California courts and administrative agencies have long used a multi-factor common-law test, as summarized by S.G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations, 48 Cal. 3d 341 (1989), to determine whether workers are independent contractors or employees under California law. The employee-independent contractor distinction is important because employee status brings with it a host of burdensome wage and hour and other legal obligations with which the employer must comply, multiplying costs exponentially.
The key factor under the Borello common-law test for determining employment status has traditionally been the right to control the manner and means by which the work is to be performed. Despite decades of settled jurisprudence on this issue, in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, No. S222732, 2018 WL 1999120 (Cal. Apr. 30, 2018), the California Supreme Court adopted a new test for determining independent-contractor status for purposes of wage and hour obligations under California law. Continue reading “California Supreme Court Limits Employers’ Ability to Characterize Workers as Independent Contractors”