The Third Department determined an office leasing broker was an employee of Kaufman Leasing Company LLC and was entitled to unemployment insurance benefits:
Here, the record establishes that claimant, a licensed real estate salesperson, submitted his resume and was interviewed twice before being hired as an office leasing broker and signing an independent contractor agreement. Kaufman provided claimant and those similarly situated an extensive training program that included assignment of a mentor and instruction by a third-party vendor hired by the Kaufman that took place either at Kaufman’s offices or the vendor’s location. The training included instruction on best practices, basic leasing terminology, how to identify prospects, how to make cold calls and how to negotiate a transaction. Even after claimant successfully completed the training program within the probationary period, the services of the vendor were still available to him. Claimant was paid a draw during the probationary and training period, for which Kaufman did not seek reimbursement. Kaufman also provided claimant and those similarly situated an office with equipment and supplies — including desks, computers, Internet and multiple listing service — where claimant and those similarly situated were expected to report when the office opened at 8:30 a.m. or otherwise inform a supervisor of his or her whereabouts during the day.
In addition, Kaufman issued claimant and those similarly situated a work email address, as well as business cards with the salesperson’s name and Kaufman’s name on them. Pursuant to the signed agreement, Kaufman reimbursed claimant and those similarly situated for certain professional expenses, set the commission rates, reserved the right to request monthly reports, required confidential final transaction reports, provided health insurance at Kaufman’s expense, prohibited the performance of similar services outside the company and required that the services be performed to the best of the salesperson’s abilities in a timely and productive manner. Matter of Slater (Kaufman Leasing Co. LLC–Commissioner. of Labor), 2017 NY Slip Op 09218, Third Dept 12-28-17
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (OFFICE LEASING BROKER WAS AN EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS (THIRD DEPT))