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Monday, August 31, 2009

Another Decision for Employees on Independent Contractor Status

Although not every case on independent contractor status has gone in favor of the employees, the list of such cases is long and growing. This testifies in part to the efforts of employers to avoid their obligations by calling their employees independent contractors. It also testifies to the broad efforts by employees and government agencies to fight this growing trend.

In Messenger Courier Assn. of the Americas v. Cal. Unemployment Ins. Appeals Bd. (July 15, 2009), the Fourth District Court of Appeal held that the Appeals Board got it right when it assessed unemployment insurance employer contributions and penalties against a courier service that designated its drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees. NCM Direct Delivery v. Employment Development Department, Precedent Tax Decision No. P-T-495 (2007). The Court held that the Board properly applied the mutli-factor test found in SG Borello and Sons and other cases to the unemployment insurance case at issue, rather than relying only on the common law right of control test.

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