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California Adopts New Test for Independent Contractors

On April 30, 2018, in a departure from well-established precedent, the California Supreme Court held that the proper standard for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee under the state Wage Orders is the “ABC” test.  Prior to this ruling, courts and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement had utilized the multi-factor balancing test established by the court in Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Dep’t of Indus. Relations for this determination.

This decision will make it much more difficult for employers to classify workers as independent contractors with potentially far reaching implications including subjecting them to liability for misclassification which could include back payment of federal Social Security and payroll taxes, unemployment insurance taxes and state employment taxes, workers’ compensation premiums, and unpaid minimum wages and overtime wages and penalties associated with failure to pay proper wages.

The Old Rule (Borello) Continue reading California Adopts New Test for Independent Contractors