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Checking in on impact of Dynamex decision after Ninth Circuit rules California’s new employee classification applies retroactively




Last year, 10.1 percent of the workforce was independent contractors, down from 10.7 percent in 2005, according to a new survey by the Labor Department.
Last year, 10.1 percent of the workforce was independent contractors, down from 10.7 percent in 2005, according to a new survey by the Labor Department.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court – the groundbreaking California Supreme Court decision that set a new standard for how companies define who is an employee – can be applied retroactively.

The decision was made in a separate case, Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc., which has been moving through federal courts for the past decade. Jan-Pro is a Georgia-based company that has been defining itself as a franchise, instead of a cleaning service with employees.

The case now goes back down to a lower court, where damages for California plaintiffs will be decided using both the standards set by Dynamex, as well as the Ninth Circuit ruling that those standards can be applied retroactively.

Meanwhile, a bill aiming to further clarify the Dynamex ruling and put it into law is moving through the California legislature.

Larry speaks with a reporter and a labor lawyer to get the latest on this new ruling, the bill in state legislature, and what both will mean for businesses in California.

Guests:

Carolyn Said, business and technology reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, where she’s been covering the story; she tweets @CSaid

Michael Bernick, counsel for Duane Morris LLP where he practices in the area of labor and employment law; former director of California’s Employment Development Department and a Milken Institute research fellow



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