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Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County

California Supreme Court
4 Cal. 5th 903, 416 P.3d 1, 232 Cal. Rptr. 3d 1 (2018)


In 2004, same-day delivery company Dynamex Operations West, Inc. (Dynamex) (defendant) reclassified all its delivery drivers as independent contractors instead of employees to save labor costs. Drivers had to provide their own vehicles and pay their own taxes and insurance, but Dynamex provided customers, set delivery rates, and dispatched drivers. Drivers could set their own schedules but had to notify Dynamex in advance which days they would work. Driver Charles Lee (plaintiff) brought a class action claiming Dynamex drivers were actually employees under California labor laws, not independent contractors. The trial court agreed and certified a class of drivers who did not work for other companies or private customers or have other drivers work for them. The appellate court affirmed, reasoning the drivers were employees under the wage-order law’s definitions of “employ” and “employer.” Dynamex appealed, arguing a multifactor test from an earlier California case applied instead.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Cantil-Sakauye, C.J.)

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