Cal. Supreme Court Clarifies Standards for Class Certification of Independent Contract Class Actions

English: Seal of the Supreme Court of California

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From Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP — The California Supreme Court said that the standard for certifying a class of independent contractors.  The standard is:

“if the right to control was the same across the class, it was proper to certify the class, even if the actual amount of control exercised varied widely from one delivery person to another.  Furthermore, the trial court did not need to actually decide whether the putative class members were or were not independent contractors at the certification stage, but rather should only determine whether the answer to that question would be common to the class.  As for the secondary factors that bear on independent contractor status, the trial court needed to consider whether they were truly material to the final answer and should deny certification only if there was substantial variation in a material secondary factor.  The Supreme Court seemed to indicate that most of the secondary factors are not material but it was somewhat vague as to which ones would be material.  In any event, it provided the necessary framework for the trial court to use on remand.”

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