2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 34 - LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
CHAPTER 8 - EMPLOYMENT SECURITY
ARTICLE 2 - DEFINITIONS
§ 34-8-35 - Employment

O.C.G.A. 34-8-35 (2010)
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Examining Independent Contractor Classification for Purposes of Georgia Unemployment Tax Liabilities

34-8-35. Employment


(a) As used in this chapter, the term "employment" means any service, including service in interstate commerce, performed for wages or under any contract of hire, written or oral, express or implied.

(b) The term "employment" shall include an individual's entire service performed within and outside this state, if:

(1) The service is localized in this state. Service shall be deemed to be localized within a state if:

(A) The service is performed entirely within such state; or

(B) The service is performed both within and outside the state, but the service performed outside the state is incidental to the individual's service within the state. "Incidental service" shall include service that is temporary or transitory in nature or consists of isolated transactions;

(2) The service is not localized in any state but some of the service is performed in this state and:

(A) The base of operations or, if there is no base of operations, the place from which such service is directed or controlled is in this state; or

(B) The base of operations or place from which such service is directed or controlled is not in any state in which some part of the service is performed, but the individual's residence is in this state;

(3) The service is performed within the United States or Canada, if such service is not covered under the unemployment compensation law of any other state or Canada and the place from which the service is directed and controlled is in this state; or

(4) The service is performed outside the United States, except Canada, by an individual who is a citizen of the United States in the employ of an American employer, other than service which is deemed "employment" under subsections (d) and (e) of this Code section or the parallel provisions of another state's law, if:

(A) The employer's principal place of business is located in this state;

(B) The employer has no place of business in the United States, but:

(i) The employer is an individual who is a resident of this state;

(ii) The employer is a corporation which is organized under the laws of this state; or

(iii) The employer is a partnership or a trust and the number of partners or trustees who are residents of this state is greater than the number who are residents of any other state; or

(C) None of the criteria of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph is met but the employer has elected coverage in this state or, the employer having failed to elect coverage in any state, the individual has filed a claim for benefits based on such service pursuant to this chapter.

(c) For the purposes of paragraph (4) of subsection (b) of this Code section:

(1) The term "American employer" means:

(A) An individual who is a resident of the United States;

(B) A partnership, if two-thirds or more of the partners are residents of the United States;

(C) A trust, if all the trustees are residents of the United States; or

(D) A corporation organized under the laws of the United States or of any state.

(2) The term "United States" includes the states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

(d) Services performed within this state but not covered under subsection (b) of this Code section shall be deemed to be employment subject to this chapter if contributions are not required and paid with respect to such services under an unemployment compensation law of any other state or of the federal government.

(e) Services not covered under subsection (b) of this Code section and performed entirely outside this state, with respect to no part of which contributions are required and paid under an unemployment compensation law of any other state or of the federal government, shall be deemed to be employment subject to this chapter if the individual performing such services is a resident of this state and the Commissioner approves the election of the employing unit for whom such services are performed that the entire service of such individual be deemed to be employment subject to this chapter.

(f) Services performed by an individual for wages shall be deemed to be employment subject to this chapter unless and until it is shown that:

(1) (A) Such individual has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of such services, both under the individual's contract of service and in fact; and

(B) Such individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business; or

(2) Such individual and the services performed for wages are the subject of an SS-8 determination by the Internal Revenue Service, which decided against employee status.
(g)(1) The term "employment" shall include all services performed, including service in interstate commerce, by:

(A) Any officer of a corporation; or

(B) Any individual, other than an individual who is an employee under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, who performs services for remuneration for any person:

(i) As an agent-driver or commission-driver engaged in distributing meat products, vegetable products, fruit products, bakery products, beverages other than milk, or laundry or dry-cleaning services for his or her principal; or

(ii) As a traveling or city salesman, other than an agent-driver or commission-driver, engaged upon a full-time basis in the solicitation on behalf of and the transmission to his principal, except for sideline sales activities on behalf of some other person, of orders from wholesalers, retailers, contractors, or operators of hotels, restaurants, or other similar establishments for merchandise for resale or supplies for use in their business operations.

(2) For purposes of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the term "employment" shall include services described in divisions (1)(B)(i) and (1)(B)(ii) of this subsection performed only if:

(A) The contract of service contemplates that substantially all of the services are to be performed personally by such individual;

(B) The individual does not have a substantial investment in facilities used in connection with the performance of the services other than in facilities for transportation; and

(C) The services are not in the nature of a single transaction that is not part of a continuing relationship with the person for whom the services are performed.

(h) The term "employment" shall include service performed in the employ of this state or any of its instrumentalities or any political subdivision of this state or any of its instrumentalities or any instrumentality of more than one of the foregoing or any instrumentality of any of the foregoing and one or more other states or political subdivisions, provided that such service is excluded from "employment" as defined in the Federal Unemployment Tax Act by Section 3306(c)(7) of that act and is not excluded from "employment" under paragraph (3) of subsection (j) of this Code section. Each of the governmental entities described above shall be individually liable for the payment of contributions or reimbursement for payment of benefits as provided in Code Sections 34-8-158 through 34-8-161; and each shall be individually responsible for the filing of quarterly wage summary reports as promulgated in regulations by the Commissioner and provided in Code Section 34-8-165. For the purposes of the unemployment compensation coverage provided for by this chapter, employees of county and district health agencies established under Chapter 3 of Title 31 and employees of the community service boards established under Chapter 2 of Title 37 are deemed to be employees of this state.

(i) The term "employment" shall include service performed by an individual in the employ of a religious, charitable, educational, or other organization, but only if such organization meets the definition of employer in Code Section 34-8-33.

(j) For the purposes of subsections (h) and (i) of this Code section, the term "employment" does not apply to service performed:

(1) In the employ of:

(A) A church or convention or association of churches; or

(B) An organization which is operated primarily for religious purposes and which is operated, supervised, controlled, or principally supported by a church or convention or association of churches;

(2) By a duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church in the exercise of his or her ministry or by a member of a religious order in the exercise of duties required by such order;

(3) In the employ of a governmental entity referred to in subsection (h) of this Code section if such service is performed by an individual in the exercise of duties:

(A) As an elected official;

(B) As a member of a legislative body or a member of the judiciary of a state or political subdivision;

(C) As a member of the state National Guard or Air National Guard; or

(D) In a position which, under or pursuant to the laws of this state, is designated as (i) a major nontenured policy-making or advisory position, or (ii) a policy-making or advisory position, the performance of the duties of which ordinarily does not require more than eight hours per week;

(4) By an individual receiving rehabilitation or remunerative work in a facility conducted for the purpose of carrying out a program of rehabilitation for individuals whose earning capacity is impaired by age or physical or mental deficiency or injury or providing remunerative work for individuals who, because of their impaired physical or mental capacity, cannot be readily absorbed in the competitive labor market;

(5) By an individual receiving work relief or work training as part of an unemployment work-relief or work-training program assisted or financed in whole or in part by any federal agency or an agency of a state or political subdivision thereof. This exclusion shall not apply to programs that provide for and require unemployment insurance coverage for the participants; or

(6) By an inmate of a custodial or penal institution.

(k) The term "employment" shall include service performed on or in connection with an American vessel or American aircraft under a contract of service which is entered into within the United States or during the performance of which and while the employee is employed on the vessel or aircraft it touches at a port in the United States, if the employee is employed on and in connection with such vessel or aircraft when outside the United States.

(l) The term "employment" shall include domestic service in a private home, local college club, or local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority, but only if the employing unit meets the definition of employer in Code Section 34-8-33.
(m)(1) The term "employment" shall include service performed by an individual in agricultural labor, as defined in paragraph (2) of this subsection, but only if the employing unit meets the definition of employer in Code Section 34-8-33.

(2) As used in this subsection, the term "agricultural labor" means service on a farm:

(A) In the employ of any employing unit in connection with cultivating the soil or in connection with raising or harvesting any agricultural or horticultural commodity, including the raising, shearing, feeding, caring for, training, and management of livestock, bees, poultry, fur-bearing animals, and wildlife;

(B) In the employ of the owner or tenant or other operator of a farm in connection with the operation, management, conservation, improvement, or maintenance of such farm and its tools and equipment, if the major part of such service is performed on a farm;

(C) In connection with the production or harvesting of any commodity defined as an agricultural commodity in Section 15(g) of the federal Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended, or in connection with the ginning of cotton or in connection with the operation or maintenance of ditches, canals, reservoirs, or waterways not owned or operated for profit and used exclusively for supplying and storing water for farming purposes; or

(D) In handling, planting, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, grading, storing, or delivering to storage or to market or to a carrier for transportation to market any agricultural or horticultural commodity, but only if such service is performed as an incident to ordinary farming operations or, in the case of fruits and vegetables, as an incident to the preparation of such fruits or vegetables for market. This paragraph shall not be deemed to be applicable with respect to service performed in connection with commercial canning or commercial freezing or in connection with any agricultural or horticultural commodity after its delivery to a terminal market for distribution for consumption. This paragraph shall also apply to services performed in the employ of a group of operators of farms, or a cooperative organization of which such operators are members, in the performance of service prescribed in this paragraph, but only if such operators produced more than one-half of the commodity with respect to which such service is performed.

(3) As used in this subsection, the term "farm" includes:

(A) Those farms used for production of stock, dairy products, poultry, fruit, and fur-bearing animals; and

(B) Truck farms, plantations, ranches, nurseries, ranges, greenhouses, orchards, or other similar structures or tracts used primarily for the raising of agricultural or horticultural commodities.

(4) For the purposes of this subsection, any individual who is a member of a crew furnished by a crew leader to perform service in agricultural labor for any other person shall be treated as an employee of such crew leader:

(A) If such crew leader holds a valid certificate of registration under the federal Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act of 1963 or if substantially all the members of such crew operate or maintain tractors, mechanized harvesting or crop-dusting equipment, or any other mechanized equipment which is provided by such crew leader; and

(B) If such individual is not an employee of such other person within the meaning of paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (4) of this subsection, in the case of any worker who is furnished by a crew leader to perform service in agricultural labor for any other person and who is not treated as an employee of such crew leader under this paragraph:

(A) Such other person and not the crew leader shall be treated as the employer of the worker; and

(B) Such other person shall be treated as having paid cash remuneration to the worker in an amount equal to the amount of cash remuneration paid to the worker by the crew leader, either on the worker's own behalf or on behalf of such other person, for the service in agricultural labor performed for such other person.

(6) For purposes of paragraphs (4) and (5) of this subsection, the term "crew leader" means an individual who:

(A) Furnishes workers to perform service in agricultural labor for any other person;

(B) Pays, either on such individual's own behalf or on behalf of another person, the workers so furnished for the service in agricultural labor performed by them; and

(C) Has not entered into a written agreement with such other person under which such individual is designated as an employee of such other person.

(n) The term "employment" shall not include:

(1) Service not in the course of the employer's trade or business performed in any calendar quarter by an employee, unless the cash remuneration paid for such service is $50.00 or more and such service is performed by an individual who is regularly employed by such employer to perform such service. For the purposes of this paragraph, an individual shall be deemed to be regularly employed by an employer during a calendar quarter only if:

(A) On each of some 24 days during such quarter such individual performs for such employer for some portion of the day service not in the course of the employer's trade or business; or

(B) Such individual was regularly employed, as determined under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, by such employer in the performance of such service during the preceding calendar quarter;

(2) Service performed in the employ of a hospital, if such service is performed by a patient of a hospital;

(3) Service performed by an individual in the employ of the individual's son, daughter, or spouse and service performed by a child under the age of 21 years in the employ of his or her father or mother;

(4) Service performed in the employ of the United States government or of an instrumentality wholly owned by the United States; except that, if the Congress of the United States shall permit states to require any instrumentalities of the United States to make payments into an unemployment fund under a state unemployment compensation law or act, then, to the extent permitted by Congress and from and after the date as of which such permission becomes effective, all of the provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to such instrumentalities and to services performed by employees for such instrumentalities in the same manner, to the same extent, and on the same terms as to all other employers and employing units;

(5) Service performed in the employ of an employer, as defined by the federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, or as an "employee representative," as defined by the federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, and service with respect to which unemployment compensation is payable under an unemployment compensation system for maritime employees or under any other unemployment compensation system established by an act of Congress; provided, however, that the Commissioner is authorized and directed to enter into agreements with the proper agencies under such act or acts of Congress, which agreements shall become effective ten days after publication thereof in the manner provided in Code Section 34-8-71 for general rules, to provide reciprocal treatment to individuals who have, after acquiring potential rights to benefits under this chapter, acquired rights to unemployment compensation under such act or acts of Congress or who have, after acquiring potential rights to unemployment compensation under such act or acts of Congress, acquired rights to benefits under this chapter;

(6) Service performed in any calendar quarter in the employ of any organization exempt from income tax under 26 U.S.C. Section 501:

(A) The remuneration for which does not exceed $50.00; or

(B) In the employ of a school, college, or university, if such service is performed by a student who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes at such school, college, or university or by the spouse of such a student, if such spouse is advised, at the time such spouse commences to perform such service, that (i) the employment of such spouse to perform such service is provided under a program to provide financial assistance to such student by such school, college, or university and (ii) such employment will not be covered by any program of unemployment insurance;

(7) Services performed as a student nurse in the employ of a hospital or a nurses' training school by an individual who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes in a nurses' training school chartered or approved pursuant to state law; and service performed in the employ of a hospital in a clinical training program for a period of one year by an individual immediately following the completion of a four-year course in a medical school chartered or approved pursuant to state law;

(8) Service performed by an individual under the age of 18 years in the delivery or distribution of newspapers or shopping news, not including delivery or distribution to any point for subsequent delivery or distribution;

(9) Service performed by an individual for an employer as an insurance agent or as an insurance solicitor or as a licensed real estate salesperson, if all such service performed by such individual for such employer is performed for remuneration solely by way of commission;

(10) Services performed for an employer who is a common carrier of persons or property by an individual, firm, or corporation, as commission agent, in disseminating information with respect to and selling transportation of persons or property, and in maintaining facilities incidental thereto, including waiting areas, dining rooms, and rest rooms for passengers and storage space for property; provided, however, that:

(A) All such services are performed by such individual, firm, or corporation as an independent contractor for such employer and are remunerated solely by way of commissions on the sale price of such transportation;

(B) The employer exercises no general control over such commission agent but only such control as is necessary to assure compliance with its filed tariffs and with the laws of the United States and the State of Georgia and the rules and regulations of the Public Service Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, and all other regulatory bodies having jurisdiction of the premises; and

(C) Such services are not rendered in an establishment devoted primarily to use as a waiting room for the passengers or as a storage room for the property carried or to be carried by such common carrier;

(11) Service performed by an individual who is enrolled as a student at a nonprofit or public educational institution which normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly organized body of students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are carried on, in a full-time program taken for credit at such institution, which program combines academic instruction with work experience, if such service is an integral part of such program and such institution has so certified to the employer, except that this paragraph shall not apply to service performed in a program established for or on behalf of an employer or group of employers;

(12) Service performed by an individual in or as an officer or member of the crew of a vessel while it is engaged in the catching, taking, harvesting, cultivating, or farming of any kind of fish, shellfish, crustacea, sponges, seaweed, or other aquatic forms of animal and vegetable life, including service performed by any such individual as an ordinary incident to any such activity, except:

(A) Service performed in connection with the catching or taking of salmon or halibut for commercial purposes; and

(B) Service performed on or in connection with a vessel of more than ten net tons, which tonnage shall be determined in the manner provided for determining the registered tonnage of merchant vessels under the laws of the United States;

(13) Service, other than service performed by a child under the age of 18 years in the employ of his or her father or mother, performed by an individual on a boat engaged in catching fish or other forms of aquatic animal life under an arrangement with the owner or operator of such boat pursuant to which:

(A) Such individual does not receive any cash remuneration other than as provided in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph;

(B) Such individual receives a share of the boat's catch or, in the case of a fishing operation involving more than one boat, the boats' catch of fish or other forms of aquatic animal life or a share of the proceeds from the sale of such catch; and

(C) The amount of such individual's share depends on the amount of the boat's catch or, in the case of a fishing operation involving more than one boat, the boats' catch of fish or other forms of aquatic animal life,

but only if the operating crew of such boat or, in the case of a fishing operation involving more than one boat, the operating crew of each boat from which the individual receives a share is normally made up of fewer than ten individuals;

(14) Service performed in the employ of a foreign government;

(15) If the services performed during one-half or more of any pay period by an employee for the employing unit employing him or her constitute employment, all the services of such employee for such period shall be deemed to be employment; but, if the services performed during more than one-half of any such pay period by an employee for the employing unit employing him or her do not constitute employment, then none of the services of such employee for such period shall be deemed to be employment. As used in this Code section, the term "pay period" means a period of not more than 31 consecutive days for which payment of remuneration is ordinarily made to the employee by the employing unit employing him or her. This Code section shall not be applicable with respect to services performed in a pay period by an employee for the employing unit employing him or her where any of such service is excepted by paragraph (5) of this subsection;

(16) Services performed by an independent contract carrier for an employer who is a publisher or distributor of printed materials by an individual, firm, or corporation in transporting, assembling, delivering, or distributing printed materials and in maintaining any facilities or equipment incidental thereto, provided that:

(A) The independent contract carrier has with the employer a written contract as an independent contractor;

(B) Remuneration for the independent contract carrier is on the basis of the number of deliveries accomplished;

(C) With exception to providing the area or route which an independent contract carrier may or may not service, or providing materials or direction for the packaging or assembly of printed materials, the employer exercises no general control regarding the method of transporting, assembling, delivering, or distributing the printed materials; and

(D) The contract entered by the independent contract carrier for such services does not prohibit it from the transportation, delivery, assembly, or distribution of printed materials for more than one employer.

Provided, however, that the exclusion provided in this paragraph shall not apply to any such employment on behalf of an employing unit defined in subsection (h) or (i) of this Code section;

(17) Services performed for a common carrier of property, persons, or property and persons by an individual consisting of the pickup, transportation, and delivery of property, persons, or property and persons; provided that:

(A) The individual is free to accept or reject assignments from the common carrier;

(B) Remuneration for the individual is on the basis of commissions, trips, or deliveries accomplished;

(C) Such individual personally provides the vehicle used in the pickup, transportation, and delivery of the property, persons, or property and persons;

(D) Such individual has a written contract with the common carrier;

(E) The written contract states expressly and prominently that the individual knows:

(i) Of the responsibility to pay estimated social security taxes and state and federal income taxes;

(ii) That the social security tax the individual must pay is higher than the social security tax the individual would pay if he or she were an employee; and

(iii) That the work is not covered by the unemployment compensation laws of Georgia; and

(F) The written contract does not prohibit such individual from the pickup, transportation, or delivery of property, persons, or property and persons for more than one common carrier or any other person or entity; or

(18) Services performed by a direct seller, provided that:

(A) Such individual:

(i) Is engaged in the trade or business of selling or soliciting the sale of consumer products, including services or other intangibles, to any buyer on a buy-sell basis, a deposit-commission basis, or any similar basis for resale by the buyer or any other person in the home or otherwise than in a permanent retail establishment; or

(ii) Is engaged in the trade or business of selling or soliciting the sale of consumer products, including services or other intangibles, in the home or otherwise than in a permanent retail establishment;

(B) Substantially all the remuneration, whether or not paid in cash, for the performance of the services described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph is directly related to sales or other output, including the performance of services, rather than to the number of hours worked; and

(C) The services performed by the individual are performed pursuant to a written contract between such individual and the person for whom the services are performed and such contract provides that the individual will not be treated as an employee for federal and state tax purposes.

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