Independent contractor vs employee decided in case involving nurses

This is a Court of Appeal unpublished case

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

A nursing registry provided hospitals with temporary nurses at the hospitals’ requests. After the registry receives the request the registry offers the assignment to nurses. The nurses are free to reject the assignment.

The nurse provides the uniform, shoes, stethoscope, etc. When the nurse completes the assignment the hospital pays the registry who in turn pays the nurse.

The registry allows the nurse to determine whether they wish to be an employee or an independent contractor. If the Nurse chooses to be an independent contractor they are provided with Internal Revenue Service form 1099.

The insurance company insuring the registry challenged whether the nurses were independent contractors. They lost at trial and appealed. They lost on appeal also.

The appellate court looked at Borello & Sons v. Dept. of Industrial Relations. The most important factor being who controlled the manner and means of the workers’ performance. The other factors include right to discharge at will; whether the worker is in a distinctive occupation; if the work is accomplished without specialist supervision; skill required; who supplies the tools; method of payment; whether the parties believe they are creating an employer-employee relationship.

Case: SCIF v. Urgent Nursing Resources

Harvey Brown
3501 Jamboree Rd. Suite 602
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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