Category Archives: Independent Contractors

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Cal. Supreme Court Clarifies Standards for Class Certification of Independent Contract Class Actions

On Monday, the California Supreme Court issued yet another decision on class certification; this time in an action challenging the independent contractor (“IC”) classification of a proposed class of Antelope Valley News newspaper deliverers, Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc.  Although much of the case addresses the proper standards for evaluation of whether a person … Continue Reading

Court of Appeal Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of Farmers Insurance on Independent Contract Issue

By Thomas Kaufman and Anna Stancu On July 11, 2013, the Second Appellate District in Beaumont-Jacques v. Farmers Group Inc.concluded as a matter of law that a worker’s ability to exercise meaningful discretion in her job-related efforts rendered her an independent contractor, regardless of Farmers’ input regarding the “quality and direction of her efforts.”  The … Continue Reading

Sotelo Decision is Packed With Class Action Goodness

By Thomas Kaufman; (follow me on Twitter) A First Appellate District decision from May 31, 2012, Sotelo v. Medianews Group, Inc.; was published yesterday.  The opinion contains an in-depth discussion on class action concepts arising out of a case alleging misclassification of newspaper carriers as independent contractors.  The opinion cuts back on some pro-certification precedents, sets forth some anti-certification law for independent contractor cases, … Continue Reading

California Legislature Passes “Worker Misclassification” Bill Creating Civil Penalties For Willful Misclassification Of Independent Contractors

On September 8, 2011, the California legislature passed Senate Bill 459 prohibiting the willful misclassification of individuals as independent contractors. Labeled by some as the "Job Killer Act," this new legislation creates civil penalties of between $5,000 and $25,000 per violation. In addition to making it illegal to willfully misclassify individuals as independent contractors, the … Continue Reading

California Court Of Appeal Extends Armendariz To Cover Independent Contractors

In the seminal case Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare, the Supreme Court of California established the standard for determining the enforceability of mandatory arbitration agreements for employees. Armendariz generally held that mandatory arbitration agreements were enforceable if they were mutual and did not "serve as a vehicle for the waiver of statutory rights." Armendariz set … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Applies California Law Despite Choice-Of-Law Clause in Independent Contractor Agreement

In Narayan v. EGL, Inc., the employer, EGL, Inc. (“EGL”), is a global transportation company that provides “air and ocean freight forwarding, customs brokerage, [and] local pickup and delivery service.” EGL is incorporated and headquartered in Texas, but it operates through a network of over 400 facilities in 100 countries. The case was brought by … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Extends Rehabilitation Act to Independent Contractors

On November 19, 2009, the Ninth Circuit handed down its opinion in Fleming v. Yuma Regional Medical Center, 07-16427. The court faced the difficult task of interpreting the interplay between Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794) and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Sixth and Eighth Circuits had … Continue Reading

The Ninth Circuit Reminds Employers That A Good “Independent Contractor” Is Hard To Come By

The existence of an employer-employee relationship is a necessary precursor to wage and hour protection under California law.  With its recent decision in NLRB v. E. Bay Taxi Drivers Ass’n et al., the Ninth Circuit reminded employers that they cannot simply avoid their wage and hour obligations by self-anointing individuals as "independent contractors" despite the … Continue Reading

Caution: Take A Second Look At Your Independent Contractors

In a suit filed by Air Couriers International ("Sonic") against the Employment Development Department ("EDD"), to recover employment taxes paid for drivers who operated as independent contractors, the California Court of Appeal rejected Sonic’s claim that the drivers were independent contractors and instead found that the drivers acted as Sonic’s employees.… Continue Reading

Is Your Independent Contractor Really an Employee?

by Greg S. Labate Employers often unintentionally misclassify workers as independent contractors when they should really be employees. This common error can lead to serious consequences, including audits, lawsuits, and liability. Accordingly, all employers should conduct a careful review of their independent contractor relationships to determine if they are valid and proper.… Continue Reading

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