The Third Department determined claimant, a Cantonese and Mandarin interpreter, was an employee of Language Services Associates, Inc. (LSA), not an independent contractor:
The record establishes that LSA advertises for interpreters, like claimant, to provide translation services to its clients. Interpreters are screened for their experience and, if approved by LSA following an interview, they are placed on a roster for future assignments. Clients contact LSA directly to request the services of an interpreter, at which point LSA decides who to call from its pool of interpreters. Although interpreters are free to decline assignments, there was testimony that they are not permitted to substitute someone else in their place once an assignment is accepted. LSA provides interpreters with the requisite information for accepted assignments, and interpreters are advised by LSA, not the client, of any changes in assignments. Moreover, interpreters are prohibited from accepting future assignments from a client without obtaining LSA’s permission and are subject to penalties for arriving late or failing to appear for an assignment without providing LSA with notice and a reasonable explanation. LSA requires interpreters to submit invoices detailing the hours worked for each in-person interpretation assignment, pays interpreters directly and reimburses them for transportation expenses associated with assignments.
The record further reflects that LSA records and monitors telephone interpretation services to ensure that interpreters are adequately performing their services. To that end, LSA assigned interpreters, including claimant, to evaluate other interpreters’ telephone services. Claimant herself received feedback and instructions from LSA on how to improve her services, and she conducted, at LSA’s request, numerous evaluations of other interpreters’ services. Based upon these evaluations, interpreters are given a rating that could affect whether an interpreter receives future assignments from LSA. Matter of Soo Tsui (Commissioner of Labor), 2016 NY Slip Op 00229, 3rd Dept 1-14-16
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (INTERPRETER WAS AN EMPLOYEE)/INTERPRETERS (UNEMPLOYEMENT INSURANCE, INTERPRETERS WERE EMPLOYEES)