The 1950, and subsequent amendments to the Social Security Act, continue to use the
common-law rules in determining employer-employee relationships. In enacting the 1950
amendments, Congress expressed the view these rules be applied realistically, not
restrictively. Congress also included, in addition to common-law employees, people
who perform service under specified conditions in four occupational groups. Congress
recognized that some people in these specified occupations might be employees under
the usual common-law rules and intended to bring those who were not into the Social
Security program as employees rather than under the new self-employment provisions.
Congress intended that the tests for determining employment relationships under the
common-law concept of master and servant should not be narrowly applied.
SSA considers this conclusion especially significant since these amendments would
cover most self-employed persons not covered as employees. By applying a broad interpretation
of the tests for determining employment relationships, more borderline case decisions
would favor employment rather than self-employment. This view appears more consistent
with the legislative purpose of the Social Security Act.
SSA also considers that the issue of whether an employment relationship exists relies
on whether the person receiving the services has the right to control the worker,
along with the manner and means of the performance of the services to a degree sufficient
to establish an employer-employee relationship under the usual common-law rules. Therefore,
development of this issue is directed toward establishing the existence or lack of
existence of factors indicating whether such control exists. This statement indicated
that the factors to use in deciding questions of employer-employee relationships are
those that are pertinent to the end-point determination of whether there is common-law