11 Sep California Exempts Additional Occupations from Independent Contractor Classification Test (AB 5)
On Sept. 4, 2020, California amended the list of occupations exempted from using the state’s employee classification test, also known as “the ABC test” (AB 5). When the ABC test is not required, including when an exemption applies, employers may need to revert to previous methods to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
Modified List of Exempt Occupations
The amendments modified the business-to-business, referral agency and freelance writer exemptions. The amendments also added the following new exemptions (see full text for details):
- Recording artists, songwriters, lyricists, composers and related occupations;
- Musicians (for single-engagement live performance event);
- Individual performance artists;
- Licensed landscape architects;
- Freelance translators;
- Registered professional foresters;
- Home inspectors and persons who provide underwriting inspections, premium audits, risk management or loss-control work for the insurance industry;
- Manufactured housing salespersons;
- Persons engaged in conducting international and cultural exchange visitor programs;
- Competition judges with specialized skill sets;
- Digital content aggregators who serve as licensing intermediaries for digital content;
- Specialized performers hired to teach a master class for no more than one week; and
- Feedback aggregators.
When the ABC test is not required employers may need to revert to previous methods to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
- AB 5 permits the state attorney general or a city attorney in a city with a population over 750,000 to bring an action for injunctive relief to prevent continued misclassification of workers.
- The amendments expanded this provision to allow any district attorney in the state to bring an action for injunctive relief.