Labor and Employment Law

Ca. Labor & Emp't Rev. September 2014, Volume 28, No. 5

Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc: Employee’s Perspective

By Aaron Kaufmann and Scott Nelson

Aaron Kaufmann is a partner at Leonard Carder LLP, where he represents workers in individual and class action employment litigation. He argued for the California Employment Lawyers Association as amicus to the California Supreme Court in Ayala v. Antelope Valley Press. Scott Nelson is a senior attorney at Callahan & Blaine. His practice focuses on employment and business litigation. He represents plaintiffs and argued on their behalf before the supreme court in Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc.

Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc.1 was a significant victory for workers who are wrongly classified as independent contractors, as it provides a clearer path for class treatment of their employment status. Ayala holds that the foremost consideration for class certification in an independent contractor misclassification case is whether there is a common way to show the extent of the hirer’s "right to control" the workers. Ayala also provides substantive guidance on the right to control and "secondary indicia" of employment, and how they interplay when determining whether common issues predominate and thus justify certifying the class.

Ayala Focuses on Whether the Hirer’s Right to Control Can Be Proven by Common Evidence, Not on Individual Variations as to How the Hirer Exercises Control

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