Beaumont-Jacques v. Farmers Group, Inc., 217 Cal. App. 4th 1138 (2013)

Erin Beaumont-Jacques worked as a district manager for various insurance companies pursuant to a District Manager Appointment Agreement. After Beaumont-Jacques voluntarily terminated the relationship, she sued for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and faith dealing, sex discrimination and violation of Business and Professions Code § 17200 (all on the basis of her claim that she was really an employee and not an independent contractor). The trial court granted the insurance companies’ motion for summary judgment after determining as a matter of law that Beaumont-Jacques was an independent contractor and not an employee. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that Beaumont-Jacques exercised “meaningful discretion” in recruiting agents for and, when selected, training and motivating those agents to sell defendants’ insurance products. See also Happy Nails & Spa of Fashion Valley, L.P. v. Su, 217 Cal. App. 4th 1459 (2013) (decision of the Cal. Unemp. Ins. App. Bd. that cosmetologists were independent contractors and not employees collaterally estopped the Labor Commissioner from assessing employment-related penalties); Estrada v. City of Los Angeles, 218 Cal. App. 4th 143 (2013) (volunteer police reserve officer was not an employee even though he received workers’ compensation benefits from the city).