The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the Employment Division hearing referee finding the managers and dealers were employees of the Oregon Tupperware distributor, Timberland Sales. Although the managers and dealers were generally free from the control of Timberland, they were beholden to Timberland for the success of their business and would not have been able to continue in their venture without the association with Timberland. The nature of the services rendered by the dealers and managers could not clearly be characterized as either an employment relationship or an independent contractor relationship, but the burden rested with Timberland to prove contractor status, and they failed to carry that burden because the dealers and managers would have been unable to carry on their venture without the association with Timberland. The businesses of the dealers were not sufficiently "independently established” and of the same nature as Timberland's business to qualify as independent contractors.
The case and case summary are also available online at: http://www.mlmlegal.com/legal-cases/TimberlandSales_v_EmploymentDivision530P2d880OrApp1975.php
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