Federal and regional courts in California, Arizona, Illinois, Colorado and Washington have found that owner-operators are „employees“ in unemployment cases. Illinois, Colorado and Washington have recognized that a driver can be considered an employer responsible for public unemployment taxes, even though there may be an independent contract agreement for other purposes. C.R. Eng., Inc v. Dep`t. by Empl. Sec., 2014 IL App (1st) 122809, 69. In some cases, an owner-operator may be considered an independent contractor in an automobile lawsuit, but may be considered a worker for the purpose of obtaining unemployment benefits. In fact, the Washington State Court of Appeals authorized the department to hold a trucking agent liable for public unemployment tax, whereas in that case, the owner owned „his own truck, paid for his own truck, fuel and insurance repairs, chose his own routes and could have hired another driver to operate his equipment.“ Western Ports Transportation Inc.
The Department of Occupational Safety, 110% 440, 453 (2002). „It makes sense to conclude that Mr. Park represented CRE`s interests when he picked up the cargo from the Walmart distribution centre in Sterling, Illinois, when transporting freight along the road and delivering the cargo to other distribution centres and/or walmart stores. As a result, CRE`s location of activity extended to all sites where Mr. Park provided these freight services; Cre therefore fulfilled the second condition for Mr. Park to be an independent contractor under Section 212 (B), in particular that CRE does not prove that Mr. Park`s services were provided outside of all CRE business premises. Id. at 61.
This argument by the Illinois Court of Appeals makes it almost impossible for most airlines to successfully prove an independent contracting relationship for the purposes of tax debt in the event of unemployment. If the owner and operator still represent the interests of a road transport agency by transporting freight on highways and, therefore, by always being in the „offices“ of the carrier in accordance with point 212, not all elements of 212 can be satisfied and there is no independent supplier relationship. An independent carrier contract contract is a document that legally binds a contractor and its customers to an employment contract. Typically, truck drivers are hired to transport goods from one establishment to another or from a seller to a buyer. A clear description of the tasks to be performed by the contractor must be indicated in the labour agreement. In addition, the amount and method of payment as well as the possible costs incurred by the customer must be described. The contract can be designed so that the contractor can hire additional subcontractor truck drivers or require them to perform the duties of the HGVs themselves.