Taxi Driver Independent Contractor Agreement


The court found that the taxi driver was an independent contractor, but the Court of Appeal found that the court applied the wrong standard and referred the case to the trial with instructions to apply to the correct standard. The Court of Appeal found that DeSoto`s right to terminate his relationship as he pleased was strong evidence of control. Moreover, the fact that taxi drivers exercised the freedom to decide which passengers are cared for and how much time they spent in each station alone was not sufficient to establish an independent contracting relationship. At the beginning of each station, drivers check in at the checkout and receive a taxi. At the end of each shift, the cashier`s drivers pay a door tax for the leasing of the vehicle. Drivers keep the fares and tips they receive from their passengers and do not have to give deSoto any information about their fares. DeSoto`s only income under the lease is the door tax, which is usually about $100 per day. After being terminated for alleged illegal charges on a customer`s credit card, Jason filed a complaint with the California Labour Commissioner because he had been wrongly classified as an independent contractor. “Jason” drove a taxi to deSoto Cab from September 2008 to August 2012.

He entered into a 15-day “taxicab-leasing” contract that prohibited any employment relationship between him and DeSoto and provided that each party could terminate the contract with a 30-day period or, in the event of an infringement, without notice. The Court of Appeal also noted that the court placed too much emphasis on the fact that the lease described the parties as an independent contractor relationship, because the agreement was prepared by DeSoto and Jason to sign them if he wanted to drive a taxi. The California courts have always held that the actual behaviour of the parties is more important than the labels that the parties can attribute to the relationship. This case should be a reminder that classifying workers as independent contractors is very risky, and this is the rare situation in which an independent classification of contractors is really appropriate. In Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903 (Dynamex), the California Supreme Court introduced a new method for determining whether a person is an employee when asserting rights under California`s salary schedules. After Dynamex, an appeals court examined whether taxi drivers were employees in the new ABC Dynamex test. See Garcia v. Border Transportation Group, LLC (2018) 28 Cal.App.5th 558 (Garcia). In the applicant`s case, his taxi licence was limited to providing services to a particular company. If the applicant decides to provide services to another company, he would need a new authorization bearing the name of the new company.

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