Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, 2018 WL 1999120 (Cal. S. Ct. 2018)

Two delivery drivers for Dynamex filed this putative class action on behalf of similarly situated drivers, alleging that they were misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees for purposes of Industrial Wage Commission Order No. 9 (governing the transportation industry). At issue in the case is whether the relatively broad definition of “employee” that is found in the California Wage Orders (one who is “suffered or permitted to work”) may be relied upon to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. In this opinion, the California Supreme Court ruled that the broad definition of “employee” that is found in the Wage Orders does govern the issue and set forth the following “ABC” test for determining independent contractor status. The hiring entity must prove:

(A) The worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work;
(B) The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
(C) The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.