In September 2019, California enacted a new worker classification approach called the ABC test (AB 5 – see Oct 2019 post). Basically, AB 5 starts with the presumption that all workers are employees rather than independent contractors (unless they work for the State of California which is exempt from many state labor laws). If A, B and C of the law are met, the worker is a contractor. If A, B and C are not met, the parties need to see if any of about 50 exemptions apply and if yes, then apply the pre-AB 5 classification system which primarily looks at factors to determine if the employer has the right to control the manner and means of how the worker does his/her work.
While one goal was to be sure workers are not disadvantaged by some employers who may pay low amounts, I believe the law has far more disadvantages than advantages, there were definitely better and more modern ways to improve the law, and there are a lot of new complexities and confusion. The new legislative year also started with over 25 proposals to add more exemptions and clarifications or even to repeal AB 5.