Linton v. DeSoto Cab Co., 15 Cal. App. 5th 1208 (2017)

DeSoto Cab Co. had required Darnice Linton to pay a “gate fee” in exchange for his obtaining a taxicab to drive for each of his shifts. Linton alleged that he is an employee (not an independent contractor) and that by charging him “gate fees,” DeSoto is violating the wage and hour laws. The Labor Commissioner determined that Linton is an employee and not an independent contractor. On appeal, the trial court ruled in favor of DeSoto, holding that Linton is an independent contractor and had not been misclassified. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s ruling, however, and held that the trial court had failed to properly apply the law when it concluded that existing precedent only applied to unemployment and workers’ compensation cases and not to wage claims such as those that exist in this case. Accordingly, the appellate court reversed the judgment and remanded the case, instructing the trial court to apply the law properly.