This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat.' 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Steve D. Kreiner,
Care Transportation, Inc.,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Filed August 6, 1996
Department of Economic Security
File No. 38T95
Steve D. Kreiner, 614 5th Avenue NE, St. Cloud, MN 56304-0114 (Pro Se)
Teresa M. O'Toole, Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick, P.A., 302 West Superior Street, 700 Lonsdale Building, Duluth, MN 55802 (for Relator)
Kent E. Todd, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for Respondent Commissioner of Economic Security)
Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Short, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Relator Care Transportation appeals the Commissioner's determination that Steve D. Kreiner, as a driver of a taxi owned by Care Transportation, was an employee and thereby entitled to reemployment insurance benefits. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
On review from a decision by the Commissioner, the standard is whether the evidence is sufficient to sustain the findings, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the findings. Ress v. Abbott Northwestern Hosp., Inc., 448 N.W.2d 519, 523 (Minn. 1989). This court defers to the Commissioner on issues of credibility. Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995).
In determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship, courts consider: (1) the employer's right to control the means and manner of performance; (2) the mode of payment; (3) the furnishing of material or tools; (4) the control of the premises where the work is to be done; and (4) the right of the employer to discharge the worker at any time without liability. Guhlke v. Roberts Truck Lines, 268 Minn. 141, 143, 128 N.W.2d 324, 326 (1964). The most important factors are the right to control the means and manner of performance and the right to discharge. Minn. R. 3315.0555, subpt. 1 (1993). The employer's right to control the worker, rather than the actual exercise of such right is determinative. Mount v. City of Redwood Falls, 260 Minn. 16, 19, 108 N.W.2d 443, 446 (1961). Courts prefer to broadly interpret the reemployment insurance statute, given its remedial nature. Smith v. Employers' Overload Co., 314 N.W.2d 220, 221-22 (Minn. 1981).
Here, the evidence is sufficient to sustain the findings of the Commissioner that Care Transportation: (1) controlled the drivers' work schedules; (2) provided the cars, uniforms, radios, meters, charge slips, daily summary sheets and other paperwork required for the drivers' work; (3) provided insurance and maintenance for the cars; (3) provided the majority of the drivers' pick-up calls and package delivery requests; (4) regularly investigated complaints concerning the drivers; (5) issued rules controlling the topics of conversation between drivers and patrons; (6) controlled certain flat fare rates between specific locations; and (7) could discharge the drivers for any reason, at any time, without incurring liability. These facts demonstrate Care Transportation controlled the means and manner of Kreiner's performance, provided his supplies and equipment, and had the right to freely discharge him at any time. Accordingly, we conclude the evidence is sufficient to sustain the Commissioner's determination that Kreiner was an employee of Care Transportation, and is thereby entitled to receive reemployment insurance benefits.