Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Independent contractors


Independent contractors
Viniotis v Town of Islip, 280 A.D.2d 731

Designating an individual an “independent contractor” does not automatically result in such status as the Town of Islip discovered in the Viniotis case.

Mary C. Viniotis signed a contract with the Town that stated that she was an independent contractor engaged to provide part-time housekeeping services under the Town's expanded in-home services program for its elderly residents.

Viniotis was paid at an hourly rate and submitted “requisition forms” supplied by Islip for the payment of her compensation. The Town set her work schedule and designated the chores to be done for the clients.

The court commented that Viniotis was given a written evaluation of her performance every three months and was issued an identification card indicating that she was a Town employee. Also noted was the fact that Viniotis was required her to take her “mandatory vacation as directed by the Town.”

The Appellate Division sustained the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board's ruling Viniotis and others “similarly situate” were Town employees and that Islip had to pay unemployment insurance contributions based upon the compensation it paid to these home care providers.

The court, in effect, decided that under the facts of this case, the Town could not disclaim these individuals as town employees simply on the basis of a signed a contract indicating that they served as independent contractors.

As Islip's home care providers are not independent contractors, it appears that the positions must now be classified and appointments made consistent with the controlling provisions of the Civil Service Law. 

N.B. A new position in the Classified Service is automatically in the competitive class unless placed in a different jurisidictional classification by law or by actions of the responsible Civil Service Commission.

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

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Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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