Totality of circumstances, not single or multi-factor test, determines employee or independent contractor status

Colorado Supreme Court

(Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall)

From the  Employment Law Daily — 

“In two en banc decisions, the Colorado Supreme Court rejected single and multi-factor tests used by courts and administrative agencies below in determining whether individuals are employees or independent contractors under the Colorado Employment Security Act (CESA). Instead the court adopted a “totality of the circumstances” test that involves an “inquiry into the nature of the working relationship” between the employer and putative employee. In the primary case, the supreme court affirmed the vacatur of an order of the Industrial Claim Appeals Office (ICAO), which had applied a single-factor test in a matter involving a geologist who worked on a project basis for a geologic services company, and remanded the case to the appeals court to return to the ICAO. But the supreme court also rejected the nine-factor test applied by the intermediate court in reaching its decision on appeal (Industrial Claim Appeals Office v Softrock Geological Services, Inc, May 12, 2014, Boatwright, B).”

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