee, who paid a specified monthly rental and was technically free to sell products other than those of the lessor company, would, by common law tests, be deemed an independent contractor, the fact that he did actually sell nothing but the company's products warranted a finding by the Industrial Commission that the lessor "was operating its 'business by leasing part of the work of its business to a lessee." Two justices dissented without opinion.