Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission --
Summary of Wisconsin Court Decision relating to Unemployment Insurance

Subject: Career Connections Staffing Services, Inc., d/b/a Go2IT Group v. LIRC and Albert Rohland, Case 13-CV-179 (Wis. Cir. Ct., La Crosse Co., October 23, 2013) 

Digest Codes: EE 450; EE 450.02; EE 450.02a; EE 450.02b; EE 450.02d; EE 450.02g; EE 450.02i; PC 752

The commission decision affirmed an ALJ decision holding that the claimant was an “employee” under Wis. Stat. § 108.02(12)(bm), as amended by 2009 Wis. Act 287. The commission first examined the five factors in Wis. Stat. § 108.02(12)(bm)1. that may be considered in determining whether a claimant is free from direction and control by the employing unit, and concluded they all were met. The commission then considered the nine conditions in Wis. Stat. § 108.02(12)(bm)2., and determined that seven of them, the conditions in Wis. Stat. § 108.02(12)(bm)2.a., b., d., f., g., h., and i., were not met.

The employer appealed. The findings regarding the factors in Wis. Stat. § 108.02(12)(bm)1. were not at issue on appeal. Nor did the employer dispute the commission's findings that the conditions in Wis. Stat. § 108.02(12)(bm)2.f. and h. were not met. On appeal, the only conditions in dispute were Wis. Stat. § 108.02(12)(bm)2. a., b., d., g., and i.

Held: Affirmed.

In its decision affirming the commission, the court separately considered and discussed each of the conditions at issue.

The court also gave the commission's decision great weight deference. The court first noted that the language in Wis. Stat § 108.02(12)(bm)2.a., g, and h., was identical to the wording in in the statute prior to its amendment by 2009 Wis. Act 287. Second, the court noted the changes in the other sections were minor and where more substantive were based on recommendations made by the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council. Third, the court observed that the changes recommended by the council were generally based on factors already considered by the commission and the courts. The court characterized the statutory changes made by 2009 Wis. Act 287 as “a reflection of existing agency and court decisions and not a challenge to them.”

[.pdf version of the court's decision]

Please note that this is a summary prepared by staff of the commission, not a verbatim reproduction of the court decision.

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