Hastings Business Law Journal


Kai Thordarson


Gig-economy platforms such as Uber and Lyft rely on their drivers as the backbone of their ride-sharing operations. These drivers, typically classified as independent contractors, are in a state of regulatory flux regarding their worker classification. Due to the novelty of the workeremployee relationship in gig-economy platforms, these drivers exist in a regulatory gray area. California, with its very recent (and very controversial) Assembly Bill 5, has changed its operative worker-classification formulation to the worker-friendly “ABC” test in an attempt to statutorily modernize the burgeoning industry. In addition to analyzing the range of tests and their effect on the gig industry, this note will examine both the potential for the addition of a third “hybrid” worker classification category and California’s judicial evolution from the common law “Right to Control” test to the “ABC” test to determine if it is a trend or an aberration.