For those of you who may have been wondering whether the California Attorney General’s office was still open during the statewide stay-at-home order triggered by the coronavirus, the answer is yes – as evidenced by a statewide misclassification lawsuit filed in San Francisco by the Attorney General, along with the city attorneys for Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.
The lawsuit alleges that ride share companies have unlawfully misclassified drivers as independent contractors under AB 5, the controversial statute that went into effect on January 1, 2020.
As we previously wrote here, AB5 codified and expanded the “ABC” test adopted by the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court for determining whether workers in California should be classified as employees or as independent contractors.
To satisfy the “ABC” test, the hiring entity must demonstrate that:
- the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact; and
- the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
- the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.