Labor & Logistics Management v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act
To qualify as an "independent contractor," a worker must be "independently established" and "customarily engaged" in the worker's field of work. The Employment Security Board of Review found that 53 truck drivers who worked at Labor & Logistics Management, qualified as employees, as opposed to independent contractors, for purposes of unemployment compensation. Labor & Logistics appealed. Labor & Logistics, which considers itself a broker, verifies the drivers' work histories and qualifications and monitors their compliance with Department of Transportation regulations. It does not provide trucks, tools or equipment. The drivers are responsible to obtain their own insurance, and each driver signed an independent contractor agreement. "[T]he key issue," wrote the court, "is whether the [indicia] or surrounding facts establish that the individual is customarily engaged in a category of service that is of the same nature as that involved in the services at issue." Only one of the 53 drivers, Kent Stevens, was engaged in an independent business entity at the same time that he worked at Labor & Logistics. None of the other drivers had invested in their own trucks, advertised their services or established a clientele or place of business. Labor & Logistics did not prove that the drivers were customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature of services as that they performed on behalf of Labor & Logistics. The court found that C.G.S. §31-222(a)(1)(B)(ii)(III) requires that the truck drivers be actively supplying the same kind of services to third persons, to qualify as independent contractors. Substantial evidence supported the Employment Security Board of Review's decision that Labor & Logistics did not prove that the truck drivers were independent contractors. The board's decision that the drivers qualified as employees, for purposes of the Unemployment Compensation Act, was not arbitrary, illegal or an abuse of discretion. The court dismissed the appeal.