The Third Department determined claimant, a newspaper delivery carrier, was an employee of the The Hearst Corporation and was therefore entitled to unemployment insurance benefits:
… [T]he record demonstrates that Hearst established the delivery routes, determined the rate of pay for each route, provided carriers with customer lists containing the suggested order of delivery, handled customer complaints, imposed monetary penalties for unsatisfactory deliveries, prohibited carriers from inserting their own flyers into the newspapers without prior approval and required carriers to maintain a valid driver’s license and their own liability insurance. Notably, when new carriers were retained, Hearst arranged to have someone accompany them to show them their routes. In addition, Hearst imposed performance guidelines, set forth in written contracts like the ones it entered into with claimant, requiring carriers not to miss more than two deliveries per thousand. It also provided carriers, including claimant, with an orientation checklist setting forth additional information, such as delivery time deadlines, as well as the requirement that they provide a trained substitute if unable to cover a shift.
In view of the foregoing, the Board’s finding that Hearst exercised sufficient direction and control over claimant and similarly situated carriers so as to establish the existence of an employment relationship is supported by substantial evidence and is consistent with other newspaper delivery cases involving analogous facts … . Matter of Hennessy (Hearst Corp.–Commissioner of Labor), 2019 NY Slip Op 04245, Third Dept 5-30-19