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California Supreme Court ruling redefines employment law

On Behalf of | May 11, 2018 | Employment Law, Firm News |

From union breaks to medical leave guarantees, the world of labor regulation has been built on workers standing up to unfair conditions. Many rules are enforced by companies and local governments, but the state government in Sacramento is the main creator and enforcer of the laws that keep employees safe.

The state assembly is often considering new labor laws, and several new ones entered into force this year. Government agencies are often called to investigate violations of federal and state regulations. California’s Supreme Court may also get involved if a law requires interpretation or clarification.

The court recently made a hallmark decision, with all justices agreeing in a recent case that workers in California are assumed under law to be employees rather than independent contractors. This is a vital decision for the interpretation of companies’ responsibilities to the people who conduct their work, including medical benefits and liability.

The expansion of the “gig economy,” including types of work from food deliveries to creative design, has muddled the meaning of “employee” in recent years. The court’s definition of an independent contractor, including freedom from a company’s control and work falling outside the company’s normal scope, leaves most workers falling in the categories of employees.

Employers who violate federal or state employment law in their treatment of workers may be vulnerable to a civil suit that would halt an unfair practice and recompense its victims. An attorney may help the victims of employment law violations challenge the people and organizations responsible for financial damages and an end to practices that may be affecting others as well.

Source: Mondaq, “California Supreme Court Adopts Dramatically Worker-Friendly Classification Test,” Wendy A. Sugg, May 09, 2018