October 24, 2020

Volume X, Number 298

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California Governor Signs Legislation to Relax Controversial Independent Contractor Law

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed legislation, AB 2257, that provides a carve out to the state’s independent contractor law. Under Assembly Bill 5, all independent contractors are presumed to be employees unless the hiring business can meet the stringent requirements (known as the ABC test) that are set forth in the California Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision. AB 5 also provided for certain exemptions for certain categories of workers. For a more in depth discussion of AB 5, visit our previous blog post here.

AB 2257 provides new exemptions for additional types of workers, including music industry professionals; performing artists; freelance writers and photographers; individuals who provide underwriting inspections, premium audits, risk management or loss-control work for insurance or financial services industries; and performance artists. As such, more individuals will be able to work as independent contractors, and those who hire them will not be subject to the stringent workplace protection laws that apply to California employees.

The new law also provides clearer instruction on the “business-to-business” exception of AB 5 by stating that a business that is contracted to provide services to another business is an independent contractor if it meets the factors established in the California Supreme Court’s decision in S.G. Borello & Sons, Inc., which is less restrictive than the ABC test. Contracting businesses can include public agencies and quasi-public corporations.

AB 2257 was signed on September 4, 2020. Its provisions took effect immediately.

Copyright © 2020, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 267
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About this Author

Katherine Sandberg Employment Lawyer Hunton Andrews Kurth Law Firm
Associate

Katherine has extensive experience in wage and hour class actions and high-stakes trade secrets litigation. She also has a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in federal and state courts for clients facing claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and unfair competition. Moreover, she has guided clients through difficult interactions with administrative agencies and claimants to resolve disputes before lawsuits are ever filed.

Katherine also has significant experience defending business owners in public accommodation access litigation involving claims of...

415 975 3705
Roland M. Juarez Employment & Labor Attorney Hunton Andrews Kurth Los Angeles, CA
Partner

Roland’s practice focuses exclusively on employment and labor law.

Roland has exclusively handled employment cases since 1992. He was named a 2020 Top Minority Attorney in Los Angeles and a 2019 Top Litigator & Trial Lawyer, both by the Los Angeles Business Journal; a California Labor and Employment Star and was nominated as California's top Labor & Employment Litigation Attorney in 2019, both by Benchmark Litigation. Hunton’s California Employment Group was also nominated as the California Employment Group of the Year in 2019 by Benchmark. Roland’s experience includes class actions, non-compete, non-solicitation and employee raiding cases, discrimination, harassment, disability, wage and hour, PAGA and Title III website accessibility cases. He has numerous recent trial and arbitration wins and regularly practices in state and federal courts and JAMS arbitrations in California. 

Roland is a contributing author to the firm’s Employment & Labor Perspectives blog. He also serves as the Co-Head of Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Unfair Competition and Information Protection Task Force. He is also a member of the Firm’s national associates committee. Roland is admitted to practice before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th, 9th and 11th Circuits; U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Central Districts of California and Texas; and the Northern District of Georgia. He was also a law clerk for Acting Justice Carol H. Arber, New York State Supreme Court (1990).

Relevant Experience

  • Successful prosecution of employee “raiding” and theft of trade secret matters, and defense against injunctions in non-competition and trade secret matters.
  • Multiple successful defense verdicts in trials alleging unpaid overtime, missed meal and rest breaks, and inaccurate wage statements based on misclassification and other wage and hour claims.
  • Multiple successful defense victories in JAMS Arbitrations including unpaid overtime, missed meal and rest breaks, and misclassification claims; discrimination, retaliation, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, and failure to engage in the interactive process all under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA); and wrongful termination under California law.
  • Multiple successful defense victories on summary judgment and motions to dismiss, including claims related to discrimination and harassment (race, age, sex, disability) under federal law and FEHA, breach of employment agreements, negligent Infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, ADA, FMLA, failure to engage in the interactive process and failure to accommodate.
213-532-2145
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