FREE Case Review (866) 588-0600

ABC Test California
(3 Main Criteria Legally Defined)

The ABC test is used to determine whether a California worker is classified as an employee or an independent contractor. Employees are entitled to legal protections under state and federal employment law (i.e. overtime pay, minimum wage, employee benefits), whereas independent contractors are not.
Awards & recognition
C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
Free Confidential Lawsuit Review
If you or a loved one was injured, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help. Please click the button below for a Free Case Evaluation or call us toll-free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.

Start My Free Case Review


What are the Criteria for the ABC Test?

A worker is classified as an employee and not an independent contractor under the California ABC test unless the hiring entity satisfies the following conditions:

  • The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact;
  • 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.

Why is it Called the ABC Test?

The ABC test got its name from the 3 interlocking elements of the test—parts (A), (B), and (C). It establishes a presumption that an individual performing services for an employer is an employee, not an independent contractor unless the employer can establish the 3 conditions.

Freedom from Employer's Control

One of the main factors in the ABC test is the amount of control that the employer has over the worker. The more control that is exerted, the more likely the worker is an employee. However, the hiring entity doesn't need to control the precise manner or details of the work. It is up to the hiring entity to demonstrate that it is not exerting enough control to make the worker an employee.

Related Article: What Is Paga Lawsuit and How to File One?

Which Other States Have the ABC Test?

In addition to California, the following states use the ABC test to determine if a worker is an independent contractor or an employee:

  1. Alaska
  2. Connecticut
  3. Delaware
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Hawaii
  6. Illinois
  7. Indiana
  8. Louisiana
  9. Maine
  10. Maryland
  11. Massachusetts
  12. Nebraska
  13. Nevada
  14. New Hampshire
  15. New Jersey
  16. New Mexico
  17. Vermont
  18. Washington
  19. West Virginia

Why Do Employers Use Independent Contractors?

Employers use independent contractors because it allows them to avoid expenses associated with employees such as taxes, training, promotions, overtime, benefits, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, FMLA leave, and 401K. Additionally, employers can supplement their employee workforce by hiring someone who has the necessary experience to hit the ground running.

However, employing independent contractors becomes a problem when employers start to over-rely on them and, over time, begin to treat them as employees. When this occurs, problems arise for the company despite any good intentions on their part or the part of the contractor.

Related Articles:

See all related hourly worker wage dispute lawsuits our lawyers covered so far.

Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers

The Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers focusing on plaintiffs' representation in lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new legal challenges in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one was involved with such matters, you should contact Schmidt & Clark immediately for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation

Verified 100% Secure SiteTo contact us for a free review of your potential case, please fill out the form below or call us toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing: (866) 588-0600.