NY finds newspaper delivery person to be an employee

NY says delivery person is employee

From Findlaw, the appellate division in New York said that Camille Hunter, who delivered newspapers for Gannet Company, was an employee and not an independent contractor and that Gannet was responsible for paying unemployment taxes.  The reviewed how much control Gannet exercised and determined that Hunter should have been classified as an employee instead of an independent contractor.  The court said:

Recently, in Matter of Armison [Gannett Co., Inc.-Commissioner of Labor] (122 AD3d 1101 [2014] ), this Court upheld a finding of an employer-employee relationship between Gannett and certain newspaper delivery persons. Here, as we did in Armison, we find that the requisite level of control was present to support the Board’s finding of an employer-employee relationship. Claimant was required to make deliveries within set time frames and according to other conditions. Claimant was also required to be a licensed driver with a registered and insured vehicle, and was obligated to provide Gannett with a copy of her driver’s license and proof of liability insurance. Additionally, under the terms of the distribution agreement, all substitutes were required to be licensed and insured. Claimant was provided a route set by Gannett and, if claimant was not available to deliver her route, she was responsible for finding a substitute. In the event that deliveries were not made by claimant, Gannett would use an employee to make the delivery and charge claimant a fee. Further, Gannett controlled other aspects of claimant’s work, including prohibiting placing foreign materials on or in the publications. Claimant was also provided access to accident insurance from Gannett’s policy. In light of the foregoing, and despite the existence of other evidence in the record suggestive of an independent contractor relationship—including the distribution agreement expressly designating claimant as an independent contractor—we find that substantial evidence supports the Board’s determination that claimant was an employee (see Matter of Armison [Gannett Co., Inc.-Commissioner of Labor], 122 AD3d at 1101; Matter of Lewis [Absolute Distrib., Inc.-Commissioner of Labor], 121 AD3d 1488 [2014]; Matter of Kelly [Frank Gallo, Inc.-Commissioner of Labor], 28 AD3d 1044, 1045 [2006], lv dismissed 7 NY3d 844 [2006] ). Gannett’s remaining arguments have been considered and found to be lacking in merit…

Read the full decisions at IN RE: the Claim of Camille HUNTER

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