Santa Cruz SBDCAptos, CA

Independent Contractor - Can I or Can't I?

Many of you, over the years, have employed “Independent Contractors”.  A major court decision in 2018 has caused even more confusion over who can be in this classification.  It is important for you to keep up with the latest status.

As most of you know, California employers have been in a whirlwind regarding the use of Independent Contractors (IC) since the California Supreme Court ruling in the Dynamex case last year.  It has never been easy to make sure if someone could work for you as an IC with several agencies responsible for monitoring this area and most of them measuring different aspects of using people as IC vs. employees but this court decision set new rules.  Those rules (ABC test) are clear but very specific and include an “and” between the three conditions, not an “or”. (Google the “California ABC test" if you are not familiar with this ruling….it is important to know!

So why is it still an issue since this now becomes California law…..well, because of the major impact this will have, several agencies such as the California Chamber and dozens of industry groups, continue to encourage the legislature to review the impact on California businesses of this court decision.  There is currently a bill that has passed the State Assembly recently regarding this issue. The current version of AB5, some feel, would make it harder for companies to label workers as IC. The Assembly made some modifications to who would be covered if this bill passes but there appears to still be a lot of occupations currently working as IC, especially regarding the “gig economy” people that would have to be reclassified.  The next step for this bill would be to go to the State Senate and if passed there, on to the Governor for his signature.   

Watch for news on the status of this very important area! Read this Assembly Bill Here.


Joy Halloff joined the ranks of the "consultant" world after thirty years of experience in the Human Resource field in companies such as ITT, Raytheon, Gillette, Oral-B Laboratories, Quintron Systems, Remedy, Pacific IBM EFCU and William Wilson & Assoc.  While with a division of Gillette, Joy gained international human resource experience, with responsibility for operations in 28 different countries.

Her training "passion" facilitated her being involved in two delegations that provided training/management information in Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and a management seminar in Romania.  Generalist knowledge of Human Resources led her to be the first Chairperson for EDD’s Employer Advisory Group and the Chair of the first ever California Employer Advisory Group statewide conference.  She helped found a real estate oriented HR group called REELE in the San Francisco area to facilitate HR professionals serving the Real Estate Industry. 

Joy holds a B.A. degree from Chapman College and completed the Masters study in Human Resources/Organizational Development at the University of San Francisco.  

Apply Now

It all starts here. Complete the application and submit your request. A member of the SBDC will follow up with you and help you achieve your small business goals -- at no cost to you.


As concerns continue about coronavirus (COVID-19), we’re here to help you navigate available resources, answer your business questions and be a trusted partner for your business
English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.