Independent Contractor Misclassification Investigation in CA
California Independent Contractor Arrangements
Legal developments in California have called into question the legality of many independent contractor arrangements. In a trio of decisions, the California Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, and the California Court of Appeal have strengthened the hand of workers who claim that they are being unlawfully denied the benefits of employee status. In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, 59 Cal. 4th 522 (June 30, 2014), the California Supreme Court weighed in regarding the standard for class certification in independent contractor cases. In Ayala, the Court clarified that alleged differences in the control exercised by businesses over workers did not preclude class certification since the relevant question is simply whether common questions predominate regarding whether the alleged employer reserved the right to control the work performed by the alleged employees.
Then, in Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (September 15, 2014), the Ninth Circuit ruled that FedEx misclassified its delivery drivers as independent contractors when they were actually employees. Finally, in Dynamex v. Superior Court (October 15, 2014), the California Court of Appeal ordered the trial court to evaluate class certification of certain wage and hour claims under the more liberal wage order test of employer, rather than the traditional common law or Borello standard. As a result of these decisions and other legal developments in California, the legality of independent contractor relationships is being questioned as never before.
Rukin Hyland & Riggin LLP is currently investigating independent contractor misclassification issues involving the following companies and job positions. If you have worked for any of these companies in California, we would like to speak with you about their compensation and classification practices. Please contact us for a free consultation.
- Life Alert Emergency Response, Inc. (sales employees and emergency response personnel)
- CenturyLink Communications/GXT Ltd./AFL Network Services Inc. (fiber optic inspectors/workers misclassified as independent contractors)
- Compass Van Lines, LLC (drivers)
- Federal Express (delivery drivers)