California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: independent contractor

Do California’s New Restrictions on Independent Contractors Apply Retroactively?

On May 1, we reported on the California Supreme Court’s opinion in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, in which the Supreme Court set forth the standard for determining if a worker may properly be classified as an employee or independent contractor. See  Cal. Employment Law Blog (May 1, 2018). An issue that the Court … Continue Reading

Independent Contractor Can Proceed With Sexual Harassment Claim Against City

Hirst v. City of Oceanside, 236 Cal. App. 4th 774 (2015) Kimberli Hirst, an employee of American Forensic Nurses, Inc., sued the City of Oceanside after she was allegedly sexually harassed by an Oceanside police officer while providing phlebotomist services on behalf of the Oceanside Police Department. A jury awarded Hirst $1.5 million, which the … Continue Reading

There Is No Private Right Of Action For Misclassification Of Individual As An Independent Contractor

Noe v. Superior Court, 237 Cal. App. 4th 316 (2015) Several vendors who sold food and beverages at various entertainment venues in southern California sued for failure to pay minimum wage and willfully misclassifying them as independent contractors in violation of Cal. Lab. Code § 226.8. In this opinion, the Court of Appeal held that … Continue Reading

Trial Court Erred In Failing To Certify Class Action For Unpaid Overtime And Meal-And-Rest Breaks

Bradley v. Networkers Int’l, LLC, 2012 WL 6182473 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) The three named plaintiffs in this case were among approximately 140 skilled workers retained by Networkers to provide repair and installation services at cell sites. Each worker was required to sign a standard contract, which stated that he or she was an independent … Continue Reading

Trial Court Erred In Part In Failing To Certify Class Of Newspaper Home Delivery Carriers

Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc., 2012 WL 4098995 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Plaintiffs Maria Ayala, Rosa Duran and Osman Nuñez sought to certify a class of newspaper home delivery carriers in a lawsuit brought against Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc. (“AVN”), alleging that AVN had improperly classified the carriers as independent contractors rather than employees … Continue Reading

Nonexclusive Insurance Agent Was An Independent Contractor

Arnold v. Mutual of Omaha Ins. Co., 202 Cal. App. 4th 580 (2011) Kimbly Arnold filed a complaint against Mutual of Omaha on her behalf and on behalf of a putative class of similarly situated “licensed agents” and “sales representatives” of the company, alleging violations of the California Labor Code, including provisions governing expense reimbursement … Continue Reading

Freight Pick-Up Drivers May Have Been Employees And Not Independent Contractors

Narayan v. EGL, Inc., 616 F.3d 895 (2010) Mohit Narayan and two other drivers for EGL (a global transportation, supply chain management and information services company headquartered in Texas) were California residents who provided services to EGL pursuant to independent contractor agreements that contained a Texas choice-of-law provision. Narayan and the other drivers filed a … Continue Reading

Messengers Were Independent Contractors And Not Employees

Cristler v. Express Messenger Systems, Inc., 171 Cal. App. 4th 72 (2009) James Cristler and others sued Express Messenger, a parcel delivery service, for violations of California law based upon Express’ allegedly illegal classification of its workers as independent contractors and not employees. Among other things, plaintiffs alleged violations of the California overtime requirements, as … Continue Reading

Independent Contractor’s Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Was Properly Dismissed

Varisco v. Gateway Science & Eng’g, Inc., 166 Cal. App. 4th 1099 (2008) Gateway engaged Al Varisco to provide construction inspection services on two projects it was doing for the Los Angeles Unified School District (“LAUSD”). Gateway retained Varisco pursuant to a letter agreement whereby he was to be paid $75 per hour for the … Continue Reading

Package Delivery Drivers Were Employees, Not Independent Contractors

Air Couriers Int’l v. Employment Dev. Dep’t, 150 Cal. App. 4th 923 (2007) Sonic Couriers of Arizona (Air Couriers’ predecessor) filed a complaint for refund against the Employment Development Department (EDD) to recover employment taxes it paid for its drivers, which Sonic contended were independent contractors and not employees. Among other things, the EDD established … Continue Reading

State Farm Breached Independent Contractor Agreement By Imposing Trade Secret And Non-Solicitation Restrictions

Patricia Adkins Ins. Agency, Inc. v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 146 Cal. App. 4th 526 (2007) The Court of Appeal granted declaratory and injunctive relief to independent contractor agents of State Farm who challenged certain trade secret and non-solicitation restrictions that State Farm sought to impose upon the agents’ employees. The agents challenged … Continue Reading

Temporary Insurance Adjusters Are Not Permitted To Proceed With FLSA Class Action

Pfohl v. Farmers Ins. Group, 2004 WL 554834 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 1, 2004) Thomas Pfohl filed this putative class action for unpaid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated individuals who worked for Farmers as temporary full-time insurance adjusters. In this proceeding, the District Court … Continue Reading
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