So much for independent contractors

As further proof that California is nuts and really, really hates small business, CBS Sacramento has an article reporting that “Barbershop Workers Quit After California Supreme Court Ruling.”

“You cannot classify a person as an independent contractor if they offer the same service that is the primary business of the business.

“So basically a barber can no longer work in a barbershop as an independent contractor, where they set their own hours and pay. Instead, they’ll now have to become employees of the business on an official payroll.”

That’ll teach those evil business owners not to exploit people by calling them independent contractors when they…set their own hours and pay?! All because they—horrors!—offer the same service. Barbers together in a barber shop? EVIL! But if a tire company lets a barber set up shop in the waiting room, it’s totes OK. Never mind that barbers work together and rent space from the owner because it’s a tried and true method of increasing business and allows for barbers to cover for each other. Never mind that barbers are the essence of the sole proprietor and generally cannot afford to hire other people and pay for the costs of payroll, tax collection, etc.

Some employee somewhere has been deliberately miscategorized to save some company somewhere some money. Therefore, ALL must be made to suffer.

What a surprise that all of the barbers in one particular barber shop quit overnight.

Which brings me to the point of my post: All of you Californians fleeing for more hospitable economic climes who want to own a shanty for less than a million dollars and be able to open your own business without having every reasonable avenue for doing so shut down for your “protection?” Leave California political leanings in California. They aren’t working there, and they won’t work here.

For more details on how this will impact California independent contractors:
California Supreme Court Reclassifies Your Independent Contractors (8/13/18)
CA Supreme Court Turns Independent Contractor Analysis on its Head (5/1/18)
The Dynamex Decision: The California Supreme Court Restricts Use of Independent Contractors (5/1/18)
Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (4/30/18)


  1. Micha Elyi

    “All you Californians…”

    Hah ha. You are obviously ignorant of what a huge percentage of Californians are immigrants or the spawn of immigrants to the Golden State from the lesser 49 states, including the one you sit in, honey. Socialist ideas were brought in to California by dreamers from points east; from Minnesota to Texas, Colorado to New York and Virginia.

    Those people you are deriding are your own kind. When they turn up in your neighborhood, give ’em hugs and kisses–they’re your own kith and kin returning to the 49 lesser states from which your useless, lazy kind came.

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      Dawn Smit

      Micha, I view all Californians (also anyone from the People’s Republic of Boulder and certain other obvious places) with great suspicion at this point because those Socialist seeds that you lament came from points east found fertile soil in California. Let them prove that they are not part of the problem that is sinking California. It’s not hard. It’s also not derision. Your comment, however, is. Goodness, I can only imagine how you’d react to real insults.

      So you can either keep your knee-jerk defensiveness over a state you obviously love, or you can acknowledge that a percentage of people fleeing California are spreading what they learned in their formerly glorious state. And since we cannot know that by looking at a recent California emigrant, well, remind them all. Hugs and kisses BEFORE they’ve shown their colors? Not likely. Wasn’t watching Colorado turn purple warning enough?

    2. Tionico

      Yes, California was greatly populated by immigrants from other states…. back a hundred years ago. I was born and raised in that state, and have witnessed the socilaist changes coming from within….. don’t be fooled. It was the second and third generation “iports” who embraced marxism and socialism. Hollywood was in the lead, starting well over a hundred years ago, and continues to be. Many of the cultural and moral changes originated in California. As things worsened in the state many have fled.. including this one pecking at plastic squares wiht letters on them, in a state OTHER than California. I’ve had opportunity to return, but upon examining conditions there (political, social, economic, moral, spritual) have determined that is one of the last five states to whcih I’d ever consider relocating.

      I LIVE in a state now that is serisouly infested with those same corruptions… and have lived here long enough to have witnessed firsthand the importation and spread of those cancers by people who have come to THIS state… from California.

      You know not that of which you speak. I am nearly ready to escape my present state of residence…. having come here direct from California, and which is now far worse that California when I escaped in 1975. KEEP your pox with you as it infests your own nest. It HAS been exported to my present state, and has fouled OUR nest here. And the neighbouring state as well.

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  2. Bill Peschel

    The independent contractor rule was abused by businesses hiring workers and not paying them benefits.

    I worked for Handheld Products, which made the wands used by Federal Express, as an independent subcontractor. I shipped their products. By making me an indy, they didn’t have to pay benefits, nor would I be paid the end-of-year bonuses.

    The same thing was being done in the bread delivery business. Flowers Baking Co., when I worked as a delivery driver, was moving to a subcontractor model, in which I would have “bought” my truck and “owned” my route. Even though I was working full-time for the company and moved their products.

    So, yeah, the practice was being abused, and low-wage workers suffered for it.

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      Dawn Smit

      Yes, a number of businesses are notorious for their rules lawyering to the detriment of their employees, and not just the low-wage ones. The gentleman’s agreement among the tech giants (never written down or formally stated, of course, as that would be against the law) of not “poaching” employees or getting into salary wars has probably cost us tens of thousands of dollars.

      But this new rule just abuses low-wage workers in a different way, making it even harder to work as anything other than an employee for someone else. As a bonus, this new rule abuses precisely the kind of small business owner that the workers aspire to become. Those small business owners are back to being one-man shops. Who is left to hire the “employee”? The larger businesses, the ones more likely to find the loopholes that let them get away with not offering benefits and such.

      I like Great Clips, but I don’t want to live in a Demolition Man world where I hear, “Now all barbershops are Great Clips.”

    2. Penrod

      So suck it up and find a job more to your liking. There’s a radical concept for you.

      I’ll never forget the whining quote I once read from a bicycle messenger boy complaining he had been working eight years without making a decent wage. Poor bunny. He thought he should be hauling in the big bucks. For riding a bicycle.

      Some people decide to evade regs because sanctimonious people make so many it is difficult to survive them. The WORLD has been impoverished for thousands of years by such sanctimony, and for a brief moment America was the refuge. Now we too are taken over by the sanctimonious reactionaries.

      You want better working conditions: eliminate entire Caninet departments full of regulators. State and federal.

  3. Henry

    “Leave California political leanings in California. They aren’t working there, and they won’t work here.”

    Unfortunately, regardless of how many mosquitos you attract, you’ll never get any honey out of them.

  4. Tionico

    One possible remedy for this new law.. effect an end run round it. So the owner of the present barber shop can simply change the name and nature of his business FROM “barber shop” to “facilty owner”. Then, rent out chairs’stations on a per hour basis to the barbers who would only pay the rent for the chair/station when they want to be there. THEY would then each own their own business, with chair/sttioni rental a deductible business expense.
    Basically turn the space into an Uber/Lyft like model. A wretched comparison, bit it would be sort of like the system of renting motel rooms by the hour or minute to prostitues. The owner of the space is not conducting the selling of bodies for money, only providing the space for they who do.

    THe main difference is that barbering is a needful and honourable trade, where selling the use of one’s body is not. Same model, though. And then the one in the business of owning/renting the space is no longer in the barbering business, the ones who are can thus no longer be “employees”, and this new “law” becomes voided.

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