On January 1, 2020, a landmark California law called Assembly Bill 5—also known by its shorthand AB 5—took effect. The law dramatically redefines how the state classifies independent contractors versus employees, with the default view being that a worker is an employee unless an employer can prove by using a three-part test that the person working for them is an independent contractor. The test involves showing that the work performed is not controlled by the employer, is outside the employer’s usual course of business, and is customarily performed by the worker on an independent basis. For example, if a shopkeeper hires a plumber after a water pipe breaks at their store, this plumber is an independent contractor under AB 5.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on February 19, 2020. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Bredin, Anne, "The Art of the Labor Deal" (2020). AELJ Blog. 224.