Home > Uncategorized > Do Pinky and the Brain need Workers’ Compensation Insurance? (Part 2 of 3)

Do Pinky and the Brain need Workers’ Compensation Insurance? (Part 2 of 3)

October 23rd, 2013

Last time we talked about our good friends, Pinky and the Brain.  To the extent that these two maniacal laboratory mice cooperate in repeated efforts to take over the world, are they forming a partnership?

This is a significant question – if their relationship should be one of employer and employee, rather than partner, the one unlucky enough to be labeled the employer suddenly loses the protections of Labor Code section 3351(f), and instead finds himself to be an illegally uninsured employer.  On the other hand, if they are partners, when Pinky inevitably gets crushed by a laboratory widget as part of Brain’s plan, Brain is in the clear!

The Uniform Partnership Act, section 202, defines partnership as an “association of two or more persons to carry on as co-owners of a business for profit.”  In California, there is an endless wealth of advice about good practices involving partnership formation, but there is no requirement to file any paper work or registration work as part of a general partnership.  A firm handshake and some good intentions is more than enough.

In fact, California Corporations Code section 16202(a) specifically holds that “the association of two or more persons to carry on as coowners a business for profit forms a partnership, whether or not the persons intend to form a partnership.” (Emphasis added.)

But, recall, dear readers, that in the writ denied case of Aubrey v. WCAB (Larrea) (1996), an employment relationship was found even though the alleged employer and the deceased (alleged) employee had discussed forming a partnership and the fee for the fencing job during which the deceased lost his life was to be split 50-50.

Do Pinky and the Brain plan to be co-owners of the world once they take over?  Or is Pinky going to be just one of the favored subjects to Brain’s rule?  Can ownership of the world count as a business for profit?  Unfortunately, the cartoon was cancelled long ago, so we may never know.

Assuming, however, that Pinky and the Brain (or Brian and Mr. Pinkman) intended to rule the world together, then, even without intending to do so, they could find themselves in a partnership.  That means that neither one would be covered by anyone for workers’ compensation, right?

Without specifically electing to do so, they would be naked against the injuries of the workplace.

However, there is one particular code section that militates against closing the workers’ comp books once the word “partnership” gets mentioned.

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