RenTech Loses Appeal Of Unemployment Ruling

Feb 2 2011 | 10:33am ET

Renaissance Technologies' security guards are employees of the firm and not independent contractors, the New York State Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board has ruled in a decision that could cost the giant hedge fund about $100,000.

The board found in favor of the New York Department of Labor, which in 2009 ruled that RenTech should have been classifying security guards at its Long Island headquarters and Manhattan office as employees, and therefore paying more in unemployment insurance for them. RenTech had argued the specific former guard whose unemployment filing initiated the case worked too few hours per week to be considered an employee.

But the appeals board noted that RenTech guards didn't merely stand at the firm's doors, but shred confidential documents and patrol the offices themselves "so that Renaissance employees would feel more secure." The state will now review RenTech's employment records to determine how much the firm has stiffed it.

The hedge fund has 20 days to appeal, and the lawyer for aggrieved former guard Louios Marsicovetere expects it to do so. David Wims told the New York Post, "I don't think the appeal will be successful, but I expect them to do it."

Marsicovetere, for his part, called the ruling "fair and righteous."

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