Labor and Employment Law

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

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

By P. Derek Petersen

Derek Petersen, an attorney in Perkins Coie’s litigation practice, focuses his practice on complex class action cases. He has defended companies in employment class action matters dealing with independent contractor misclassification and Labor Code claims. Mr. Petersen has also represented clients in a broad range of other business disputes. His firm represented the defendant in Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc.

The California Supreme Court’s decision in Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc.1 reaffirmed and clarified the principles governing class certification and independent contractor status, but it does not represent a significant change in the law. The court left many questions unanswered, including whether certification will ultimately be appropriate in Ayala itself. This article explains what the supreme court’s narrow decision does, and what it does not do.

What the Court Did

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