This week, in Murray v. Principal Fin. Group, Inc., __ F.3d __, No. 09-16664, 2010 WL 2902512 (9th Cir. Jul. 27, 2010), the Ninth Circuit held that an insurance agent was an independent contractor and not an employee for purposes of Title VII.
In its opinion, the court specifically addressed Title VII, but generally referred to its analysis as a clarification of the appropriate test to apply in the federal statutory context, mentioning ERISA and the ADEA in addition to Title VII. The court found the appropriate test to apply is the “common law agency approach.” Id. at *2. As such, when determining whether an individual is an independent contractor or employee in this context, the court found it must apply a twelve-factor test, placing emphasis on whether the hiring party has the right to control the manner and means by which the work is accomplished. Id. (citing Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Darden, 503 U.S. 318 (1992).