FACTS:                    

The brokerage firm received a notice from the Arizona Department of Economic Security (“DES”) seeking confirmation that one of its licensees was employed by the brokerage.  The licensee is an independent contractor only, not a W-2 employee.

ISSUE:                      

Can the brokerage firm contest the “employee” status of its independent contract?

ANSWER:                

Yes.

DISCUSSION:         

Licensees who do not receive W-2 compensation from their brokerage firm are generally not entitled to state unemployment benefits.  The brokerage firm should therefore return the documents to DES, specifying that the licensee is not an employee of the brokerage firm for unemployment compensation purposes.