The Los Angeles employment lawyer at The Sempers Law Firm represents clients misclassified as independent contractors in the state of California. Schedule a free consultation, call us at 888-762-0297.
Who qualifies as an independent contractor in California?
Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), effective January 1, 2020, introduced legislation requiring that the ABC test is used to determine employment status. Under AB 5, most workers are presumed to be an employee unless an employer can establish - using the ABC test, that the worker is an independent contractor. Under the ABC test, the employer must prove all three of the following conditions are met for a worker to be considered an independent contractor:
1) Free from Control and Discretion. Independent contractors are free from the control and direction of their employer.
2) Outside the Normal Course and Scope of Business. Independent contractors perform work that is outside the ordinary course and scope of the employer's business.
3) Has an Established Trade or Business. An independent contractor has an independently established occupation, trade, or business.
Under AB 5, employers have the burden of proving that a worker qualified as an independent contractor under the ABC test, not the other way around.
Is a gig worker an independent contractor?
Assembly Bill 5 is also commonly referred to as the "gig worker law." However, in 2020, Proposition 22, which became the most expensive ballot measure in California history, granted app-based transportation and delivery companies (DoorDash, Uber, Lyft, and others) an exemption to AB 5 by allowing them to classify gig workers as "independent contractors."
Note: On August 20, 2021, a California judge ruled Proposition 22 unconstitutional.
California independent contractor laws (2020)
California Labor Code § 3353 defines an independent contractor as a worker who renders their services:
- For "a specified recompense"
- For "a specified result" and
- Under the control of their principal as to the result of the work.
Legislators passed Assembly Bill 5 to require companies across California to reclassify independent contractors as employees using the ABC test.