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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I couldn’t have asked for better representation and counsel...


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


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

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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.

We are so thankful this firm was recommended to us!

Robert Sickels and his whole team went above and beyond while caring for us, They truly go the extra mile.

After our first meeting with attorney Matt Curtis, our feelings of frustration, defeat, and helplessness were diminished.

Matt’s knowledge of the law concerning medical malpractice and his compassion for my husband’s situation gave us the boost we needed to stand up and be heard! I am so grateful that my husband felt validated and energized throughout his time meeting with Mr. Curtis because, in February of 2021, he…

I couldn’t have asked for better representation and counsel.

Thank you, Tad Roumayah, for representing me on my severance agreement. The entire negotiation was handled efficiently and in an extremely professional manner. I couldn’t have asked for better representation and counsel.

My wife and I wanted to send you our deepest gratitude for your work on our family’s behalf

Even though it doesn’t change our daughter’s condition, it will make going through some of the challenges she will face less burdensome from a financial perspective. We appreciate your professionalism, Rick Groffsky – you are truly a master of your craft.

Matt Turner was a guiding light through my lawsuit.

Going through the legal process was foreign and nerve-racking for me but I was able to garner confidence from my attorney. I am fully confident he was the key factor in the success of my outcome.

Our Clients Say It Best

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