Unless some recently filed lawsuits (including one by the California Trucking Association) are successful, classifying a worker as an independent contractor is about to become much more difficult in California.

The new law (AB-5), which will go into effect on January 1, 2020, codifies the ruling handed down by the California Supreme Court last year in Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903. In that case, the Supreme Court established a new three-prong test for employers to “rely” upon when classifying workers as either employees or independent contractors. Under the new test, to be accurately classified as an independent contractor, a worker must be:

(i) free from control of the company;

(ii) performing work “outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business” (i.e., a paint company can’t have an independent worker who’s a painter); and

(iii) engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work they are performing.

So who will this effect? Almost every independent contractor out there. From truckers, taxi drivers, Uber & Lyft drivers, to barbers/hairdressers, maids, janitors, and childcare workers.

Many professions (e.g., doctors, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, etc.) are exempt from the new law.

We’ll keep you posted as things progress.

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DOMINIC M. CARUCCI

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Michael Kushner was born and raised in Long Beach, California. He obtained his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa during his third year and graduated with Highest Distinction the following year. Mr. Kushner then attended law school at UCLA. After moving to Orange County, Mr. Kushner honed his skills at two prestigious law firms before striking out on his own. From there, Mr. Kushner quickly earned a reputation as a formidable and skilled trial and transactional lawyer in the areas of business and real estate law, as well as an entertaining and informative lecturer on various trending topics.

Raised in Florida, where he began surfing competitively at a young age, Luke Carlson moved to California to obtain his education at Chapman University, where he graduated with honors. Prior to Mr. Carlson’s graduation from law school in 2009, he began working at Mr. Kushner’s law firm, where Mr. Carlson demonstrated not only a remarkable degree of business acumen, but also vast knowledge and expertise in the action sports industry. Mr. Kushner and Mr. Carlson complemented each other’s skills so well, that they decided to team up to form Kushner Carlson.

Since then, Kushner Carlson has grown at an impressive pace, transforming itself from a boutique law firm to a mid-sized powerhouse staffed with the industry’s sharpest legal minds. Today, the Kushner Carlson brand is synonymous with strategically aggressive representation and pioneering innovative legal technology.

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