Determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship for the purposes of eligibility of Unemployment Insurance benefits and the payment of required employer contributions
2014 NY Slip Op 04544, Appellate Division, Third Department
The school district [District] challenged two decisions issued by the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board holding that::
1. The District was the employer of a claimant for Unemployment Insurance benefits; and
2. The District was required to pay additional unemployment insurance contributions based on remuneration paid to the claimant and other individuals similarly situated.
The Appellate Division affirmed the Board’s determination, explaining that “Whether there exists an employee-employer relationship is a factual question to be resolved by the Board and we will not disturb its determination when it is supported by substantial evidence in the record.”
The court pointed out that the Board’s determination regarding an employer-employee relationship “rests not on one single factor, but consideration is given to whether control was exercised over the results or the means used to achieve those results, with the latter factor deemed more important.”
In this instance the claimant testified that, among other things, she was provided with a school district computer for use in coordinating the District's program, maintained a file cabinet and mailbox at the school, was given use of the photocopier and postage machine, and had access to school district transportation. Claimant also testified that she performed most of her work at the school, including some tasks that were required to be performed there.
Claimant further testified the District’s Superintendent had disapproved classes, directed claimant to hire a specific teacher against her wishes, had final approval over her canceling classes; and that claimant was required to seek approval before assigning herself to teach a class and that request had been denied.
In addition, both the claimant and the Superintendent testified that, in addition to claimant’s duties supervising the school district’s adult education program, she also provided office help and performed general records management duties for the school district.
The Appellate Division ruled that that notwithstanding evidence that might support a different conclusion, it found that substantial evidence supported the Board's decision. Accordingly the Board’s rulings were affirmed, requiring the school district to make the appropriate additional Unemployment Insurance contributions based on remuneration paid to the claimant and the remuneration it had paid to others similarly situated and, in addition, sustained the Board’s order requiring payments of Unemployment Insurance benefits to the claimant.