ABC Test vs. franchise arrangements

A Ninth Circuit case has applied the California Dynamex case retroactively. Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising (9th Cir 05/02/2019) [PDF].

Jan-Pro - an international janitorial firm - had franchisors called Master Franchisors. And then under them were Unit Franchisees who were the only people actually doing janitorial work.

And those franchisees sued Jan-Pro seeking to be classified as employees rather than independent contractors.

So the question under the California Dynamex case is

  • whether these workers were free from control,

  • whether their work was outside Jan-Pro’s customary business, and

  • whether these workers themselves customarily had an established business.

I don't think Jan-Pro can win this case. But we'll see. And I think this is the end of these complex franchising arrangements in California.