The Ohio Supreme Court has overturned a ruling by the state’s 10th District Court that sided with a company that provides in-home care for developmentally disabled individuals that argued its workers are independent contractors and not employees.
The Supreme Court on Monday, reversing the appeals court, sent the case back to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, which previously determined that those who worked for Columbus-based Friendship Supported Living Inc. were employees, not contractors.
If the workers were classified as employees, Friendship would be responsible for having insurance for workers.
In 2017, the agency audited the company and found the workers were employed, but Friendship̵7;s owner disputed the findings.
The case ended up going through various stages of administrative and judicial appeals, and in 2019 Friendship sought review with the Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals to recover the workers’ comp insurance premiums it incurred as a result of the agency classifying the workers as employees .
The appeals court agreed with Friendship and ordered the agency to vacate its order.
The agency subsequently appealed the 10th District’s decision to the state Supreme Court.
On Monday, the Supreme Court overturned the appeals court’s ruling and granted a limited injunction requiring the comp bureau to issue its own amended order accounting for “deficiencies” that the justices said were included in the bureau’s original ruling that found the workers were employees and not contractors.