By:  Lizbeth V. West

As many California employers are learning the hard way these days, the misclassification of workers as independent contractors rather than employees can have far reaching consequences when an employer is audited by different governmental agencies during either a random audit or an audit that is prompted in response to a claim

The risks involved in misclassifying a worker as an independent contractor rather than an employee have always been serious. A number of federal and state agencies regulate the proper classification of workers and have the authority to impose significant monetary and non-monetary sanctions against employers who get the classification wrong.


Continue Reading Upcoming Seminar: Independent Contractor v. Employee – “Saying It’s So, Doesn’t Make It So”

By:   Lizbeth V. West, Esq.

There is a relatively long list of California cases that stand for the proposition that certain types of employment disputes are not subject to arbitration. On October 17, 2012, the Second District Court of Appeal’s decision in Elijahjuan et al v. Superior Court of LA County (Mike Campbell & Associates, Ltd., et al., as real parties in interest – referred to herein as “Defendants”) added to that list disputes between parties as to whether or not workers are in fact employees rather than independent contractors.


Continue Reading Really? Again? – Another California Case Finds that the Parties’ Arbitration Agreement Will Not Govern their Dispute -in this Case a Dispute Centered on Whether or Not the Workers Were Independent Contractors or Employees

The State of California Signed an MOU with the Federal Department of Labor Together They Will Locate and Punish Those Who Misclassify Independent Contractors

By: Lizbeth V. West, Esq.

In my November 4, 2011 post, I discussed a new California law (Labor Code § 226.8) that imposes serious monetary fines and other sanctions against those who willfully misclassify workers as “independent contractors” rather than “employees.” Those who violate the law can find themselves paying up to $15,000 per violation and up to $25,000 if there is a pattern and practice of misclassification. Also, if the violator is a licensed business, it runs the risk of having its license revoked. Finally, the law provides for publication of a notice to employees and the general public for a period of one year, stating that the violator committed a serious violation of the law.


Continue Reading Employers Beware – The Crackdown Continues

By:       Lizbeth (“Beth”) West, Esq.

Governor Brown signed a significant number of bills into law during the 2011/12 legislative term, many of which will have a direct impact on almost every California employer, regardless of size. Many laws impose new obligations on employers and prevent employers from engaging in what they may otherwise thought was previously permissible. Below is a summary of the employment-related legislation that goes into effect on January 1, 2012 (except where noted).


Continue Reading 2012 Brings A Whole New Set Of Obligations And Challenges For California Employers – Failure To Comply Could Be Devastating