Major Change in Independent Contractor Definition May Not Apply Backwards After All
In Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International,
the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court ruled California’s new “ABC” test for deciding independent contractor legitimacy was retroactive – i.e., it was to be applied to relationships before that test existed. See Making Dynamex Retroactive (May 2019)
The Ninth Circuit has now withdrawn that decision,
referring the issue back to the California Supreme Court which had announced the three-prong ABC test April 30, 2018 in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court.
The Ninth Circuit’s referral offers a glimmer of hope
to the businesses and many who choose to work as independent contractors that the Dynamex ruling may not apply to their pre-Dynamex relationships.
the California Assembly has passed Assembly Bill (AB)-5 codifying the ABC test if also passed by the state Senate and signed by the governor. It exempts certain industries from Dynamex such as accountants, lawyers, engineers, financial advisers, healthcare workers, and real estate professionals. However, various other industries, such as gig economy workers and truck drivers, would remain subject to the new standard. For example, this could bar motor carriers from arrangements with owner-operators as independent contractors — a common relationship in the industry.
As currently written,
AB-5 would make Dynamex retroactive, thus taking the ultimate decision on this issue out of the Supreme Court’s hands.
• California Legislature Dealing with Competing Proposals to Kill or Expand New Dynamex Test (April 2019)
• Radically New Dynamex Test Only Applies to Certain Employee Classification Cases (November 2018)
• Independent Contractor Status Now Falls Under Radically Different Rules (June 2018)
For further assistance,
please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on
their profile in addition to the information we collect from state
bar associations and other organizations that license legal
professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo
with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do
What determines Avvo Rating?
Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.