Eighth Circuit: Doctor Is Unable to Maintain Employment Claims Due to Determination of Independent Contractor Status

DoctorFrom JD Supra, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP write:  “On appeal in the case, Alexander  v. Avera St. Luke’s Hosp., No. 13-2592 (8th Cir. Sep. 30, 2014), the Eighth Circuit considered the appropriate tests for independent contractor under the laws implicated. The court held that under the ADA and ADEA, the term “employee” meant the common-law master-servant relationship in which the court weighs a “nonexhaustive list of relevant common-law factors.” Of this nonexhaustive list, the right to control the manner and means of the work of the individual is central, though not particularly illuminating in a hospital setting where the hospital/defendant must exercise some degree of control “‘to discharge its own professional responsibility to patients,’ regardless of whether the physician is an employee of independent contractor.” Nonetheless, Alexander admitted that he performed his duties free from control of Avera, he had sole control over his schedule, and he personally determined whether to hire substitute doctors in order to cover the pathologist functions. Other common-law factors that supported an independent contractor relationship included the fact that he paid his own taxes and provided his own insurance….”

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