YOGA INSTRUCTORS NOT EMPLOYEES.
The Court of Appeals, reversing the Appellate Division, over a two-judge dissent, determined the non-staff yoga instructors who worked for Yoga Vida were not employees entitled to unemployment insurance benefits:
The non-staff instructors make their own schedules and choose how they are paid (either hourly or on a percentage basis). Unlike staff instructors, who are paid regardless of whether anyone attends a class, the non-staff instructors are paid only if a certain number of students attend their classes. Additionally, in contrast to the staff instructors, who cannot work for competitor studios within certain geographical areas, the studio does not place any restrictions on where the non-staff teachers can teach, and the instructors are free to inform Yoga Vida students of classes they will teach at other locations so the students can follow them to another studio. Furthermore, only staff instructors, as distinct from non-staff instructors, are required to attend meetings or receive training. The proof of incidental control relied upon by the Board, including that Yoga Vida inquired if the instructors had proper licenses, published the master schedule on its web site, and provided the space for the classes, does not support the conclusion that the instructors are employees. Similarly, in this context, the evidence cited by the dissent, including that Yoga Vida generally determines what fee is charged and collects the fee directly from the students, and provides a substitute instructor if the non-staff instructor is unable to teach a class and cannot find a substitute, does not supply sufficient indicia of control over the instructors. Furthermore, that Yoga Vida received feedback about the instructors from the students does not support the Board’s conclusion. “The requirement that the work be done properly is a condition just as readily required of an independent contractor as of an employee and not conclusive as to either” … . Matter of Yoga Vida NYC (Commissioner of Labor), 2016 NY Slip Op 06940, CtApp 10-25-16
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (YOGA INSTRUCTORS NOT EMPLOYEES)