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Ask Maverick Your Own Question
Maverick, Civil Trial and Appellate Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6391
Experience:  20 years of professional experience
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A decision just came out in California determining that Uber

Customer Question

A decision just came out in California determining that Uber drivers are in fact employees, not independent contractors: My company has a similar model, but we contract with independent contractors which
are registered businesses (not individuals) in a more specialized industry that requires greater investment/expertise on the part of the independent contractors. Those businesses then provide us individuals who perform services for us. There are a number of
factors discussed in this decision, but my main question is not. How does the fact that we vet and engage BUSINESSES (who then are in charge of assigning us individuals), rather than the individuals themselves, affect the likelihood that we could be seen as
the employers of the individuals who provide us services? Or be held on the hook as an employer in any way? Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 2 years ago.
Notice that in the case you cite the plaintiff was employed by Berwick Enterprises which Uber paid for plaintiff's transportation services. This is similar to your company vetting and engaging "BUSINESSES" who then assign your company an individual. So, this type of arrangement is not likely to be a successful avenue for your company to circumvent the ruling.
The real issue here is explained on the bottom of page 7 of the decision. Do the people that your company hires [either directly or indirectly through another business entity] engage in an occupation that is distinct from the occupation that your company specializes in and provides?
The closer that the people you hire as "independent contractors" perform the same occupation and service as what your company purports to provide or stand for, the more likely that the CA labor commission will classify them as "employees" .
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. Would you say this document is a good resources for these determinations? sounds like whether we work with businesses is one factor in the determination, but certainly not dispositive and not that important of a factor compared to to others (like the level of control we exercise over them, how integral their services are to the business, etc.)
Expert:  Maverick replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I had found that link and thought I had included it for you in my answer; but I am not sure what happened.
Yes, your understanding is correct. The focus is what is stated on the bottom of page 6 and again on the bottom of page 7 of the opinion.

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