Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 198 15
T. Mitchinson - M. Christie - K. Hoskin
  • Collective agreement
  • Construction (tile setter)
  • Independent operator (construction)
  • Worker (test)

The employer contracted with builders for the installation of ceramic tiles, terrazzo and other interiors. The employer hired subcontractors to do the installations. The employer appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer finding that tile setters were workers of the employer and not independent operators.

There were a number of factors indicative of independent operator status. The tile setters were not trained or supervised by the employer, they maintain their own vehicles and tools, they can work for more than one company, they invoice for work done, they are paid on a piecework basis and they are free to hire helpers. However, there were other factors that were indicative of worker status. The tile setters were union members. The Panel found this to be a weighty factor. The collective agreement set the rate of pay, and included a benefits package and grievance procedure, which were typically associated with worker status. Other provisions in the collective agreement were also indicative of worker status.
The Panel concluded that the tile setters were workers and not independent operators.