Supreme Court Says Medical Residents Are Employees, Not Students

The Supreme Court said today that medical students in residency programs are employees for tax purposes, and they must therefore pay Medicare and Social Security taxes. Doctors in residency have already graduated from medical school, and the residency programs provide 3 to 5 years of hands-on training.

According to Chief Justice John Roberts, the author of the opinion, doctors in residency “often spend between 50 and 80 hours a week caring for patients,” and they were paid between $41,000 and $56,000 per year in 2005, when the lawsuit was filed. Residents also received normal employment benefits.

The payments were called “stipends” by Mayo, but in 2004 the Treasury Department issued a rule saying that a person is a student, and therefore exempt from these taxes, only when “[t]he educational aspect of the relationship … as compared to the service aspect of the relationship, [is] predominant.” The Treasury also said that anyone working more than 40 hours a week was not involved in an educational program but was working.

Chief Justice Roberts ruled that when Congress wrote the law giving an exemption for students, it did not define the term, and therefore it was within the Treasury Department’s discretion to decide who qualifies. Roberts noted in his opinion that the Justices “do not doubt that Mayo’s residents are engaged in a valuable educational pursuit or that they are students of their craft.” But, he said, the question of exemptions is one that the Treasury Department has the power to answer.

The decision was unanimous, though Justice Elena Kagan did not participate. The case was Mayo v. US.

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Labor History In 2:00- 7/29

labor2

The Day of the Grape.

Boehner To Hold Presser Following Coup Attempt

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH). Photo by James Cullum.

The originally scheduled press conference has been moved to 2:30 pm. According to sources on the Hill, GOP House leadership is determining the next move in response to remove Boehner from power.

Senate To Reluctantly Take Up House Highway Bill

While Senate Leaders have said they have no interest in taking up the House bill, the funding for U.S. transportation infrastructure will expire July 31, forcing both GOP chamber leaders to an agreement before the August recess

TRNS News Notes- 7/29

Sparks fly in House Iran hearing
Chilling ISIS battle plan doc found
House to approve highway bill, go home
Fox lowers threshold for early debate
House conservative tries to boot Boehner
Hillary Clinton dodges on Keystone questions

Wednesday, July 29

● Contractors outnumber troops in Afghanistan

● Illegal aliens behind bars

● Appeals court affirms PAC fine

● Mortgage collector fined for deception

● Lucchese family mobster draws 30 years

● $1.4 trillion plane project won’t fly

Obama Pays Tribute To Former Indian President

Nicknamed “the People’s President,” Dr. Kalam grew up the son of a boat owner and rose to become one of India’s most prominent scientists and politicians.