Teamsters push to keep Supreme Court’s landmark Dynamex decision

Dozens of Teamsters from locals throughout Northern California took part in a lobby day in Sacramento in August to push back on corporate efforts to overturn the state Supreme Court’s landmark Dynamex decision that goes far toward stopping misclassification of workers as “independent contractors.”

The California Chamber of Commerce and companies including Uber, Lyft, Instacart and Postmates, among others, have launched an intense lobbying effort against the Supreme Court of California’s April decision in the case of Dynamex Operations West, Inc. vs. Superior Court of Los Angeles County.

The decision simplified the test for determining whether a worker is classified as an employee for minimum wage and overtime protections by requiring a simple ABC guide: are workers (A) free from employer control, (B) outside the regular scope of the business, and (C) independently established in that trade? If the answers are No to any of those questions, the worker should be classified as an employee.

“The Chamber and tech companies are trying to get the governor and legislature to take unprecedented action to overturn a unanimous California Supreme Court ruling,” said Doug Bloch, Political Director for Teamsters Joint Council 7. “These are wealthy, global corporations that want political help to get out of paying their employees a livable wage.”

“We’ve been in this fight for over 30 years,” he explained. “The independent contractor model rose out of the ashes of the deregulated trucking industry, allowing companies to undercut good employers by avoiding Social Security, workers’ compensation, payroll taxes, minimum wage and more. Now, many tech companies have taken on this model and they are terrified of a law that will require them to take care of their workers. But they are not above the law.”

Teamsters from Locals 70, 150, 315, 350, 431, 439, 853, 856, 2010, 2785, District Council 2, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, along with other worker advocacy groups, participated in the lobby day organized by the California Labor Federation and the California Building and Construction Trades Council.

As the legislative session drew to an end, the corporate lobbyists were not successful in quashing the court decision. “We won this battle, but there are more to come,” said Bloch. “We’ll be ready.”