Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Joseph Woytas v. North East Express, Inc., No. A-79924.
Jerome L. Cohen, for petitioner.
Cal A. Leventhal, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 255]
This is an appeal by North East Express, Inc. (North East) of an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) which affirmed a referee's
[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 256]
award of benefits to Joseph Woytas. We affirm.
Woytas was the owner of a truck tractor which he operated as a driver-owner under a lease agreement with North East. He sustained injury on June 21, 1978 while operating the tractor hauling a North East trailer. The single issue for our disposition is whether, as a matter of law,*fn1 Woytas was an employee of North East or an independent contractor.
Our resolution of this issue is controlled by J. Miller Co. v. Mixter, 2 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 229, 277 A.2d 867 (1971) and the cases which follow it. In Miller we stated the relevant criteria for distinguishing between an employee and an independent contractor thus:
The courts have not formulated a hard and fast definition for the determination of whether any given relationship is one of independent contractor or that of employer-employee. They have, however, set forth indicia of such relationship to be used as guides in making such a determination, some of which are: Control of manner work is to be done; responsibility for result only; terms of agreement between the parties; the nature of the work or occupation; skill required for performance; whether one employed is engaged in a distinct occupation or business; which party supplies the tools; whether payment is by the time or by the job; whether
[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 257]
work is a part of regular business of the employer, and also the right of employer to terminate the employment at any time. . . . These indicia are not to be considered as circumstantial in nature and whether some or all of them exist in any given situation is not absolutely controlling as to ...