SACRAMENTO Defense counsel are warning that legislation signed into law Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown could provide the plaintiff bar with new incentives to launch workplace litigation.

New provisions in the state Labor Code will explicitly prohibit “willful” misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Violators face civil penalties of up to $15,000 for each instance of mislabeling a worker. Employers who demonstrate “a pattern or practice” of misclassifying workers could be fined up to $25,000.

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