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Membership of Contract Employees

Employees are subject to membership in SERS in a variety of specific situations, including situations involving contractors and their contract employees.

Contractors can be “contract employees,” who are subject to membership in SERS, or “independent contractors,” who are not subject to membership in SERS.

Contract employees are individuals who perform a “service common to the daily operation of an educational unit even though the individual is employed and paid by a company that has contracted with a board or educational unit to perform the service.”

The SERS Board has determined that membership in SERS is required for individuals who perform:

  • Fiscal services
  • Management services
  • Food services, including the planning, supervision, direction, management of, assistance in,
    and/or responsibility for the regular food or cafeteria service of a school
  • Transportation services for the employer, including the planning, supervision, direction, management, performance of, and/or responsibility for the transportation services of a school
  • Custodial or maintenance services, including the supervision, direction, management, performance of, assistance in and/or responsibility for the regular, continuous maintenance, repair, and/or upkeep of the facilities of a school
  • School security services on the property of a school
  • Health-related services, including nurses, health aides, and licensed practical nurses who are not required to have a certificate or license issued under Revised Code 3319.22 to 3319.31
  • IT Services
  • Substitutes for SERS-covered positions

SERS membership is not required for individuals who:

  • Are employed and paid by vending companies to service vending machines
  • Service equipment under an equipment warranty or purchase/lease service agreement
  • Service and/or repair equipment and/or facilities of the employer on an emergency basis or who provide extraordinary services and/or services of a technical nature not commonly performed by individuals employed directly by the employer
  • Provide for trash pickup and disposal for the employer
  • Transport students in vehicles that are not defined by law as “school buses” or that are not marked as a “school bus”
  • Advise and/or consult on a temporary basis, “bona fide” consultants

In some instances, employees hired as independent contractors must contribute to SERS. Actual “independent contractors” are not required to contribute to SERS; however, an agreement to be an independent contractor is not the sole indicator of a valid independent contractor relationship.

If the overall facts of the situation indicate an employer-employee relationship between you and the worker, SERS membership is required. The classification assigned to a relationship must be an accurate reflection of the working relationship. Employers should consult their own legal counsel when creating an independent contractor relationship.