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1099 means he was a contractor, not an employee. That's why there was no withholding of taxes.

That is true, but some companies try to get around things like paying unemployment by having 1099 contractors when the people should be employees, and it is the IRS code that governs that decision. The point was that if should have been an employee, then regardless of how they paid him and whether or not they withheld taxes, they may still be on the hook for unemployment.

It would appear that he is not concerned about the tax withholding as much as the lack of unemployment benefits.
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