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Employed or Independent? California Offers AB5 Answers

The hottest California employment question of late: do independent contractors still exist? The  California Supreme Court’s 2018 Dynamex  decision turned independent classification on its head, imposing a strict “ABC” contrary to decades of law and custom.  The legislature followed suit with Assembly Bill (AB) 5, effective January 1, 2020, applying the test to virtually every aspect of labor law. We have published multiple AB5 blogs, below, for guidance on the many exceptions and uncertainties in this law.

Intending to create a “one-stop shop for online resources for workers and employers” concerning AB 5, the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) has now posted an Employment Status Portal to assist workers and employers in understanding employee classification and related issues under AB5.

The portal contains Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) addressing common AB5 issues, including to whom it applies and implementation.

This LWDA site portal is a good starting place to gain some understanding of AB 5.  As FAQ 11 points out, there are various penalties for misclassifying workers, including $5,000 to $25,000 for each willful misclassification.  More than ever, a wise California employer should seek competent legal advice before classifying anyone as an independent contractor.

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For more information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Helena Kobrin

Tim Bowles

February 7, 2020