DAW'S CRITICAL CARE REGISTRY v. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

14580

225 Conn. 99 (1993) | Cited 20 times | Supreme Court of Connecticut | March 23, 1993

In this case concerning contestedassessments of unemployment tax, the only issue iswhether there is an employer-employee relationshipbetween the plaintiff, Daw's Critical Care Registry,Inc., and the state licensed nurses that it refers to variousmedical facilities throughout the state. The defendant,the department of labor, employment securitydivision, determined in an administrative ruling thatthe plaintiff should be characterized as an employerpaying taxable wages within the meaning of GeneralStatutes 31-222 (a)(1)(B),1 and should, therefore, be

[225 Conn. 101]

     assessed unemployment tax. The trial court, however,agreed with the plaintiff that the nurses were notemployees within the meaning of the statute, but ratherwere independent contractors. The trial court, therefore,sustained the plaintiff's appeals challenging theassessments.2 The defendant appealed from the judgmentof the trial court to the Appellate Court, and wetransferred the appeal to this court pursuant to PracticeBook 4023 and General Statutes 51-199 (c).

Our examination of the record on this appeal, andthe briefs and arguments of the parties, persuades usthat the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed.The parties agree that the test that determines liabilityfor unemployment tax in the circumstances of thiscase is the "ABC test" contained in 31-222 (a)(1)(B) (ii).See Latimer v. Administrator, 216 Conn. 237, 246,579 A.2d 497 (1990). In a thoughtful and comprehensivememorandum of decision, the trial court determinedthat the plaintiff had proven its entitlement to an exclusionfrom the tax by satisfying each of the three elementsof the ABC test and thus proving that it wasnot an employer. Daw's Critical Care Registry, Inc. v.Department of Labor, 42 Conn. Sup. 376, 622 A.2d 622(1993). Because that memorandum of decision fully

[225 Conn. 102]

     states and meets the arguments raised in the presentappeals, we adopt the trial court's well reasoned decisionas a statement of the facts and the applicable lawon that issue. It would serve no useful purpose for usto repeat the discussion therein contained. See, e.g.,Loeb v. Al-Mor Corporation, 224 Conn. 6, 7,615 A.2d 149 (1992); Bannon v. Wise, 217 Conn. 457, 458-59,586 A.2d 596 (1991); Einbinder v. Board of Tax Review,217 Conn. 240, 242, 584 A.2d 1188 (1991).

The judgment is affirmed.

1. General Statutes 31-222 provides in relevant part "DEFINITIONS.As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:"(a)(1) `Employment,' subject to the other provisions of thissubsection, means:"(A) Any service, including service in interstate commerce, andservice outside the United States, performed under any express orimplied contract of hire creating the relationship of employer andemployee;"(B) . . . subject to the other provisions of this subsection, [any]service performed . . . by any of the following . . . (ii) any individualwho, under either common law rules applicable in determining theemployer-employee relationship or under the provisions of this subsection,has the status of an employee. Service performed by an individual shallbe deemed to be employment subject to this chapter irrespective of whetherthe common law relationship of master and servant exists, unless and untilit is shown to the satisfaction of the administrator that (I) suchindividual has been and will continue to be free from control anddirection in connection with the performance of such service, both underhis contract for the performance of service and in fact; and (II) suchservice is performed either outside the usual course of the businessfor which the service is performed or is performed outside of all theplaces of business of the enterprise for which the service isperformed; and (III) such individual is customarily engaged in anindependently established trade, occupation, profession orbusiness of the same nature as that involved in the service performed

2. The plaintiff appealed to the Superior Court pursuant toGeneral Statutes 31-270. The trial

In this case concerning contestedassessments of unemployment tax, the only issue iswhether there is an employer-employee relationshipbetween the plaintiff, Daw's Critical Care Registry,Inc., and the state licensed nurses that it refers to variousmedical facilities throughout the state. The defendant,the department of labor, employment securitydivision, determined in an administrative ruling thatthe plaintiff should be characterized as an employerpaying taxable wages within the meaning of GeneralStatutes 31-222 (a)(1)(B),1 and should, therefore, be

[225 Conn. 101]

     assessed unemployment tax. The trial court, however,agreed with the plaintiff that the nurses were notemployees within the meaning of the statute, but ratherwere independent contractors. The trial court, therefore,sustained the plaintiff's appeals challenging theassessments.2 The defendant appealed from the judgmentof the trial court to the Appellate Court, and wetransferred the appeal to this court pursuant to PracticeBook 4023 and General Statutes 51-199 (c).

Our examination of the record on this appeal, andthe briefs and arguments of the parties, persuades usthat the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed.The parties agree that the test that determines liabilityfor unemployment tax in the circumstances of thiscase is the "ABC test" contained in 31-222 (a)(1)(B) (ii).See Latimer v. Administrator, 216 Conn. 237, 246,579 A.2d 497 (1990). In a thoughtful and comprehensivememorandum of decision, the trial court determinedthat the plaintiff had proven its entitlement to an exclusionfrom the tax by satisfying each of the three elementsof the ABC test and thus proving that it wasnot an employer. Daw's Critical Care Registry, Inc. v.Department of Labor, 42 Conn. Sup. 376, 622 A.2d 622(1993). Because that memorandum of decision fully

[225 Conn. 102]

     states and meets the arguments raised in the presentappeals, we adopt the trial court's well reasoned decisionas a statement of the facts and the applicable lawon that issue. It would serve no useful purpose for usto repeat the discussion therein contained. See, e.g.,Loeb v. Al-Mor Corporation, 224 Conn. 6, 7,615 A.2d 149 (1992); Bannon v. Wise, 217 Conn. 457, 458-59,586 A.2d 596 (1991); Einbinder v. Board of Tax Review,217 Conn. 240, 242, 584 A.2d 1188 (1991).

The judgment is affirmed.

1. General Statutes 31-222 provides in relevant part "DEFINITIONS.As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:"(a)(1) `Employment,' subject to the other provisions of thissubsection, means:"(A) Any service, including service in interstate commerce, andservice outside the United States, performed under any express orimplied contract of hire creating the relationship of employer andemployee;"(B) . . . subject to the other provisions of this subsection, [any]service performed . . . by any of the following . . . (ii) any individualwho, under either common law rules applicable in determining theemployer-employee relationship or under the provisions of this subsection,has the status of an employee. Service performed by an individual shallbe deemed to be employment subject to this chapter irrespective of whetherthe common law relationship of master and servant exists, unless and untilit is shown to the satisfaction of the administrator that (I) suchindividual has been and will continue to be free from control anddirection in connection with the performance of such service, both underhis contract for the performance of service and in fact; and (II) suchservice is performed either outside the usual course of the businessfor which the service is performed or is performed outside of all theplaces of business of the enterprise for which the service isperformed; and (III) such individual is customarily engaged in anindependently established trade, occupation, profession orbusiness of the same nature as that involved in the service performed

2. The plaintiff appealed to the Superior Court pursuant toGeneral Statutes 31-270. The trial

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