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West Hollywood Community Health and Fitness Center v. California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Eighth Division

December 5, 2014

WEST HOLLYWOOD COMMUNITY HEALTH AND FITNESS CENTER, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
CALIFORNIA UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPEALS BOARD, Defendant and Respondent.

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. BS135715 Luis A. Lavin, Judge.

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COUNSEL

Kassinove & Raskin, Edward B. Raskin and Joshua M. Caplan for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Paul D. Gifford, Assistant Attorney General, W. Dean Freeman and Lisa W. Chao, Deputy Attorneys General, for Defendant and Respondent.

OPINION

FLIER, J.

This appeal requires us to consider whether an employer may obtain judicial review of a decision from the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (the Board) finding that an applicant for unemployment benefits was an employee, not an independent contractor. The Board argues that decision is not subject to judicial review because both the California Constitution and the Unemployment Insurance Code bar actions whose purpose is to prevent the collection of state taxes. Appellant recognizes that actions seeking to avoid a tax are prohibited, but argues that this case does not challenge the imposition of a tax. We agree with appellant and reverse the judgment.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

Mario Serban worked as a massage therapist at West Hollywood Community Health and Fitness Center, doing business as Voda Spa (Voda Spa). Serban and

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Voda Spa disagree as to the reason why he left that work, but the trial court found Serban had good cause to leave, and that finding is not challenged on appeal. Serban and Voda Spa also dispute whether Serban was an employee or ...


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