Garcia v. Border Transp. Group, LLC, 2018 WL 5118546 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018)

Jesus Cuitlahuac Garcia, a taxicab driver, filed a wage and hour lawsuit against Border Transportation Group (“BTG”), alleging claims based upon the wage orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission; wrongful termination in violation of public policy; failure to pay minimum wage; failure to pay overtime; failure to provide meal and rest breaks; failure to furnish accurate wage statements; waiting time penalties; and unfair competition. The trial court granted BTG’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that Garcia was an independent contractor and not an employee. The Court of Appeal reversed in part, holding that the more restrictive test for determining employment status as set forth in Dynamex Operations W., Inc. v. Superior Court, 4 Cal. 5th 903 (2018) applies to Garcia’s claims based upon the wage orders (i.e., the claims for unpaid wages, failure to pay minimum wage, failure to provide meal and rest periods, failure to furnish itemized wage statements and unfair competition). The remaining claims do not arise under the wage orders and as to them, summary adjudication was properly granted in favor of BTG. See also California Trucking Ass’n v. Su, 903 F.3d 953 (9th Cir. 2018) (labor commissioner’s use of a common law test to determine whether owner-operator truck drivers were independent contractors was not preempted by federal law).