Wage and Hour Defense Blog Post on Dynamex Ruling Featured in Employee or Independent Contractor?

Employee or Independent Contractor?

Employee or Independent Contractor? recently featured a Wage and Hour Blog post titled “California Supreme Ct. to Decide if Dynamex Ruling Retroactive,” authored by David M. Prager, Associate in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Following is an excerpt:

David Prager of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. reports that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has withdrawn its opinion that the Dynamex decision applies retroactively and has certified the question for the California Supreme Court. David writes:

As we have previously written, the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court dramatically changed the standard for determining whether workers in California should be classified as employees or as independent contractors for purposes of the wage orders adopted by California’s Industrial Welfare Commission. A significant question left open by that ruling was whether Dynamexwould apply retroactively.

On May 2, 2019, in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc., the Ninth Circuit concluded that Dynamex in fact applied retroactively. That decision appeared to confirm that employers were exposed to liability for failing to comply with an “ABC” test that they had no reason to believe they needed to comply with precisely because it did not previously exist under California law.

On July 22, 2019, however, the Ninth Circuit issued an order granting a petition for panel rehearing, withdrawing its decision in Vazquez, and stating that it would certify the question of whether Dynamexapplies retroactively to the California Supreme Court.

Whether the California Supreme Court elects to answer the question for the Ninth Circuit is entirely up to the Court itself.  Should it choose to do so, employers will have some clarity on whether the Dynamex standard indeed applies retroactively.