May 2018 Newsletter

May 2018 Newsletter

May 1st was "May Day," an international day honoring workers. It was a good day to reflection my past fifteen years of experience representing employees from low-wage workers to highly compensated executives.

I've seen some good changes in the law during this time, including more recent developments like increased minimum wage, paid sick leave, and stronger protections for equal pay between men and women. One highly favorable change to workers does not come from the Legislature, however, it comes from the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, a decision which now makes it harder to characterize workers as independent contractors. (A further discussion of Dynamex is in this newsletter.)

So this May, if you're a worker, remember to honor yourself and know your rights.


Abigail Signature
Abigail A. Zelenski
Shareholder |Managing Counsel

California Supreme Court Hands Down New Test To Determine Whether Worker is an Employee or Independent Contractor

In what is likely to be a seminal decision, the California Supreme Court, in April 2018, handed down its decision in Dynamex Operations West,Inc. v. Superior Court, adopting a new, more worker-friendly standard for determining whether someone is an employee instead of an independent contractor. Whether someone is an employee instead of an independent contractor can be extremely important, since employees generally are entitled to protections under the law (for example, payment of minimum-wage and overtime compensation, and entitlement to meal and rest breaks) that aren't available to independent contractors.

Under the more rigid standard adopted by the California Supreme Court, known as the "ABC test," a worker is automatically presumed to bean employee, which an employer can overcome only by showing that the worker (A) is free from the employer's control, (B) performs work that is outside the usual course of the employer's business, and (C) is engaged in his or her own independent business or trade. So, for example, a plumber who's been hired by clothing store to repair a leak in a bathroom remains an independent contractor, since the services that he or she performs are not part of the clothing store's usual course of business, while a baker who's been hired by bakery under a one-week contracts an employee, since baking is part of the bakery's usual business operations.

California Supreme Court (continued)

Traditionally, an independent contractor was someone who provided only occasional services to others as part of his or her own independent business. The Dynamex opinion represents the California Supreme Court’s attempt to get back to that traditional definition, which had become distorted over the years with changes in the modern workplace.

Bankruptcy – It Could Be Your Best Option

Think of bankruptcy as one of many options to solve your financial problems, not your last resort. Life happens. Generally, no one expects to become disabled, divorced or lose his or her job. In these situations, bankruptcy should be considered along with other options such as debt settlement, loan modification and debt consolidation.

Oftentimes, bankruptcy will be your best option to give you a fresh start, save your home, or get rid of overwhelming credit card debt. If you are experiencing financial hardship, call JLG today for a free consultation to discuss your options.


Kaily's 6th Birthday

Miami with the fellas - Jeff Gutierrez and Jeff Aguila

Miami with the fellas - Jeff Gutierrez and Jeff Aguila

Earth Day

Celebrating Earth Day


Ability FirstStroll & RollFundraiser



Abigail friends

Abigail and friends, including fellow attorneys, at the RBGdocumentary about U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice RuthBader Ginsburg and her work towards women's rights.

PABA Adobo Night

Abigail Zelenski attending PABA Adobo Night at PABA board and lifetime member Christine Gonong's house with lawyers, law students, community members, and the Hon. Bernie LaForteza.

JLG Poker/Cinco de Mayo Party