Sommers Schwartz is a powerhouse litigation firm that has recovered more than one billion dollars for our clients. When your future is on the line, our team will fight for you.

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We can tackle some of the most complex matters in the litigation world.

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Year after year, our team delivers unmatched results for our clients.

Am I an Employee or an “Independent Contractor” under California law?

When a business needs additional help it has two options, it can hire an employee or it can hire another business. Additionally, some businesses only comprise a single person who provides specialized services. These one-man businesses may be referred to as “Independent Contractors.” When a business hires an employee, he or she is subject to California’s labor laws. Independent contractors are not. This creates an incentive for dishonest businesses to mislabel their employees as independent contractors. For more information about California Labor laws, click here.

Under California law, determining whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor is different the corresponding federal standard. In its 2018 decision, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court adopted the “ABC test,” for differentiating an employee from a contractor. Under the ABC Test, a worker is presumed to be an employee unless the employer can show that all three of the following conditions are satisfied:

  • the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work;
  • the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
  • the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

It is the second condition that may be the most important: a business cannot take portions of its work force, working on critical aspects of the business, and reclassify them as contractors. For example, a tutoring company cannot make its tutor’s independent contractors. But, that same tutoring company make be able to outsource its payroll to an outside contractor.

Note: that individuals are presumed to be an employee unless the ABC test is meet. This means it is for the employer to show that person is an independent contractor, not the employee.

Important Note: Certain app-based drivers are considered independent contractors despite the ABC test, for more information regarding app-based drivers click here.

A Trusted Authority

Our attorneys have been featured on local and national media outlets, including:

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A Client Talks about Andy Dragovic

My wife had an accident, tripping over a cable line that wasn’t buried. Andy represented us and were very pleased with the outcome. Andy was very professional, personable, and quick to respond to us, answering any of our questions or concerns. The whole firm was responsive to our concerns, and…

Praise for Dina Zalewski

The lawyers at Sommers Schwartz, P.C. were nothing short of amazing when I came to them with my medical malpractice case! Dina truly helped to put my mind at ease and because of her and her firm, I finally have closure and can begin my healing process! I just want…

Gratitude for Rob Sickels

When our world was shattered by an unexpected medical diagnosis, we were referred to Rob Sickels of Sommers Schwartz. What a blessing to get this referral as Rob listened to us with caring and compassion, spent all the time necessary to help us, was always honest with us about our…

A Grateful Client Talks About Dina Zalewski

Dina never lied to us and was very straightforward. I feel like she took me under her wing. She got me through something that I thought was going to be incredibly difficult for me to relive. Dina felt like a friend, somebody I could trust and look to for guidance….

About Dina Zaleski, Rick Groffsky, and Andy Dragovic

Dina, Rick, and Andy were amazing lawyers. They helped me through an incredibly difficult time in my life after losing my son. I wanted answers on why, and they helped me through the whole process and they got me answers. After I lost my son, I was severely depressed. Every…

A Medical Malpractice Client Recommends Matt Turner

Matt Turner and his whole staff have acted very professionally, respectfully, and responsively to my every need. I highly recommend him to represent you in any legal matter you may have. Thank you again for all your help and guidance.

Appreciation for Mary Pat Rosen

I want you to know how much I appreciate you and your staff’s kindness and desire to find justice for my husband. Life certainly has it’s turns and twist and we must learn to move with them to embrace peace and new beginnings.

Although a Claim Couldn’t Be Brought, a Client Told Mary Pat Rosen Meyers…

Thank you again for looking into everything, and we understand entirely that your hands are tied due to the statute of limitations in Michigan. We greatly appreciate both the effort you and your staff put in and the professionalism and kindness with which you did it.

Our Clients Say It Best

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40 5-star reviews on Google