NLRB v. United Ins. Co. of America
390 U.S. 254 (1968)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

NLRB v. United Ins. Co. of America, 390 U.S. 254 (1968)

National Labor Relations Board v.

United Insurance Co. of America

No. 178

Argued January 23-24, 1968

Decided March 6, 1968*

390 U.S. 254

Syllabus

Petitioner insurance workers union seeks to represent respondent insurance company's "debit agents." The company refused to recognize the union, claiming that the agents were independent contractors, rather than employees. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in the ensuing unfair labor practice proceeding, determined under the common law of agency that the agents were employees. It found that the agents do not operate their own independent businesses, but perform functions that are an essential part of the company's normal operations; are trained by company supervisory personnel; do business in the company's name and ordinarily sell only the company's policies; operate under terms and conditions established and changed unilaterally by the company; account for funds under strict company procedures; receive the benefit of the company's vacation plan and group insurance and pension fund, and have a permanent working arrangement under which they may continue with the company as long as their performance is satisfactory. The Court of Appeals refused to enforce the NLRB's order.

Held: The NLRB's determination that the agents were company employees, and not independent contractors, represented a choice between two fairly conflicting views, and its order should have been enforced by the Court of Appeals. Pp. 390 U. S. 256-260.

371 F.2d 316, reversed.

Page 390 U. S. 255

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