Choose wisely in classifying your independent contractors

Is a non-exclusive insurance agent an independent contractor or an employee?

Insurance agents and salespeople with the discretion to determine when, how, and whether to sell a company’s products may properly be classified as independent contractors, according to the California Court of Appeal’s recent holding in Arnold v. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company.

In arguing that Arnold was an independent contract, the insurance company relied on the California Supreme Court decision in S.G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations, which restated the “ ‘[p]rincipal test of an employment relationship’ ” under common law to be “ ‘[w]hether the person to whom service is rendered has the right to control the manner and means of accomplishing the result desired….’ ”

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Robert Freedman - Partner at Tharpe & Howell, LLP | Attorney Advertising

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