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Latest Guidance on Independent Contractors

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss latest developments related to independent contractor classification under Federal and State Law, especially the more challenging California law. Covered topics also include newly released guidance on virtual marketplace companies (“VMC”) and insight to determine correct classification in an environment of varied government guidance.


Federal and State agencies have given fast and furious guidance regarding proper classification of independent contractors. In June 2017, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) withdrew its prior guidance on independent contractors, putting employers on shaky ground when making classification decisions. Agencies have since issued additional guidance for employers.

In April, the DOL validated the independent contractor relationship in VMCs by articulating that VMCs connect service providers with consumers, as opposed to employing the service providers. In August, the NLRB issued an order effectively removing itself from the misclassification controversy, ruling that employers who misclassify workers as independent contractors do not violate the NLRA.

California has stood out among the states in this area. The California Supreme Court’s 2018 Dynamex decision changed the applicable classification test, shifting from the prior “Borello Standard” (i.e. control) to the new “ABC Test,” which makes proper use of the independent contractor classification nearly impossible. This panel examine the impact of this change as well as the proposed (and dueling) legislative attempts to enter this arena.

Listen as our distinguished panel discusses these and other issues which will enable a forward look into 2020. The panel will explore what this new guidance means for employers across various industries, as well as best practices for employment counsel when advising clients on classification.



  1. Overview of the DOL’s April 29, 2019 Opinion Letter guidance regarding independent contractor classification.
  2. Overview of the NLRB’s August 29, 2019 Order ruling that employers do not violate federal law under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).
  3. Overview of the ever changing landscape regarding independent contractor classification in the State of California.
  4. Discussion of unanswered questions in light of this new guidance
  5. Best practices for employment counsel handling classification issues


The panel will review these and other relevant topics:

  • What new guidance have Federal and State agencies provided concerning classifying independent contractors?
  • How does this guidance affect employers when making classification decisions?
  • What questions remain unanswered, and what are the best practices for employment counsel going forward?


Duke, John
John E. Duke

Senior Counsel
Constangy Brooks Smith & Prophete

Mr. Duke advises and represents regional, national and international employers across the spectrum of industries in the...  |  Read More

Rosales-Carrillo, Brenda
Brenda Rosales-Carrillo

Reed Smith

Ms. Rosales-Carrillo is a member in our firm’s Labor and Employment group, based in our San Francisco office. She...  |  Read More

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