Samantha PrinceMarch 2023 — Professor Samantha Prince was recently quoted in two Bloomberg Law articles titled, “Independent Contractor Rulings Sharpen Issue of Who Is and Isn’t” and “California Gig Worker Ruling Extends Costly, Fierce Legal Fight.”

The articles discuss implications of court rulings on gig companies, like Uber, and their ability to classify certain workers as independent contractors. Both state and federal appellate courts have recently addressed this issue. The articles cite rulings from the Ninth Circuit and California Court of Appeals on a California state law, known as AB5, which makes it harder to classify workers as independent contractors, and Proposition 22, a voter-passed initiative providing exceptions to AB5.

AB5 requires the use of the “ABC Test” when determining whether a worker is classified as an independent contractor or employee. Classifying workers as employees would require gig/platform based companies to provide various employee benefits that they do not receive as independent contractors.

Professor Prince, in “Independent Contractor Rulings Sharpen Issue of Who Is and Isn’t,” comments on Olson v. California, a previous court case that could face potential petitions for review after the recent rulings.

She also discussed potential impacts of these rulings, not just for California, but other states as well. She is quoted in “California Gig Worker Ruling Extends Costly, Fierce Legal Fight,” stating that “I think all eyes are going to be on the California Supreme Court for a while to see what happens next.” Some states have considered adopting the ABC test, and Professor Prince believes that “[w]hat happens in California will help other states decide what to do.”

Professor Prince has written and spoken on California’s worker classification law extensively. Her article entitled “The AB5 Experiment – Should States Adopt California’s Worker Classification Law?” was published in the American University Business Law Review in 2022. It provides a detailed look at California’s AB5 law. Another article, “The Shoe Is about to Drop for the Platform Economy: Understanding the Current Worker Classification Landscape in Preparation for a Changed World,” was published in the University of Memphis Law Review and featured on Workplace Prof Blog. It provides a compendium of the current state of worker classification laws around the world.

Professor Samantha Prince is an Assistant Professor of Law and Director of Legal Analysis & Writing at Dickinson Law. She has a Master of Laws in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center and was a partner in a regional law firm where she handled transactional matters that ranged from an initial public offering to regular representation of a publicly-traded company. Most of her clients were small to medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs, including start-ups. A significant part of her practice was in employee benefits and the taxation thereof. An expert in entrepreneurship law, she established the Dickinson Law entrepreneurship program, is an advisor for the Entrepreneurship Law Certificate that is available to students, and is the founder and moderator of the Inside Entrepreneurship Law blog.