I previously wrote a blog about the 2018 California Supreme Court Decision of Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court and how it clarified the definition of an employee. The Dynamex decision was intended to make it easier for workers to be considered employees instead of independent contractors for purposes of California Wage and Hour Orders.
Being an employee provides workers with the protections of California laws such as workers’ compensation coverage for job-related injuries, unemployment insurance, state disability insurance, minimum wage, overtime and other wage laws such as mandatory paid breaks.
However, California workers’ compensation law was – at the time of the writing of the blog on June 21, 2019 – still bound by the 1989 decision of S. G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Dept. of Industrial Relations instead of the Dynamex decision regarding whether a worker was an employee or an independent contractor.
That will all change on July 1, 2020!
AB5 was authored by Assemblywomen Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to adopt the definition of employee used in the Dynamex decision and apply it to California workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and state disability laws, as well as wage laws.
Governor Newsom signed AB5 into law at a ceremony on September 18, 2019.
There is a provision delaying the implementation of the new definition of employee for workers’ compensation laws until July 1, 2020 and it will not apply to any cases retroactive of that date.
So round one to California workers!
However, the fight will continue as Uber, Lyft and Doordash refuse to treat their workers fairly. While they claim the law would not affect them – as their workers are independent contractors under AB5 – they are still opening a campaign committee with a $90-million contribution toward taking the issue to the California voters in a 2020 ballot initiative. By doing so, they seek to clarify that their workers are not employees, but rather, independent contractors.
If you have sustained an injury on the job and believe you were an employee, and not an independent contractor, contact the Law Offices of Robert A. McLaughlin for a free consultation.
The attorneys at the McLaughlin & Sanchez are experienced California workers’ compensation and wage and hour lawyers. We look forward to representing you if you have a California employer claiming that you are not an employee but an independent contractor, whether you have a wage and hour case or a workers’ compensation case.
We have more than 30 years of combined experience representing workers who were hurt on the job. We proudly serve greater San Diego, Temecula, and Chula Vista. Set up your free case review today. Contact us online to learn more.