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Chelius v. Employment Dept.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-14-2013
Case #: A148900
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wolheim, J.; and Duncan J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A148900.pdf

Employment Law: For unemployment insurance tax purposes, administrative rule OAR 471-031-0181 provides that, whether an individual maintains control over the ‘means and manner’ of performance determines whether that individual is either an employee or an independent contractor

The estate of Alan James challenged the Tax Section of the Oregon Employment Department’s finding that the estate was liable for unemployment insurance taxes for payments made to Gabaldon, arguing that Gabaldon was an independent contractor. Gabaldon and the estate entered into an agreement titled, “Independent Contractor Agreement” which stated that the estate would not “have the right to direct or control the means or manner in which she provided [her] services”. Under OAR 471-031-0181, a party is an employee if the employer maintains control over the means and manner of performance. The lower court concluded that, based on the undisputed facts, Gabaldon did not have control over the means or manner in which she provided services to the estate and therefore was not an independent contractor. This Court has concluded that the estate did not uphold its burden of proving that Gabaldon had control of the means and manner of the services and has affirmed the lower courts ruling that the estate is liable for unemployment insurance taxes in the amount of $379.16. Affirmed