The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has dealt California employers another setback when responding to claims of misclassification of independent contractor status for violations of the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order (“IWC Wage Orders”), holding that the State’s recently-adopted “ABC” test must be applied retroactively. Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising Int’l, Inc., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 13237 (9th Cir. May 2, 2019).   Almost exactly a year earlier, the California Supreme Court, in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 416 P.3d 1 (Cal. 2018), broadened the definition of “employee” in the context of the IWC Wage Orders when undertaking the employee-versus-independent contractor analysis, by adopting what commonly is known as the ABC test. Under that standard, to establish that an individual is in fact an independent contractor, an employer must prove that:

A: The work must be free from the control and direction of the company in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for performance of the work and in fact;

B: The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s business; and,

C: The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

With the retroactive application of the more employee-friendly ABC test, the Dynamex decision will have an even more  significant impact on companies throughout California that rely on workforce configurations using independent contractors.

A detailed discussion of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Vazquez may be found here,  https://www.jacksonlewis.com/publication/california-s-abc-test-independent-contractor-analysis-be-applied-retroactively

while a discussion of last year’s Dynamex decision may be found here:

https://www.jacksonlewis.com/publication/california-supreme-court-broadens-definition-employee-independent-contractor-analysis

If you have any questions about these decisions or any wage and hour question, please consult the Jackson Lewis attorney(s) with whom you regularly work.

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Photo of David T. Wiley David T. Wiley

David T. Wiley is the Knowledge Management (“KM”) Attorney for Jackson Lewis P.C.’s Wage and Hour Practice Group, and is based in the Birmingham, Alabama, office.

Mr. Wiley creates and manages legal and electronic resources and materials to provide innovative client services; serves…

David T. Wiley is the Knowledge Management (“KM”) Attorney for Jackson Lewis P.C.’s Wage and Hour Practice Group, and is based in the Birmingham, Alabama, office.

Mr. Wiley creates and manages legal and electronic resources and materials to provide innovative client services; serves as a resource for other practice group members; monitors and analyzes regulatory and case law developments; and contributes to the firm’s blogs and legal updates. In his knowledge management role, Mr. Wiley draws on more than two decades of training, advising, and representing employers nationwide in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies on a variety of employment-related issues, including collective and class actions and all manner of discrimination and retaliation claims.

Prior to obtaining his MBA and law degrees, Mr. Wiley served six distinguished years as an officer in the United States Navy Supply Corps. While attending law school, Mr. Wiley was the Senior Articles Editor for the Georgia Law Review.

Photo of Jonathan A. Siegel Jonathan A. Siegel

Jonathan A. Siegel is one of the founding Principals of the Orange County, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He practices before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, state and federal agencies and courts.

Mr. Siegel also provides advice and…

Jonathan A. Siegel is one of the founding Principals of the Orange County, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He practices before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, state and federal agencies and courts.

Mr. Siegel also provides advice and counsel regarding labor and employment law with respect to various issues ranging from wage and hour law, reduction in force, WARN Act, discipline, leave management and harassment and discrimination issues. Mr. Siegel defends employers regarding different varieties of wrongful termination and discrimination claims.

Mr. Siegel has represented management in union organizing drives and regularly defends employers in unfair labor practice proceedings as well as in collective bargaining and arbitrations. He also has extensive experience conducting wage and hour preventive audits. He conducts single location and multi-location audits for employers. The scope of such audits can range from examining specific issues, i.e., exempt status under federal law and California, to comprehensive FLSA and California Labor Code audits. Mr. Siegel has conducted audits for a wide range of industries including, but not limited to manufacturing, retail, transportation, various service industries, defense contractors and healthcare.

Mr. Siegel regularly speaks on a variety of topics including wage and hour, harassment/discrimination, national and California employment trends, Workers’ Compensation, EEO, managing leaves of absence under FMLA and state leave laws and union avoidance. He has moderated numerous programs and is featured as a keynote speaker for several different organizations.