On November 3, 2020, while the rest of the country is focused on the 2020 election, the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising Int’l, Inc. to address an unanswered question stemming from the Court’s 2018 decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court 4 Cal. 5th 905 (2018) – does the Dynamex decision apply retroactively?

In Dynamex, the California Supreme Court adopted the “ABC Test” for determining whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor under the state Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders, drastically changing the standards in California for the classification of workers as independent contractors. The court declined, however, to address whether the decision would apply retroactively to independent contractor classification decisions made prior to the case being decided. It appears that the Court is now ready to answer that question.

After Dynamex, the California legislature adopted and expanded the Court’s holding in Assembly Bill 5 (“AB 5”). While AB 5 specifically states that certain aspects of the law apply retroactively, the decision in Vasquez could affect the retroactive application of AB 5 as well.

Jackson Lewis will continue to monitor this and related case law pertaining to independent contractors. If you have questions about worker classification contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.