February 28, 2021

Volume XI, Number 59

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February 26, 2021

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California Supreme Court Concludes That Dynamex Applies Retroactively

As we have previously written here, the California Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court dramatically changed the standard for determining whether workers in California were properly classified as independent contractors, creating a new “ABC” test that has subsequently been codified as AB 5. A significant question left open was whether Dynamex would apply retroactively.

In Vasquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc., the California Supreme Court has concluded that Dynamex indeed applies retroactively.  Rejecting an argument that the “ABC” test created new law and therefore should not be applied retroactively, the California Supreme Court determined that the decision did nothing more than provide an authoritative definition of what it means to “suffer or permit to work.”

The decision means that Dynamex will be applied in independent contractor misclassification cases that were already pending when Dynamex was first issued.  And it also means that it will be applied to pre-Dynamex conduct in new lawsuits that might still be filed, subject to the applicable statutes of limitations for such claims.

With Dynamex, AB 5 and now Vasquez, one thing is certain – it is more important than ever for companies that do businesses in California to review their relationships with workers classified as independent contractors to try to avoid litigation or defend against it.

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©2020 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 19
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About this Author

Michael S. Kun, epstein becker green, los angeles, labor, employment
Member

Mr. Kun's practice includes:

  • Litigating more than six dozen class actions and collective actions in California, New York, Georgia and Maryland involving a variety of employment issues, including discrimination and wage-hour claims, and successfully defeating motions for class certification on such claims. The sizes of the putative classes have ranged from 75 to approximately 15,000 employees.

  • Litigating a wide variety of employment-related claims, including discrimination, harassment,...

310-557-9501
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