We have had fair amount of experience fighting for the rights of injured workers and their families. While Workers Compensation Law is meant to protect the rights and interests of employees as experienced workers comp attorney we have seen employers and their insurers misuse the loopholes in the law to deny due compensation to their injured workers. One of the loopholes most exploited by the employers was the misclassification of their employees. You may be shocked to know that vast majority of employees were classified as independent contractors thus denying them the rights to claim compensation and other benefits in the event of illness and injuries at work.

California’s AB5 which was adopted in September 2019 has thus come as a huge boon to hundreds of thousands of workers who now fall under the safety net of workers compensation. AB or Assembly Bill 5 which has come into effect from January 1, 2020 has made it extremely difficult for employers to misclassify their legit employees as independent workers. They can’t bypass the law anymore like they did in the past. Under the new law a person can be classified as an independent contractor if –

· He/she is free from control of the hiring company
· Performs work outside the normal course of business in the company hiring them
· Is independently established in the business, trade or occupation he/she performs with the company hiring them

Any worker who doesn’t quality any of the following criteria will have to be treated as an employee and has claims to workers’ compensation. This new legislation has also been welcomed by employers who have been abiding by the law and not exploiting the rules by misclassifying their employees. With this new legislation it will be extremely difficult for employers to misclassify genuine workforce as independent contractors. The benefits of this law aren’t restricted to workers compensation alone as employees would also benefit in terms of Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Insurance Taxes.

While this misclassification of workers may have been due to lack of awareness among the employers as much as it was about exploiting the loopholes in the earlier 11-pointBorellostandard, the consequences of this misclassification on the workers was acute. Apart from workers compensation benefits independent contractors also didn’t have rights to minimum wage guarantee and overtime pay. Their tax and insurance obligations were also higher when compared to those classified as employees.

To put the benefits of this new legislation into perspective we must look at some startling stats. Over 90{ba1297414c305310634ceaacbc930b3ec0c2222b554b4377f4b115a3fab9e862} workers in California who were classified as independent contractors prior to this legislation don’t fall under any of the three categories that will now be used to define independent contractors. According to business audit conducted by Department of Labor over the last two decades it had been found that anywhere between 10{ba1297414c305310634ceaacbc930b3ec0c2222b554b4377f4b115a3fab9e862} and 30{ba1297414c305310634ceaacbc930b3ec0c2222b554b4377f4b115a3fab9e862} of the employers had misclassified their employees as independent contractors.

If you are your loved one has been wronged by your employer or their insurer in the aftermath of an injury or misclassified as an independent contractor you need to get in touch with us immediately. At Farnsworth Law Group we have more than a decade of experience in representing clients in their rights for compensation and benefits. As workers comp attorney we have made thousands of appearances in local courts on behalf of our clients. We believe California’s AB5 Legislation is a game changer that will benefit hundreds of thousands of employee and we are always willing to explain to you the benefits of this legislation when you come in for a free consultation.