Independent contractors aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation when their services are no longer needed. But just because you sign an agreement that says someone is an independent contractor doesn’t mean he really is.
Recent case: Steven Morrow transported medical patients using a special vehicle he leased from a company with which he had also signed an independent contractor agreement. Morrow agreed to be available 12 hours per day for transportation assignments. He was free to turn down calls if he chose. He was paid on a commission basis.
When Morrow learned he was no longer going to be offered assignments, he filed for unemployment compensation.
The court said he was actually an employee, based on the company’s control over his activities and the hours he devoted to the job. (Morrow v. Alpha & Omega, No. A10-2265, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2011)