29 CFR § 788.16 - Employment relationship.

§ 788.16 Employment relationship.
Link to an amendment published at 89 FR 1741, Jan. 10, 2024.

(a) The Supreme Court has made it clear that there is no single rule or test for determining whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor, but that the “total situation controls” (see Rutherford Food Corp. v. McComb, 331 United States 722; United States v. Silk, 331 United States 704; Harrison v. Greyvan Lines, 331 United States 704; Bartels v. Birmingham, 332 United States 126). In general an employee, as distinguished from a person who is engaged in a business of his own, is one who “follows the usual path of an employee” and is dependent on the business which he serves. As an aid in assessing the total situation the Court mentioned some of the characteristics of the two classifications which should be considered. Among these are: The extent to which the services rendered are an integral part of the principal's business, the permanency of the relationship, the opportunities for profit or loss, the initiative judgment or foresight exercised by the one who performs the services, the amount of investment, and the degree of control which the principal has in the situation. The Court specifically rejected the degree of control retained by the principal as the sole criterion to be applied.

(b) At least in one situation it is possible to be specific: (1) Where the sawmill or concentration yard to which the products are delivered owns the land or the appropriation rights to the timber or other forestry products; (2) the crew boss has no very substantial investment in tools or machinery used; and (3) the crew does not transfer its relationship as a unit from one sawmill or concentration yard to another, the crew boss and the employees working under him will be considered employees of the sawmill or concentration yard. Other situations, where one or more of these three factors is not present, will be considered as they arise on the basis of the criteria mentioned in paragraph (a) of this section. Where all of these three criteria are present, however, it will make no difference if the crew boss receives the entire compensation for the production from the sawmill or concentration yard and distributes it in any way he chooses to the crew members. Similarly, it will make no difference if the hiring, firing, and supervising of the crew members is left in the hands of the crew boss. (See Tobin v. LaDuke, 190 F. 2d 977 (C.A. 9); Tobin v. Anthony-Williams Mfg. Co., 196 F. 2d 547 (C.A. 8).)