Federal District Court Rejects Business Association’s Challenge to California Supreme Court’s Definition of Employee

On March 29, 2019, Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. of the Eastern District of California rejected a transportation industry association’s challenge to the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018), which clarified how courts should determine whether a worker is an “independent contractor” or an “employee” under California law for purposes of protections like a guaranteed minimum wage, meal and rest breaks, and reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket expenses.

The trucking association challenged Dynamex under several different legal theories.  The court rejected those challenges in full and dismissed the association’s complaint without leave to amend, holding that Dynamex is not preempted by federal law and does not violate the U.S. Constitution.  This decision thwarted the association’s attempt to exempt employers in the transportation industry from Dynamex and the rules that apply as a result of Dynamex.

Altshuler Berzon LLP represented the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which had intervened to defend Dynamex alongside the State of California.

You can read the decision here.