Chick Sexers

“The occupation of chick sexers was classified in a test case decided by the Eighth Circuit in 1962, Saiki v. U.S. 677 There, a partnership was engaged in the business of supplying trained chick sexers to various hatcheries in some 14 different states. The job of the chick sexer is to determine the sex of newly hatched chicks. It is an extremely skilled occupation, requiring four to six months preparatory schooling and approximately three years of apprenticeship. The partnership would supply the chick sexers with cards advising them of the date and number of chicks that each hatchery in the chick sexer’s area wished to have sexed. While it was important that the sexers arrive at the hatcheries as soon after the chicks were hatched as possible, the sexers made their own schedules, furnished their own equipment and made their own arrangements. The equipment consisted merely of an ordinary lamp and a 200 watt bulb. The partnership furnished labels and a receipt book. The hatchery furnished a table and a room for sexing. The sexers worked on a fee basis varying from one-half cent to one cent per chick and, at season’s end, paid the partnership from 71/2 to 25% of their income as commissions for the referrals to the hatcheries. The contract prices were established by the sexers with the hatcheries, although the partnership had some influence regarding the prices. The sexers were free to accept or reject work and their contracts prohibited working through anyone other than the partnership; this provision, however, was not enforced. Indeed, some of the sexers did have independent contracts with certain hatcheries. There was no immediate supervision and, in each area, there was one senior sexer or “supervisor” who made weekly reports to the partnership and, as a result, got a reduction on the commission of 21/2%. The partnership was liable to the hatcheries for faulty work and, concomitantly, the sexers were liable to the partnership for faulty work. About 90% of any such faulty work adjustments were, nevertheless, made directly between the sexers and the hatcheries”.677
677 306 F.2d 642 (8th Cir. 1962).

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