Nebraska Revised Statute 48-604
As used in the Employment Security Law, unless the context otherwise requires, employment shall mean:
(1) Any service performed, including service in interstate commerce, for wages under a contract of hire, written or oral, express or implied;
(2) The term employment shall include an individual's entire service, performed within or both within and without this state if (a) the service is localized in this state, (b) the service is not localized in any state but some of the service is performed in this state and the base of operations or, if there is no base of operations, then the place from which such service is directed or controlled is in this state or the base of operations or place from which such service is directed or controlled is not in any state in which some part of the service is performed but the individual's residence is in this state, (c) the service shall be deemed to be localized within a state if (i) the service is performed entirely within such state or (ii) the service is performed both within and without such state, but the service performed without such state is incidental to the individual's service within the state, for example, is temporary or transitory in nature or consists of isolated transactions;
(3) Services performed outside the state and services performed outside the United States as follows:
(a) Services not covered under subdivision (2) of this section and performed entirely without this state, with respect to no part of which contributions are required under an unemployment compensation law of any other state or of the federal government, shall be deemed to be employment subject to the Employment Security Law if the commissioner approves the election of the employer, for whom such services are performed, that the entire service of such individual shall be deemed to be employment subject to such law;
(b) Services of an individual wherever performed within the United States or Canada if (i) such service is not covered under the employment compensation law of any other state or Canada and (ii) the place from which the service is directed or controlled is in this state; and
(c)(i) Services of an individual who is a citizen of the United States, performed outside the United States except in Canada in the employ of an American employer, other than service which is deemed employment under subdivisions (2) and (3)(a) and (b) of this section or the parallel provisions of another state's law, if:
(A) The employer's principal place of business in the United States is located in this state;
(B) The employer has no place of business in the United States, but the employer is an individual who is a resident of this state; the employer is a corporation or limited liability company which is organized under the laws of this state; or the employer is a partnership or a trust and the number of the partners or trustees who are residents of this state is greater than the number who are residents of any other state; or
(C) None of the criteria of subdivisions (A) and (B) of this subdivision are met, but the employer has elected coverage in this state or, the employer having failed to elect coverage in any state, the individual has filed a claim for benefits based on such service under the laws of this state.
(ii) American employer, for the purposes of this subdivision, shall mean: (A) An individual who is a resident of the United States; (B) a partnership if two-thirds or more of the partners are residents of the United States; (C) a trust if all the trustees are residents of the United States; or (D) a corporation or limited liability company organized under the laws of the United States or of any state.
(iii) The term United States for the purpose of this section includes the states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
(4)(a) Service performed in the employ of this state or any political subdivision thereof or any instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing or any instrumentality which is wholly owned by this state and one or more other states or political subdivisions, or any service performed in the employ of any instrumentality of this state or of any political subdivision thereof and one or more other states or political subdivisions if such service is excluded from employment as defined in the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, as amended, solely by reason of 26 U.S.C. 3306(c)(7), and is not otherwise excluded under this section;
(b) Service performed by an individual in the employ of a religious, charitable, educational, or other organization, but only if the following conditions are met: (i) The service is excluded from employment as defined in the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, as amended, solely by reason of 26 U.S.C. 3306(c)(8), and is not otherwise excluded under this section; and (ii) the organization had four or more individuals in employment for some portion of a day in each of twenty different weeks, whether or not such weeks were consecutive, within either the current or preceding calendar year, regardless of whether they were employed at the same moment of time;
(c)(i) Service performed by an individual in agricultural labor if such service is performed for a person who during any calendar quarter in either the current or preceding calendar year paid remuneration in cash of twenty thousand dollars or more to individuals employed in agricultural labor, or for some portion of a day in each of twenty different calendar weeks, whether or not such weeks were consecutive, in either the current or the preceding calendar year, employed in agricultural labor ten or more individuals, regardless of whether they were employed at the same moment of time.
(ii) For purposes of this subdivision:
(A) Any individual who is a member of a crew furnished by a crew leader to perform services in agricultural labor for any other person shall be treated as an employee of such crew leader if such crew leader holds a valid certificate of registration under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.; substantially all the members of such crew operate or maintain tractors, mechanized harvesting or cropdusting equipment, or any other mechanized equipment, which is provided by such crew leader; and such individual is not an employee of such other person within the meaning of any other provisions of this section; and
(B) In case any individual who is furnished by a crew leader to perform service in agricultural labor for any other person and who is not treated as an employee of such crew leader under subdivision (A) of this subdivision, such other person and not the crew leader shall be treated as the employer of such individual and such other person shall be treated as having paid cash remuneration to such individual in an amount equal to the amount of cash remuneration paid to such individual by the crew leader, either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of such other person, for the service in agricultural labor performed for such other person; and
(d) Service performed by an individual in domestic service in a private home, local college club, or local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority if performed for a person who paid cash remuneration of one thousand dollars or more in the current calendar year or the preceding calendar year to individuals employed in such domestic service in any calendar quarter;
(5) Services performed by an individual for wages, including wages received under a contract of hire, shall be deemed to be employment unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the commissioner that (a) such individual has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of such services, both under his or her contract of service and in fact, (b) such service is either outside the usual course of the business for which such service is performed or such service is performed outside of all the places of business of the enterprise for which such service is performed, and (c) such individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business. The provisions of this subdivision are not intended to be a codification of the common law and shall be considered complete as written;
(6) The term employment shall not include:
(a) Agricultural labor, except as provided in subdivision (4)(c) of this section;
(b) Domestic service, except as provided in subdivision (4)(d) of this section, in a private home, local college club, or local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority;
(c) Service not in the course of the employer's trade or business performed in any calendar quarter by an employee, unless the cash remuneration paid for such service is fifty dollars or more and such service is performed by an individual who is regularly employed by such employer to perform such service and, for the purposes of this subdivision, an individual shall be deemed to be regularly employed by an employer during a calendar quarter only if (i) on each of some twenty-four days during such quarter such individual performs for such employer for some portion of the day service not in the course of the employer's trade or business, or (ii) such individual was regularly employed, as determined under subdivision (c)(i) of this subdivision, by such employer in the performance of such service during the preceding calendar quarter;
(d) Service performed by an individual in the employ of his or her son, daughter, or spouse and service performed by a child under the age of twenty-one in the employ of his or her father or mother;
(e) Service performed in the employ of the United States Government or an instrumentality of the United States immune under the Constitution of the United States from the contributions imposed by sections 48-648 and 48-649 to 48-649.04, except that, to the extent that the Congress of the United States shall permit states to require any instrumentalities of the United States to make payments into an unemployment fund under a state unemployment compensation act, all of the Employment Security Law shall be applicable to such instrumentalities and to services performed for such instrumentalities in the same manner, to the same extent, and on the same terms as to all other employers, individuals, and services, except that if this state is not certified for any year by the Secretary of Labor of the United States under section 3304 of the Internal Revenue Code as defined in section 49-801.01, the payments required of such instrumentalities with respect to such year shall be refunded by the commissioner from the fund in the same manner and within the same period as is provided in section 48-660, with respect to contributions erroneously collected;
(f) Service performed in the employ of this state or any political subdivision thereof or any instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing if such services are performed by an individual in the exercise of his or her duties: (i) As an elected official; (ii) as a member of the legislative body or a member of the judiciary of a state or political subdivision thereof; (iii) as a member of the Army National Guard or Air National Guard; (iv) as an employee serving on a temporary basis in case of fire, storm, snow, earthquake, flood, or similar emergency; or (v) as an election official or election worker if the amount of remuneration received by the individual during the calendar year for services as an election official or election worker is less than one thousand dollars;
(g) For the purposes of subdivisions (4)(a) and (4)(b) of this section, service performed:
(i) In the employ of (A) a church or convention or association of churches or (B) an organization which is operated primarily for religious purposes and which is operated, supervised, controlled, or principally supported by a church or convention or association of churches;
(ii) By a duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church in the exercise of his or her ministry or by a member of a religious order in the exercise of the duties required by such order;
(iii) In a facility conducted for the purpose of carrying out a program of rehabilitation for an individual whose earning capacity is impaired by age or physical or mental deficiency or injury, or providing remunerative work for the individuals who because of their impaired physical or mental capacity cannot be readily absorbed in the competitive labor market, by an individual receiving such rehabilitation or remunerative work;
(iv) As part of an unemployment work relief or work-training program assisted or financed in whole or in part by any federal agency or an agency of a state or political subdivision thereof, by an individual receiving such work relief or work training; or
(v) By an inmate of a custodial or penal institution;
(h) Service with respect to which unemployment compensation is payable under an unemployment compensation system established by an act of Congress;
(i) Service performed in any calendar quarter in the employ of any organization exempt from income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as defined in section 49-801.01, other than an organization described in section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as defined in section 49-801.01, or under section 521 thereof, if the remuneration for such service is less than fifty dollars;
(j) Service performed in the employ of a school, college, or university, if such service is performed (i) by a student who is enrolled, regularly attending classes at, and working for such school, college, or university pursuant to a financial assistance arrangement with such school, college, or university or (ii) by the spouse of such student, if such spouse is advised, at the time such spouse commences to perform such service, that (A) the employment of such spouse to perform such service is provided under a program to provide financial assistance to such student by such school, college, or university and (B) such employment will not be covered by any program of unemployment insurance;
(k) Service performed as a student nurse in the employ of a hospital or nurses training school by an individual who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes in a nurses training school chartered or approved pursuant to state law; and service performed as an intern in the employ of a hospital by an individual who has completed a four-year course in a medical school chartered or approved pursuant to state law;
(l) Service performed by an individual as a real estate salesperson, as an insurance agent, or as an insurance solicitor, if all such service performed by such individual is performed for remuneration solely by way of commission;
(m) Service performed by an individual under the age of eighteen in the delivery or distribution of newspapers or shopping news, not including delivery or distribution to any point for subsequent delivery or distribution;
(n) Service performed by an individual in the sale, delivery, or distribution of newspapers or magazines under a written contract in which (i) the individual acknowledges that the individual performing the service and the service are not covered and (ii) the newspapers and magazines are sold by him or her at a fixed price with his or her compensation being based on the retention of the excess of such price over the amount at which the newspapers or magazines are charged to him or her, whether or not he or she is guaranteed a minimum amount of compensation for such service, or is entitled to be credited with the unsold newspapers or magazines turned back;
(o) Service performed by an individual who is enrolled at a nonprofit or public educational institution which normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly organized body of students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are carried on, as a student in a full-time program, taken for credit at such institution, which combines academic instruction with work experience, if such service is an integral part of such program, and such institution has so certified to the employer, except that this subdivision shall not apply to service performed in a program established for or on behalf of an employer or a group of employers;
(p) Service performed in the employ of a hospital, if such service is performed by a patient of the hospital;
(q) Service performed for a motor carrier, as defined in 49 U.S.C. 13102 or section 75-302, as amended, by a lessor leasing one or more motor vehicles driven by the lessor or one or more drivers provided by the lessor under a lease, with the motor carrier as lessee, executed pursuant to 49 C.F.R. part 376, Title 291, Chapter 3, as amended, of the rules and regulations of the Public Service Commission, or the rules and regulations of the Division of Motor Carrier Services. This shall not preclude the determination of an employment relationship between the lessor and any personnel provided by the lessor in the conduct of the service performed for the lessee;
(r) Service performed by an individual for a business engaged in compilation of marketing databases if such service consists only of the processing of data and is performed in the residence of the individual;
(s) Service performed by an individual as a volunteer research subject who is paid on a per study basis for scientific, medical, or drug-related testing for any organization other than one described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as defined in section 49-801.01 or any governmental entity;
(t) Service performed by a direct seller if:
(i) Such person is engaged in sales primarily in person and is:
(A) Engaged in the trade or business of selling or soliciting the sale of consumer products or services to any buyer on a buy-sell basis or a deposit-commission basis for resale, by the buyer or any other person, in the home or otherwise than in a permanent retail establishment;
(B) Engaged in the trade or business of selling or soliciting the sale of consumer products or services in the home or otherwise than in a permanent retail establishment; or
(C) Engaged in the trade or business of the delivering or distribution of newspapers or shopping news, including any services directly related to such trade or business;
(ii) Substantially all the remuneration, whether or not paid in cash, for the performance of the services described in subdivision (t)(i) of this subdivision is directly related to sales or other output, including the performance of services, rather than to the number of hours worked; and
(iii) The services performed by the person are performed pursuant to a written contract between such person and the person for whom the services are performed and the contract provides that the person will not be treated as an employee for federal and state tax purposes. Sales by a person whose business is conducted primarily by telephone or any other form of electronic sales or solicitation is not service performed by a direct seller under this subdivision;
(u) Service performed by an individual who is a participant in the National and Community Service State Grant Program, also known as AmeriCorps, because a participant is not considered an employee of the organization receiving assistance under the national service laws through which the participant is engaging in service pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 12511(30)(B); and
(v) Service performed at a penal or custodial institution by a person committed to a penal or custodial institution;
(7) If the services performed during one-half or more of any pay period by an individual for the person employing him or her constitute employment, all the services of such individual for such period shall be deemed to be employment, but if the services performed during more than one-half of any such pay period by an individual for the person employing him or her do not constitute employment, then none of the services of such individual for such period shall be deemed to be employment. As used in this subdivision, the term pay period means a period, of not more than thirty-one consecutive days, for which a payment of remuneration is ordinarily made to such individual by the person employing him or her. This subdivision shall not be applicable with respect to services performed in a pay period by an individual for the person employing him or her when any of such service is excepted by subdivision (6)(h) of this section; and
(8) Notwithstanding the foregoing exclusions from the definition of employment, services shall be deemed to be in employment if with respect to such services a tax is required to be paid under any federal law imposing a tax against which credit may be taken for contributions required to be paid into a state unemployment compensation fund or which as a condition for full tax credit against the tax imposed by the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, as amended, is required to be covered under the Employment Security Law.
- Laws 1937, c. 108, § 2, p. 372;
- Laws 1939, c. 56, § 1, p. 230;
- Laws 1940, Spec. Sess., c. 2, § 1, p. 54;
- Laws 1941, c. 94, § 1, p. 375;
- C.S.Supp.,1941, § 48-702;
- R.S.1943, § 48-604;
- Laws 1945, c. 115, § 1, p. 376;
- Laws 1947, c. 175, § 2, p. 566;
- Laws 1953, c. 167, § 3, p. 523;
- Laws 1959, c. 228, § 1, p. 795;
- Laws 1961, c. 238, § 2, p. 704;
- Laws 1971, LB 651, § 3;
- Laws 1972, LB 1392, § 2;
- Laws 1977, LB 509, § 3;
- Laws 1979, LB 581, § 2;
- Laws 1983, LB 248, § 2;
- Laws 1983, LB 319, § 1;
- Laws 1984, LB 745, § 1;
- Laws 1985, LB 339, § 4;
- Laws 1986, LB 799, § 1;
- Laws 1993, LB 121, § 291;
- Laws 1994, LB 1337, § 3;
- Laws 1995, LB 424, § 1;
- Laws 1995, LB 574, § 52;
- Laws 1997, LB 79, § 1;
- Laws 1997, LB 129, § 1;
- Laws 1997, LB 130, § 1;
- Laws 1999, LB 168, § 2;
- Laws 2000, LB 953, § 1;
- Laws 2001, LB 387, § 1;
- Laws 2003, LB 199, § 2;
- Laws 2011, LB261, § 1;
- Laws 2016, LB830, § 1;
- Laws 2017, LB172, § 7.
Services performed in the position of county attorney are excepted from the definition of employment, and thus, wages earned in that capacity are not for covered “employment” for purposes of unemployment insurance benefits. Lang v. Howard County, 287 Neb. 66, 840 N.W.2d 876 (2013).
The position of county attorney is one that has been designated “a major nontenured policymaking or advisory position” under or pursuant to Nebraska law. Lang v. Howard County, 287 Neb. 66, 840 N.W.2d 876 (2013).
Since subsection (5) of this section refers only to services performed for wages, the ABC test embodied therein does not apply in determining whether one engages in employment under a contract of hire. Omaha World-Herald v. Dernier, 253 Neb. 215, 570 N.W.2d 508 (1997).
For the purpose of determining unemployment tax liability, the common-law definition of independent contractor is superseded by the definition found in this section. Commissioner of Labor v. Lyric Co., 224 Neb. 190, 397 N.W.2d 32 (1986).
Individuals who provide services for welfare recipients at the request of the Nebraska Department of Public Welfare, now Department of Social Services, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1397 (1982) are independent contractors and not employees of the Department of Public Welfare within the meaning of this section. State v. Saville, 219 Neb. 81, 361 N.W.2d 215 (1985).
Where school has certified to an employer that work-study is an integral part of its educational program, the employer should be allowed to rely on that assurance, particularly when such conclusion is adequately supported by the record. The exemption from the term "employment" in section 48-604(6)(o) includes participation in a voluntary work-study program as long as grades and credits received are applied toward high school degree and it is part of an approved course of study. Exclusion of section 48-604(6)(o) is intended to encourage employers to participate in cooperative educational plans. Seldin Development & Management Co. v. Chizek, 208 Neb. 315, 303 N.W.2d 300 (1981).
Where orchestra leader was engaged by hotel for specific services at a fixed price, hired his own employees and paid and controlled them in the performance of their duties without interference, leader was an independent contractor and hotel was not liable for unemployment compensation for member of orchestra. Hill Hotel Co. v. Kinney, 138 Neb. 760, 295 N.W. 397 (1940).
The term "places of business" in subsection (5)(b) of this section includes the jobsites and the office of a construction company. Bay Constr. Co. v. Dolan, 2 Neb. App. 739, 513 N.W.2d 555 (1994).