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Missouri Court of Appeals issues latest ruling on employee/independent contractor determinations

CPR Plus, LLC v. Division of Employment Security, Case. No. WD82146 (Mo. Ct. App. Apr. 16, 2019).

Our blog is dedicated, in part, to review of recent Missouri Court of Appeals Southern District decisions. This entry, however, is a brief detour into the Western District to look at an issue important to many Southwest Missouri businesses.

In recent months, a number of our firm’s clients have endured investigations by the Missouri Department of Labor – Division of Employment Security (“MDES”). MDES investigations are often aimed at scrutinizing companies that engage independent contractors for various services – in an effort to re-classify those independent contractors as W-2 employees.

In CPR Plus, LLC v. Division of Employment Security, a decision issued just last week, the Western District Court of Appeals applied the long-standing twenty-factor test to evaluate the propriety of the MDES’ decision in that case, where state administrators found that contracted agents were employees – not independent contractors. Applying the twenty-factor test, the CPA Plus court found that the MDES correctly determined that fifteen of the twenty factors showed the business in question treated its agents as employees, not independent contractors, resulting in unexpected financial liability to the business.

No one factor is determinative in these cases, and a detailed review of company records and practices may help protect your business from unexpected liabilities. Contact our office today to see if we can help you avoid this pitfall.



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