Appellate Division Finds That Horse Trainer Was An Independent Contractor, Not Employee Of The Horse Owner

horseFrom WorkersCompensation.com — A horse owner and trainer was hurt when he slipped and fell on a patch of ice.  He filed a workers compensation claim against the stable claiming he was an employee.  The judge agreed with the horse trainer but the Appellate Division determined that he was an independent contractor.

“The court noted that Perry did not receive a W-2 or 1099 from any of the owners for whom he trained horses.  He was not paid a specific wage, and there were no deductions or withholdings from Perry’s pay.  It said,  “This is indicative of an independent contractor.”  The court also relied on the fact that Perry rented stalls directly from the Meadowlands Racetrack where he performed his work.  It said this too was consistent with being an independent contractor because it shows Perry carried on his own business.  The court felt that Perry used his own methods to run his business.  There was one specific item of testimony that the court focused on in its opinion in favor of independent contractor status.  At trial Perry testified, “If I needed the money, I would [train the horses] for less.  If I didn’t need it, I would charge more.”  The court suggested that this was proof of an independent business, not employee status.  For much the same reasons, the court also found that Perry was not an employee of the New Jersey Horse Racing Injury Compensation Board…”

Read the full story at Appellate Division Finds That Horse Trainer Was An Independent Contractor, Not Employee Of The Horse Owner. [link no longer valid]

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