A court has ruled that a new independent-contractor test in California can be applied retroactively.
Last year, the California Supreme Court tightened the definition of an independent contractor. In Dynamex Operations West Inc. vs. Superior Court, it established a so-called ABC test to determine if a professional qualifies as an independent contractor. To do so, they must meet all three criteria in the test: They control their own work; they perform work outside the company’s usual course of business; and are engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business.
Companies feared this test could apply retroactively if a worker were to file a complaint, since it came down through a court decision as opposed to legislation.
California’s Ninth Circuit Court confirmed that suspicion in May when it heard a class-action case against a large janitorial firm. The court said the ABC test would be applied to Jan-Pro, even though the dispute originated before the Dynamex decision in 2018. California has a four-year statute of limitations, so the test could apply as far back as 2014, some experts suggest.
An attorney for Jan-Pro said his client will appeal the decision, Bloomberg reported.