Independent Contractor Agreements
Advising Businesses and Workers in Plano and Frisco
The independent contractor relationship has gained considerable appeal in Texas and throughout the country. Entrepreneurs have discovered greater freedom and control over their work. Companies can ramp up their workforce quickly when necessary without enduring extra payroll obligations when business slows down. For seasonal or project-driven industries, independent contractors are essential to the business model.
However, both the company and the independent contractor should understand how their affiliation differs from a traditional employment relationship and take action to protect themselves. Albin Roach advises workers and businesses on every stage of the relationship, from negotiating and drafting the contract to regulatory compliance issues.
By securing our involvement early in the process, you can avoid disputes that can turn into lawsuits. In addition, we can counsel you on remaining in compliance with Texas and federal laws.
Representing Independent Contractors
Federal and Texas laws do not grant independent contractors the same types of protections as employees. There is an assumption that both parties have equal negotiating power. Although a company must follow certain civil rights and workplace safety regulations, the independent contractor-employer relationship is not governed by employment laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Affordable Care Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Never work without a written contract. A written agreement protects your legal rights regarding each project you assume. Should your client fail to pay you or insist you did not fulfill your end of the bargain, your contract serves as the basis for your claim or defense.
Our Plano employment lawyers tailor our services to your individual needs and circumstances. If you work on a variety of projects, you may need to revise your agreements with each new client. Conversely, if you only perform one type of uniform service, you may need a standard contract for your business with only minor modifications each time you sign a new client. We can also negotiate on your behalf or review an offer regarding such essential provisions as:
- Project description
- Tasks and duties
- Terms of payment
- Work hours and location
- Access to tools and equipment
- Ownership of intellectual property
- Copyright, patent or trademark infringement
You may employ numerous employees, work with subcontractors or be a one-woman or one-man shop. Regardless of your company’s size and configuration, as an independent contractor, you own a business. This means you must comply with stringent regulations that apply to your specific entity and industry. Our team advises you on your rights and obligations under the law.
Hiring an independent contractor comes with substantial benefits, but could create problems if not correctly handled. For example, calling an independent contractor an independent contractor does not necessarily make it so. The IRS may charge back taxes, penalties and interests to an employer who misclassifies an employee as an independent contractor, even if the mistake is innocent and accidental. Other government agencies may also penalize you for not complying with regulations regarding workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, health insurance and wage and hours laws that are applicable to employees, but not independent contractors.
To avoid misclassification, our Frisco and Plano employment lawyers review your relationship and suggest steps you can take to preserve the independent contractor role. We also draft terms in your independent contractor agreements that clearly and appropriately identify the workers’ independent position with your company.
Protect Your Rights in an Independent Contractor Agreement
Learn more about protecting your rights under the independent contractor relationship. Call the employment lawyers at Albin Roach: 214-423-5100. You can also contact us online for assistance throughout North Texas, including Plano and Frisco.