On Independent Contractors and Employees in California

The California Legislature has passed AB5 which seeks to clarify the difference between independent contractors and employees.  The key feature (edited a little for brevity) is:

Section 2750.3 is added to the Labor Code, to read:
2750.3. (a) (1) … a person providing labor or services for remuneration shall be considered an employee rather than an independent contractor unless the hiring entity demonstrates that all of the following conditions are satisfied:

(A) The person is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact.

(B) The person performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.

(C) The person is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), any exceptions to the terms “employee,” “employer,” “employ,” or “independent contractor,” and any extensions of employer status or liability, that are expressly made by a provision of this code, …, including, but not limited to, the definition of “employee” in subdivision 2(E) of Wage Order No. 2, shall remain in effect for the purposes set forth therein.

(3) If a court of law rules that the three-part test in paragraph (1) cannot be applied to a particular context based on grounds other than an express exception to employment status as provided under paragraph (2), then the determination of employee or independent contractor status in that context shall instead be governed by the California Supreme Court’s decision in S. G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations (1989) 48 Cal.3d 341 (Borello).

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