Most business owners will have to work with an independent contractor at some point. However, people often mistake independent contractors for employees. Independent contractors have more freedom than employees and as such, your relationship with them should be different.
Due to the nature of their business as independent contractors, they are usually required to provide a lot of things by themselves. Examples are tools and supplies. They are not usually entitled to added benefits such as health insurance which employees often get access to.
If you need help with dealing with a worker, especially if you are not sure whether or not they are an independent contractor, it is best to contact a professional. A corporate law attorney can help you work out any legal issues quickly and smoothly.
Tips on Dealing With Independent Contractors
Here are a few tips when dealing with independent contractors:
1. Have a Written Agreement
It is important that you have a written agreement once you decide to hire an independent contractor. This agreement can serve as proof if there is any confusion as to the role of the contractor, for example, if you have a long-standing relationship with an independent contractor who tries to claim employee benefits. A written agreement strengthens your case if a dispute arises.
2. Do Not Treat Your Independent Contractor Like an Employee
Treating your independent contractor like an employee can cause some confusion on the part of the contractor. This can happen when you do not have a written agreement that clearly states that the worker is being hired as an independent contractor.
Doing things like preventing your worker from working with other people, requiring set hours each time they work, and micromanaging or over-supervising them while they work can make an independent contractor feel like an employee.
3. Be Consistent in Your Dealings
If you consistently work with a particular independent contractor, it is important that you remain consistent in the way you deal with them. Do not treat them like an independent contractor one time and then treat them like an employee the next time. Being consistent in your dealings with an independent contractor will prevent any confusion from arising as to the nature of their employment.
4. Have a Dispute Resolution Mechanism in Place
Being taken to court every time a dispute arises between you and an independent contractor is exhausting. Setting out an alternative dispute resolution mechanism such as a panel, mediation, or arbitration can save you time and energy.
Being clear and transparent about the nature of your relationship with an independent contractor will save you from unnecessary disputes. This can be easily done with a written agreement that sets out issues such as payment and expectations.
It is best to have an attorney draft the agreement as they will consider situations that may not cross your mind. At Hecht Schondorf, we have experienced attorneys who will handle your case with expertise and care. We also offer a free consultation for first-timers. Contact us here to get started today.