The California Supreme Court ruled today (June 30) that a worker is an employee if the employer has the right to control the worker's behavior. The matter at hand was whether carriers for Antelope Valley Newspapers could be granted class-action status in a case similar to one in which carriers won a $10 million judgment against the Union-Tribune in January.
The highest court upheld the appellate court's decision granting class status to the Antelope carriers, who were arguing that they were not independent contractors but were actually employees because the company controlled their conduct. That was the major issue in the U-T case. The Orange County law firm of Callahan & Blaine won such cases against the Orange County Register and the U-T, and has similar cases against the Sacramento Bee and Fresno Bee.
Said the Supreme Court, "Whether a common law employer-employee relationship exists turns foremost on the degree of a hirer's right to control how the end result is achieved."