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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2009
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    Hunterdon County NJ
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    Default Independent Contractor my A$$

    http://equiery.com/blog/?p=1343

    Any legal experts know if this would be the last word, or can their be an appeal by the employer?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010
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    Default

    Do you agree or disagree with the decision?



  3. #3
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    Dec. 13, 2005
    Location
    Strasburg, PA "Just west of Paradise"
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    3,969

    Default

    Agree with the decision!



    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Mar. 4, 2010
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    1,698

    Default

    I do too, but just trying to figure out if Isabeau does or doesn't...title is confusing.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 31, 2012
    Location
    Coastal NC
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    923

    Default

    Agree with the decision but am a little suprised at the amount of non-economic damages awarded by the jury. As always any time your fate is in a jury's hands it is a total crap shoot!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2008
    Location
    Upperville
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    303

    Default

    I also completely agree with the decision. In my line of work (nanny) employers frequently try to hire unknowing household staff as independent contractors to get out of paying their share of taxes. It's shady and I'm glad the ruling agreed.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2006
    Location
    Northern Indiana
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    752

    Default

    Yep, not an independent contractor.

    I imagine just about anything can be appealed....whether it'll be heard or thrown out is another story...
    To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    19,592

    Default

    That is weird. My riders were very much independent contractors at the track but were covered under my workman's comp anyway. Was this not in Maryland? They kept saying Washington so I am not sure.



  9. #9
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    Jan. 29, 2013
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    500



  10. #10
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    Aug. 25, 2012
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    641

    Default

    I actually don't agree with the ruling. I have many friends in various industries that are independent contractors and quite happy with the situation. Some are on hourly pay, salary, some commission. I used to work for a pet sitting agency where I was paid a percentage of each job and they did NOT provide workmen's compensation to us and explained that up front. We had the option to purchase it ourselves and it was quite affordable $20-30 monthly I believe. I love being a 1099 and honestly after deductions I was allowed to take paid less in taxes on a yearly basis then I had compared to W-2 jobs I have worked in the past. Yes the employer saves money too but to me it was a win win for both of us.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    Apr. 2, 2011
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    904

    Default

    You all agree with the verdict right up to the point your board doubles or triples...


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2004
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    7,538

    Default

    the girl was an employee based on the requirements set out by the IRS.

    Yes, there are many folks who *are* contractors - probably track riders would be one class of folks who were - it really depends on a lot of different factors - one of the biggest being: do you offer your services to teh public or are you working just for one business? Does the business send you for training? does the business control how you do your work?

    there are a lot of different factors, but it is VERY clear that the girl in the OP was an employee.

    and yes, workers comp can cover contractors - however, most employers don't want to pay it so dont usually list the IC's


    3 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Mar. 31, 2012
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    Coastal NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by airhorse View Post
    You all agree with the verdict right up to the point your board doubles or triples...
    Many of us agree with the decision because the jury applied the law to the facts of this particular case and reached a legally appropriate verdict. That does not mean we do not sympathize with the barn owners. It is an unfortunate set of facts for Plaintiff and Defendant.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2012
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    641

    Default

    I'll disagree at one point my husband who works in the financial service industry and all the sales reps are 1099 they also have an office manager/secretary who is paid a weekly salary, performs no sales, is sent to training seminars, handles the business's yearly audits, etc. and what many would consider an "employee" is legally a 1099. My brother who started out in a small company as a W-2 that specializes in accounting software and educating small businesses on how to use it (although he also isn't a salesperson) is now a 1099 and also prefers it that way.

    Maybe I mis-read the article but I didn't see where the IRS issued a judgement against the farm just that the jury decided she should was more of an "employee" and should be paid damages and lost wages.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Default

    The IRS and state departments of labor are not psyched about employers trying to go the independent contractor route. The IRS has a "20 questions to see if you are an employee or independent contractor" form. From what I remember two things usual to stall cleaners make them employees, not independent contractors: They use the farm's equipment and are told when to get the job done. I believe, too, that in order to be an independent contractor, you are allowed to farm out some of the actual work to others. Most stall cleaners can't do this.

    It's a "threshold" thing and the IRS will adjudicate if the job description is uncertain and either party isn't sure whether the worker should be an independent contractor. It makes sense to me that the jury found as they did. It makes sense to me, too, that the Equiery published this article.

    According to my tax chick who is also a horser, the state of Oregon clamped down on this caca a while back. For that reason, there's a whole butt-load of self-care boarding barns here. It may be the wave of the future. Or the horsey set will have to start paying what they always should have for the cost of labor.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    7 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2009
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Workers Compensation / Employer Liability coverage is MANDATORY in the state of NJ (actually most states....) If you do not carry this coverage - and you are caught....you will have to pay HUGE fines.....plus any damages/med expenses to injured employee.....this applies to legal and illegal workers......!!!!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2012
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    641

    Default

    I see why Equiery posted the article too and think it is a great lesson that barn owners need to be very specify and have very clear contracts with anyone that works on their farm. When things aren't spelled out like I imagine they weren't in this case things can end up dicey.

    I am aware of the 20 questions from the IRS guidelines and just based off those to the lay person I can see where stall muckers, farm help, etc. can get dicey on the classification if things aren't very specifically laid out.

    I think it is hard unless there was a clear contact between the girl and farm owners to say what the set up truly was. At 17 where are her parents? I have a hard time believing she and her parents didn't know her liabilities up front of being a 1099 much less I'm not quite sure why she repeatedly put herself in what she felt was a dangerous situation. The article states that in the field while filling the feeders she couldn't keep her eye on the other 30 horses in the field and that she was leading a horse to the feeder and was kicked. She had been kicks before and didn't feel it was safe so why did she continue to work there? Why would a parent allow their child to work in what they felt was a dangerous place? To me it just doesn't add up.

    Maybe they sent her to a seminar to help educate her on how to be a better horse person (sounds like she maybe needed it if she didn't know you should try and lead a horse through a bunch of other horses' especially at feeding time).

    I feel bad that she was injured but the whole situation just doesn't jive for me. It seems like she found a place to work essentially as a trainer that was willing to help educate her and when she got hurt she put the blame on them.

    Either way like I said a lesson to barn owners and another legal issue to worry about.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2004
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    7,538

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwalker024 View Post
    I'll disagree at one point my husband who works in the financial service industry and all the sales reps are 1099 they also have an office manager/secretary who is paid a weekly salary, performs no sales, is sent to training seminars, handles the business's yearly audits, etc. and what many would consider an "employee" is legally a 1099. My brother who started out in a small company as a W-2 that specializes in accounting software and educating small businesses on how to use it (although he also isn't a salesperson) is now a 1099 and also prefers it that way.

    Maybe I mis-read the article but I didn't see where the IRS issued a judgement against the farm just that the jury decided she should was more of an "employee" and should be paid damages and lost wages.
    just because it was done, doesn't mean it was legal. To me, it is petty clear who is an employee and who is a contractor. a contractor basically controls their work environment, the work they do, how they do it etc. They usually have more than one client etc.

    just because folks get paid under the table doesn't mean it is the way it should be.

    a stall clean *could* be a contractor if they sold their services to many barns - there are actually businesses out here that do that... so they would in fact be 1099 contractors.

    and to address the issue of the girl, at 17 i am sure she didnt understand the ramification one way or another ... i mean what 17 year old would? most people don't understand the ramifications - this is why so many businesses are stupid enough to hire people under the table that should be employees.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2012
    Posts
    641

    Default

    Maybe we are debating two different things because I'm definitely not for paying under the table but am ok with 1099 type situations. I can assure you the people I know are not breaking the law.

    If you notice I don't blame the 17 year old for not being completely aware of what legally 1099 means to her but rather where the heck her parents were. I do hold the 17 year old accountable for repeatedly doing something she felt was dangerous and then suing when she got hurt. Maybe the barn owners are complete jerks (although if they helped her acquire more horse knowledge through seminars I'd imagine they can't be that bad) but she didn't have to go into the pasture of she felt unsafe. Se could have either said no or quit and found a different job.

    Everyone is happy until someone gets hurt and it is definitely a lesson to people in the industry to have very specific contracts to protect themselves.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    11,672

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwalker024 View Post
    I actually don't agree with the ruling. I have many friends in various industries that are independent contractors and quite happy with the situation. Some are on hourly pay, salary, some commission. I used to work for a pet sitting agency where I was paid a percentage of each job and they did NOT provide workmen's compensation to us and explained that up front. We had the option to purchase it ourselves and it was quite affordable $20-30 monthly I believe. I love being a 1099 and honestly after deductions I was allowed to take paid less in taxes on a yearly basis then I had compared to W-2 jobs I have worked in the past. Yes the employer saves money too but to me it was a win win for both of us.
    I assume you carried your own liability type insurance then?
    As an independent contractor it is your job to have your own insurance.


    I cleaned stalls (in exchange for money off board) for several years. I considered myself an independent contractor. I used my own wheel barrow and pitch fork and there was no set time for the stall cleaning.



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