Paging Dr. Borello

In 2020, California suffered a legislative quake—one that shook the legal foundation of whether workers are classified as employees or independent contractors.  Effective January 1, 2020, Assembly Bill 5 imposed a strict new test which results in most work relationships being those of employer-employee and not independent contractor.  The law applies to all workers in California, with the exception of certain statutorily exempted categories—including physicians.  For physicians who hold valid professional licenses in California, their employment/contractor status is determined under a multi-factored analysis set out in a prior court decision, Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Dept. of Indust. Relations (1989) 48 Cal.3d 341.  Under Borello, the major portion of the test is whether the employing/paying party has control over the work performed—by manner and means.  Other factors also contribute to the analysis, with no single one being determinative.  If you are a medical group or other provider hoping to retain the services of an individual physician, please seek the guidance of an experienced employment attorney to avoid the pitfalls of Assembly Bill 5.  The consequences are steep, with the potential for tax, penalty, and criminal liability if you run afoul of the new law.

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