The Third Department determined drivers for Agewell, a physical therapy center, (bringing patients to the facility) were employees, not independent contractors:
Whether an employment relationship exists within the meaning of the unemployment insurance law is a question of fact, no one factor is determinative and the determination of the appeal board, if supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole, is beyond further judicial review even though there is evidence in the record that would have supported a contrary conclusion” … . An employment relationship will be found “when the evidence shows that the employer exercises control over the results produced or the means used to achieve the results,” with “‘control over the means [being] the more important factor'” … . In contrast, “[i]ncidental control over the results produced,” such as supplying form contracts, requiring periodic reports and attendance at meetings, giving instruction on what to wear or how to make a presentation, “without further indicia of control over the means employed to achieve the results[,] will not constitute substantial evidence of an employer-employee relationship” … .
Here, the evidence presented at the hearing demonstrated that Agewell set the driver’s schedules, determining the order in which multiple clients would be picked up, and required the drivers to sign in and out. Drivers typically used Agewell’s vehicles with the company logo on them and its credit card when putting gas into the vehicles, but were reimbursed if they used their own vehicles. Claimant further testified that shirts and jackets with the company logo were provided and that he typically wore them, along with a name tag. Agewell also fielded complaints from clients and provided feedback to the drivers on their performance. Drivers were allowed to pursue their own business interests and many did, including claimant. Notwithstanding the existence of evidence in the record to support a contrary conclusion, the foregoing constitutes substantial evidence to support the Board’s conclusion that the control retained by Agewell was more than incidental and sufficient to establish that claimant was its employee and not an independent contractor … . Matter of McAlevey (Agewell Physical Therapy & Wellness, P.C.–Commissioner of Labor), 2015 NY Slip Op 02179, 3rd Dept 3-19-15