Workers' Compensation

California: Professional Copy Services and Registration Requirements

In cases of first impression, the WCAB has interpreted Business and Professions Code section 22450 to exempt a copy service acting on behalf of an attorney from business registration requirements

In Cacique v. Metro Pad & Fusing, 2015 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS --, the WCAB, reversing the WCJ, held that the WCJ should not have disallowed a lien for photocopying services incurred by the lien claimant California Imaging Solutions (CIS) on the basis that CIS did not comply with the registration requirements in Business & Professions Code § 22450. The evidence established that CIS was hired to photocopy documents as an independent contractor by the applicant’s attorney pursuant to work orders placed by the attorney. The applicant’s attorney understood and intended to hire CIS as an independent contractor to photocopy documents he identified. The WCAB found that because the evidence was sufficient to show that CIS was hired as an agent or independent contractor by a member of the State Bar to provide photocopy services, CIS was exempt from the registration requirements by Business & Professions Code § 22451(b). According to the WCAB, nothing in the statute or case law supported the WCJ’s view that CIS was required to show that “at the time of the services, the member of the State Bar engaged the photocopier under circumstances which include financial and criminal responsibility for the actions of the photocopier in connection with the services.” The WCJ’s creation of an additional requirement for obtaining a Business & Professions Code § 22451(b) exemption is precluded by the rules of statutory construction requiring construction based on the plain meaning of the statutory language to effectuate the Legislature’s intent.

The Board reached similar findings in other panel decisions decided in September:

1. Cantoran v. New Horizon Lodge, ADJ9093248 (Sept. 25, 2015)

2. Cervantes v. JBM Sport Truck and Accessories, ADJ7787891 (Sept. 25, 2015)

3. Casillas de Vazquez v. El Tapatio Market, ADJ8093832 (Sept. 24, 2015)

Read the Cacique noteworthy panel decision.

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