what is california misclassification law

The misclassification law in California, also known as Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), was enacted on January 1, 2020.

The purpose of AB5 is to crack down on worker misclassification by making it harder for employers to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees.

Below, the California employment lawyers at Workplace Rights Law Group will discuss what the California law is for worker misclassification. If you have any questions, please contact us today. 

What Is Worker Misclassification?

Worker misclassification is when an employer wrongfully classifies a worker as an independent contractor instead of an employee.

Independent contractors are not entitled to the same benefits and protections as employees, so this misclassification often results in workers receiving less pay than they are entitled to.

It can also result in the loss of benefits usually available to employees.

What Does the California Misclassification Law Do?

The misclassification law in California makes it harder for employers to misclassify workers as independent contractors by codifying the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles.

This decision established a three-part test, known as the “ABC” test, to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

Under the ABC test, a worker is an employee unless the employer can establish all three of the following:

  • 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;
  • 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.

If the employer cannot satisfy all three prongs, the worker must be classified as an employee.

AB5 also ensures that all persons classified as employees are entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, workers’ compensation, and other benefits.

Additionally, when an employer misclassifies an employee as an independent contractor, the employee may be able to file a lawsuit against the employer for unpaid wages and other damages.

What Should I Do If I Believe My Employer Misclassified Me?

If you think your employer misclassified you as an independent contractor, consult an experienced employment law attorney to discuss your rights and options.

An attorney can review your situation and help you determine if you are entitled to compensation.

In addition, you may be able to file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office or the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

These agencies can also investigate your complaint and help you recover unpaid wages or other benefits.

Workplace Rights Law Group Can Help

At Workplace Rights Law Group, we provide Southern California employees with the one-on-one personalized attention they deserve.

We offer the same aggressive representation larger law firms provide without sacrificing quality, integrity, or work ethic.

If you have employment law questions or concerns, call us at 818-293-5874.

Our compassionate advocates have nearly 75 years of combined work experience and will put it to use to achieve the justice you’re entitled to.

We offer free case reviews and can assist you in deciding the best course of action for your unique workplace situation.


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