Are subcontractors eligible for unemployment benefits?

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Are subcontractors eligible for unemployment benefits?

I’ve worked at a nursing home for 7 years and 7 months ago they contracted out the kitchen and kept me on as subcontractor. Now I’ve been dismissed and

replaced with their own worker. Am I eligible for benefits?

Asked on September 11, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Only employees are eligible for unemployment, not freelance or contract workers. But the question is: regardless of what they called you, were you in fact an employee, not a contractor?  The law looks to the reality of the situation, not what the employer called it: if you worked there as an employee, subject to their control, their hours, their oversight, etc., you may well have been an employee--either of the nursing home, or of whomever the contracted the kitchen out to. There is no penalty for applying: apply for benefits and see if the unemployemnt office grants them to you. Be sure to describe how you worked, subject to what control, so they office can determine whether you were in fact an employee or not.


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