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.
On December 17, 2012, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Jankey v. Lee. The Court ruled that prevailing defendants in disability access cases brought under both the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and California Civil Code section 55 are entitled to their attorney’s fees just like prevailing plaintiffs are. The issue was vehemently disputed between that segment of the plaintiff’s bar that specializes in “shake-down” disability access lawsuits, and the California business community.