The Third Department determined claimant field inspector was an employee of Safeguard Properties, a property preservation company that preserves vacant properties for lenders on homes that have delinquent loans. Claimant, who performed property occupancy inspections, was not an independent contractor and was therefore entitled to unemployment insurance benefits:
The record establishes that claimant, who did not have an inspection business or any other business entity, applied for the field inspector job upon a recommendation of a friend. Inspectors, such as claimant, were sent work orders to perform inspections on properties and were required to complete such inspections within a time frame set by Safeguard. Field inspectors were assigned a regional supervisor to contact regarding questions and problems that arose in connection with the inspections, or to request extensions of time to complete a work assignment. Safeguard prioritized the work order assignments, required field inspectors to adhere to a dress code, provided instructions as to various aspects of how a work assignment was to be completed and, with regard to claimant, paid her every two weeks. Safeguard provided a replacement if a field inspector could not perform an assignment and required field inspectors to provide 30 days’ notice of scheduled vacations, reserving the right to deny such vacation requests. Any complaints by customers or clients were handled by Safeguard.
The record also discloses that field inspectors were required to use a computer compatible with software provided by Safeguard. Safeguard provided stickers and door hangers to inspectors and required that stickers bearing Safeguard’s name be affixed to vacant properties. Safeguard tracked field inspectors’ productivity and required their participation in regular mandatory telephone conferences to discuss work quality. Disciplinary action would be imposed upon field inspectors who failed to respond to Safeguard’s contacts. Matter of Sischo (Safeguard Props. LLC–Commissioner of Labor), 2020 NY Slip Op 00894, Third Dept 2-6-20