holding that court looks to degree of control and direction reserved to employer, in determining existence of employment relationshipSummary of this case from Monastra v. Nynex Corp.
Argued June 8, 1981
Decided July 6, 1981
Appeal from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Third Judicial Department.
Raymond V. Wylegala for appellant.
Robert Abrams, Attorney-General (Peter Crary, Shirley Adelson Siegel, Paul S. Shemin and Iris A. Steel of counsel), for respondent.
The order of the Appellate Division should be affirmed, with costs.
There was substantial evidence in the record to support the determination of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board that an employment relationship existed between the Villa Maria Institute of Music and the instructors. Whether an employment relationship exists necessarily is a question of fact, involving a determination of "the existence of a right of control over the agent in respect of the manner in which his work is to be done" (Matter of Morton, 284 N.Y. 167, 172; see Matter of Liberman v Gallman, 41 N.Y.2d 774, 778). All aspects of the arrangement must be examined to determine whether the degree of control and direction reserved to the employer establishes an employment relationship (Matter of Morton, 284 N.Y., at p 173, supra; Matter of Liberman v Gallman, 41 N.Y.2d, at p 778, supra; cf. Matter of Wittenstein v Fugazy Cont. Corp., 59 A.D.2d 249, mot for lv to app den, 43 N.Y.2d 648).
Contrary to petitioner's argument, the record as a whole provides sufficient support for the board's determination. While there was evidence from which a contrary conclusion could have been drawn, the board was not required to accept petitioner's characterization of the instructors as independent contractors (see Matter of MNORX, Inc. [ Ross], 46 N.Y.2d 985, 986; Matter of Liberman v Gallman, supra, at p 779). The conclusion that evidence exists to sustain the determination ends the judicial inquiry (see Matter of Burger [ Corsi], 303 N.Y. 654, 656).
Chief Judge COOKE and Judges JASEN, GABRIELLI, JONES, WACHTLER, FUCHSBERG and MEYER concur in memorandum.