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May Trucking Co. v. Employment Dept.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-08-2012
Case #: A142901
Brewer, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A142901.pdf

Employment Law: The Employment Appeals Board must address any exemption that may apply to a claimant's claim for unemployment benefits in conjunction with determining the status of the employer/employee relationship.

May Trucking Co. (Employer) sought review of an Order of the Employment Appeals Board (EAB), that claimant employee was entitled to unemployment benefits. Employer and claimant had entered into an independent contractors agreement, whereby claimant leased a truck, with company logos on it, for the purpose of doing long-haul trucking. The duties of claimant were the same before and after the execution of the agreement. Claimant was subsequently unable to continue to perform duties as a long haul-trucker. The EAB Order focused on the issue of whether or not claimant was an employee or an independent contractor. Employer argued that claimant was not eligible for benefits because he fell within a "for-hire carriers" exemption under ORS 657.047(1)(b). The Court of Appeals held that the EAB had erred in its determination that ORS 657.047 was not pertinent to the case before it. The Court stated that determination of the employer/employee relationship was not the end of the inquiry, and that application of ORS 657.047 should have been addressed by the EAB in the same hearing. Reversed and Remanded.