A case came before the California Supreme Court. It centered on the drivers for a California-based delivery company. Some of their job requirements involved wearing corporate uniforms, putting corporate logos on their vehicles, paying for vehicle maintenance, gas, and other job-related expenses out of their own pockets. They were, per their employer, “contract” or “gig” workers and not employees.
The drivers contended that their work fell under full-time employee classification, and should not fall under independent contractor classification.
The case moved through the courts, and ultimately wound up in San Francisco, at the California Supreme Court.
Ultimately, in an 85-page ruling, the seven justices decided that California workers can only be classified as independent contractors by a company if they can show that the worker controls their own work, that their duties go beyond what the business normally engages in, and when the same worker “is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.”
WHO MIGHT THIS AFFECT?
Well, first, it could greatly impact any California employer that has used, “we’re unique, and the normal rules don’t apply to us” as an excuse. That may not be a viable rationale anymore. What’s yet to be seen, and could be a real threat to an entire investment model, is how this may affect entire Gig Economy business models.
More importantly, it could greatly affect California employee rights and have a wide-ranging impact on all California contract employees. Why? Because it may require employers to provide benefit and a minimum wage for gig workers.
Our employee advocates certainly will.