Monday, April 7, 2008

Indiana Employment Law: What is an Employee?

The Indiana Court of Appeals answered that question in Snell v. C. J. Jenkins Enterprises, Inc. (PDF format) on March10.

Snell sued the company as its employee under Indiana's Wage Payment Statute, Indiana's Wage Claims Statute, and Indiana's Wage Deduction Statute. Snell appealed after losing at the trial court level. He lost at the appellate court level, too.

The Court of Appeals based its decision on the Indiana Supreme Court ten factor test from Moberly v. Day(HTML format), 757N.E.2d 1007, 1010 (2001):

(a) the extent of control which, by the agreement. the master may exercise over
the details of the work:
(h) whether or not the one employed is engaged in a distinct occupation or
(c) the kind of occupation, with reference to whether, in the locality, the work
is usually done under the direction of the employer or by- a specialist without
(d) the skill required in the particular occupation:
(e) whether the employer or the workman supplies the instrumentalities, tools,
and the place of work for the person doing the work;
(f) the length of time for which the person is employed:
(g) the method of payment. whether by the time or by the job:
(h) whether or not the work is a part of the regular business of the employer:
(i) whether or not the parties believe they are creating the relation of master
and servant: and
(j) whether the principal is or is not in business.
Employers still think that just calling a person a subcontractor saves them problems. It does until the charade comes to an end. That end will sound a lot like a train wreck.

The Court of Appeals evaluates the facts of the case against each of these factors. That evaluation makes the case worth reading by any business owner.