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Law Alert: California Supreme Court Denies Petition for Rehearing in Dynamex

by Gregory M. Feary, James H. Hanson

June 21, 2018


California Supreme Court Denies Petition for Rehearing in Dynamex

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court denied the petition for rehearing filed by Dynamex on the issue of whether the Court’s April 30, 2018 decision in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court should apply retroactively or only prospectively. In other words, the Court declined to provide guidance on whether its adoption of the so-called ABC test as a means of determining whether workers are employees or independent contractors under some California wage and hour laws applies to pending cases or only those filed after the opinion was issued.

The plaintiffs’ bar has been quick to advocate for the application of the ABC test on a retroactive basis. Just days after the Court issued the Dynamex opinion, the plaintiffs in Lawson v. GrubHub (who recently lost their bid for reclassification as employees under the Borello test) asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to remand their case to the trial court for reconsideration of their status as employees under the ABC test in light of Dynamex.

Given that the Court’s denial of the petition for rehearing renders the Dynamex opinion final as of June 20, 2018, transportation industry advocates are making the exploration of a legislative response a priority. In addition, Greg Feary and the Owner-Operator Practice, along with Jim Hanson and the Class Action Practice, including several of the Firm’s California-licensed attorneys, have been developing guidance to address the Dynamex opinion, both at the operational level and in connection with pending cases. For example, on the operational side, the Dynamex opinion may result in adoption of the settlement-carrier model on a wider scale as a means to further highlight the entrepreneurial independence of contractors.

For a more complete discussion of the Dynamex decision, please see our May 2, 2018 Transportation Law Alert, available here.

For questions about the California Supreme Court decision, please contact Jim Hanson or Greg Feary.


Scopelitis Transportation Law Alerts are intended as a report to our clients and friends on legal developments affecting the transportation industry. The published material does not constitute an exhaustive legal study and should not be regarded or relied upon as individual legal advice or opinion.

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