The War Against Independent Contractor Status in California Continues


The War Against Independent Contractor Status in California Continues

Keynote Speaker Spotlight with Paul Fleck 

The War Against Independent Contractor Status Continues at PIHRA 2020 Legal Update with Paul Fleck

The War Against Independent Contractor Status Continues

Beginning January 1, 2020 dramatic changes will take effect that will dictate how employers classify workers – as employees or independent contractors. Two recent developments, the ruling in Dynamex and the passage of AB5 will affect nearly every industry sector throughout California. If you run or work for an organization facing these crucial and complex topics, then join keynote speaker Paul Fleck at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update.

In his keynote session, The War Against Independent Contractor Status Continues, Mr. Fleck will discuss the parameters of the ABC test and industry exemptions. He will also discuss when the Borello factors come back into play when classifying your workforce. Furthermore, you’ll learn best practices on how to meet these new requirements and avoid the pitfalls of misclassification.

Mr. Fleck will provide takeaways such as:

  • Tips and strategies to ensure compliance with the new ABC test under Dynamex and AB5;
  • Receive the latest case updates in this area of law;
  • In-depth discussion of best practices on how to meet the new requirements to avoid misclassification.

Mr. Fleck’s PIHRA 2020 Legal Update keynote session will be informative and entertaining. It’s a must-attend for California employers who need to know about these complex legislative topics. In addition, business owners and HR pros will gain crucial insight to navigate employee classification. Above all, you’ll learn how to defend your organization and minimize worker classification risks. 

Keynote Speaker Spotlight: Paul Fleck, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

Special thanks to contributing writer and PIHRA Programs Chair, Baskaran Ambalavanan, who conducted this interview with our PIHRA 2020 Legal Update Keynote Speaker Paul Fleck.

PIHRA: What are the biggest challenges in the ABC Test under Dynamex?

Paul Fleck: The biggest challenge under Dynamex and AB5 is that all three factors of the ABC test must be satisfied in order to qualify as an independent contractor. This is a major deviation from Borello, which allowed for a weighing of several different factors.

2020 will be a year of challenge for employers with AB5. AB5 impacts much more than the Ubers and Airbnb world. How should small businesses and mid-size employers navigate with Independent contractors?

Paul Fleck: The reason why this topic is so monumental is because all businesses in California are impacted, not just those relying on independent contractors for their business model. Small and mid-size employers will discover the most problems with the one-off projects that were previously handled by individuals performing the service as side work and not as part of any full-time or regular business.

Can you help our members understand the right application of the Borella Standards vs ABC Test?

Paul Fleck Historically, “control” was a major theme when weighing Borello factors. Now, while control over the work and the worker remains a factor, the business and economic realities that the worker must regularly operate a business and must be providing services to other clients will be a major hurdle in the independent contractor analysis.

What must employers avoid to be compliant with AB5 and the ABC Test?

Paul Fleck: In order to be compliant with AB5 and the ABC test, California employers must make certain independent contractors are in fact running a business and providing services to other clients, just as any real business does.

Why are you excited to present at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update?

Paul Fleck: I look forward to providing employers with the tools they need to address this issue prospectively, instead of reacting to a misclassification issue when it is too late.

Are you getting HR Certified in 2020?

Join PIHRA’s preparation class led by expert instructors to help you pass your certification exam:

Register for the January 2020 SHRM-CP / SHRM-SCP Preparation Course

About Paul Fleck, Keynote Speaker at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update

The War Against Independent Contractor Status Continues with Paul FLeck at PIHRA 2020 Legal UpdatePaul Fleck is Chair of AALRR’s Private Labor and Employment Practice Group, covering nine offices throughout California. As a trusted advisor, Paul Fleck works closely with his business clients navigating the complexities of federal, state, and local employment and labor laws.  He assists employers in successfully operating their businesses in California in numerous ways. He represents management exclusively in all aspects of employment litigation, including defending claims for wage and hour violations, wrongful termination, discrimination. Mr. Fleck also represents management in litigation defending claims for sexual harassment, and leave of absence violations, 

While providing zealous representation in litigation, Mr. Fleck strives to avoid drawn-out legal proceedings when possible. He regularly represents employers in California and federal courts and in matters brought by the U.S. Department of Labor, the EEOC, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Mr. Fleck’s hands-on experience working in human resources at both Fortune 500 and small California businesses prior to his legal career provides him with the unique opportunity to impart practical advice on complex human resources and employee relations issues. Paul Fleck regularly conducts continuing education programs for attorneys and training programs. These training programs assist managers, supervisors, and human resources professionals throughout California and across the country on all issues related to labor and employment. 

In 2016, the national publication Law360 profiled Paul Fleck, saluting his success in building his practice while maintaining quality service to his existing clients. The article, “Rainmaker Q&A: Atkinson Andelson’s Paul Fleck,” highlights Paul Fleck’s interpersonal skills and legal abilities, as well as AALRR’s distinctive strengths. Over his career, Southern California Super Lawyers recognized Mr. Fleck as a Rising Star, one of the top 2.5 percent of Southern California attorneys.

Is it time to renew your PIHRA membership?

This special offer (for active PIHRA members only) also ends December 31, 2019:

Check out our Legal Update Renewal Bundles for Active PIHRA Members!

Interview Conducted by Baskaran Ambalavanan, MBA, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, PIHRA Programs Chair

Baskaran Ambalavanan, PIHRA Programs ChairBaskaran Ambalavanan, MBA, has more than two decades of HR experience in India, Oman, and the U.S. in both the functional HR and in the HRIS/HR Technology.

He is the Principal of Hila Solutions, LLC, a full-service HR Technology Advisory firm for SMEs. Baskaran earned his MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School, U.K. and also certified in SPHR, SHRM-SCP, GPHR, and PHRca.

He is based in Irvine, California and serving as the Programs Chair for PIHRA and an active volunteer leader in SHRM, IHRIM. In his role as PIHRA Programs Chair, Baskaran is instrumental in curating HR sessions for the PIHRA Legal Update and the California HR Conference. He is responsible for assembling the Task Force that selects California HR Conference speakers.

You can follow Baskaran’s insights on all things technology, HR, leadership, and strategy on Twitter at @baski_LA and LinkedIn. Register today to join us at a PIHRA 2020 Legal Update near you and learn from the top legal experts in California!


Choose from 5 convenient locations! Lodging discounts available.

Rancho Mirage (½-Day) | Riverside | La Jolla | Anaheim | Burbank

Experience a comprehensive California legal update with PIHRA! In the world of human resources, staying ahead of constantly evolving employment laws and workplace legislation is essential. Certainly, PIHRA’s most famous flagship program will provide timely information, tips and crucial resources. Our expert speakers will help you cut through the complexity, so that you can protect your organization and effectively manage risk. 

→ Save more when you register before December 31! (Group discounts available)


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