By Alexei Koseff
The Sacramento Bee
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Business groups estimate, based on federal labor bureau data, that there are nearly 2 million Californians classified as independent contractors — ranging from truck drivers to construction workers, hairstylists to journalists.
The Sacramento Bee
Ashley Hutton Stanfield’s favorite thing about her job is the freedom to work in the “nooks and crannies of my day.”
Four years ago, after leaving her career at a medical devices company to raise her children, Stanfield became a sales consultant for Arbonne International, a multi-level marketing firm that makes beauty and nutrition products.
Stanfield said she coaches about 1,000 clients per month on how to use and sell a 30-day health regimen. But she can manage her business from the dining room of her Fair Oaks home, between dropping her kids off and picking them up from camp, or take a phone call while running on the treadmill at the gym. She has leisurely breakfasts with her family in the morning and finishes up what she needs to after putting her two daughters to bed.
“I was able to achieve more with this opportunity than I ever could have achieved in that other life,” Stanfield said. “I’m present in every moment.”
Arrangements like Stanfield’s are looking more uncertain after a California Supreme Court ruling on independent contractors in April. That unanimous decision, adopting a new “ABC test” for defining employees, threw nearly three decades of legal precedent up in the air.
It could take years, and plenty more litigation, to sort through all of the implications of the case. Business groups estimate, based on federal labor bureau data, that there are nearly 2 million Californians classified as independent contractors — ranging from truck drivers to construction workers, hairstylists to journalists.
Stanfield worries the decision could wipe out the lifestyle she’s built for herself, which she said allows her to earn more money than she did in a traditional job while working on her own terms.