Ms. Grimes* came to Legal Aid utterly bewildered as to why she was not receiving unemployment insurance. She had been a licensed practical nurse at a home healthcare agency, providing in-home to patients with serious disabilities. She was let go from her employment for budget reasons. When Ms. Grimes sought the unemployment benefits to which she was entitled to under the law, she found out that the home healthcare agency had failed to pay unemployment taxes, claiming that she was not an employee but instead an “independent contractor” ineligible for unemployment benefits. At her hearing, Legal Aid was able to establish that her former employer had set her work schedule, controlled her contact with patients, and even required Ms. Grimes to train and supervise other employees of the healthcare agency – proving that she was an employee in all but name. The judge found resoundingly in Ms. Grimes favor, a ruling which could well have impact beyond Ms. Grimes’ case.
*Name changed to protect client confidentiality.