Employers received a welcome development late last week when the California Supreme Court decided to review the controversial Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (SC S222732/B249546 rev. granted 1/28/15) regarding misclassification of independent contractors. This case is important since it arguably created a different definition of “employee” for determining if an individual is misclassified as an independent contractor with respect to violations of the California Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) Wage Orders. The Court will consider the following issue:
In a wage and hour class action involving claims that the plaintiffs were misclassified as independent contractors, may a class be certified based on the Industrial Welfare Commission definition of employee as construed in Martinez v. Combs (2010) 49 Cal.4th 35, or should the common law test for distinguishing between employees and independent contractors discussed in S.G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations (1989) 48 Cal.3d 341 control?
Employers should closely follow this case. With the recent flurry of class action lawsuits regarding independent contractor status, the new California cases which have been generally adverse to employers in this area and with the implications of the new California law AB 1897, many employers are reviewing their operations for such issues. Please feel free to contact Jonathan Siegel or the Jackson Lewis P.C. attorney you normally work with. Please see link to the Court’s docket: http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.gov/search/case/mainCaseScreen.cfm?dist=0&doc_id=2093545&doc_no=S222732.