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  1. #1
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    Nov 2015
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    Default Can an Independent Contractor Be Told Who They Can or Can Not Have Working for Them

    My question involves independent contractors in the state of: Florida

    My brother and a friend have worked together successfully for years. Work's been slow lately, so they're taking whatever they can get at the moment. They do painting and light residential remodeling work. They have found a real estate agent/broker that has some work, but the agent wants the one with the contractor's license to sign an agreement (in front of a notary) saying that they will not hire or have any friends working for them, which basically puts the other person out of a job (at least with these jobs). Is this even legal? I've never heard of anybody being able to dictate who a subcontractor can hire to work for them.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can an Independent Contractor Be Told Who They Can or Can Not Have Working for Th

    If your friend doesn't want to agree to the terms then he turns down the work. If he wants the work then he accepts the terms. There is nothing illegal with the contract offered.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can an Independent Contractor Be Told Who They Can or Can Not Have Working for Th

    I appreciate the response. I find it hard to believe though.... I'm not disputing you. I actually can believe it, but have a hard time figuring out how it could possibly be enforced. The proposed contract doesn't say anyone you know, just friends.... so how would they possibly know or prove that a person was a friend and not just an acquaintance?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can an Independent Contractor Be Told Who They Can or Can Not Have Working for Th

    It would be a difficult clause to enforce and given the terms of a contract in dispute are read to favor the person not writing the contract, it may simply be an unenforceable clause.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can an Independent Contractor Be Told Who They Can or Can Not Have Working for Th

    Thanks again. They do have an idea of a local attorney that could take a closer look at the contract, but they wanted a better understanding (and if it would even be worth it) before doing so. I'll pass along the info.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can an Independent Contractor Be Told Who They Can or Can Not Have Working for Th

    I don't do referrals (plus it's generally frowned upon by the site admin). You can contact your states bar association.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Can an Independent Contractor Be Told Who They Can or Can Not Have Working for Th

    Quote Quoting kronykus
    View Post
    I appreciate the response. I find it hard to believe though.... I'm not disputing you. I actually can believe it, but have a hard time figuring out how it could possibly be enforced. The proposed contract doesn't say anyone you know, just friends.... so how would they possibly know or prove that a person was a friend and not just an acquaintance?
    They wouldn't have to "know." All the client has to do is say "Hey, you had a friend working for you, you breached the contract, I'm not paying."

    Then it's up to your brother to take the time and spend the money to sue the client and convince a judge that he didn't hire a friend or that the contractual provision is unconscionable.

    That puts your brother in a world of hurt for the months that it takes to litigate.

    Never accept a troublesome contract with the idea that you can breach it with no consequences just because you think it can't be enforced.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2015
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    Default Re: Can an Independent Contractor Be Told Who They Can or Can Not Have Working for Th

    Quote Quoting jk
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    I don't do referrals (plus it's generally frowned upon by the site admin). You can contact your states bar association.
    You misunderstood, or I didn't communicate it properly, they already had someone local in mind. I was just looking up advice, before they wasted any time or money.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    They wouldn't have to "know." All the client has to do is say "Hey, you had a friend working for you, you breached the contract, I'm not paying."

    Then it's up to your brother to take the time and spend the money to sue the client and convince a judge that he didn't hire a friend or that the contractual provision is unconscionable.

    That puts your brother in a world of hurt for the months that it takes to litigate.

    Never accept a troublesome contract with the idea that you can breach it with no consequences just because you think it can't be enforced.
    As above, my communication skills seem to be lacking. I was just curious about how they could possibly enforce it. Even if the current situation wasn't what it is, I advised not to sign it because it probably wouldn't matter who they had working for them. It sounds shady to me... like they're looking for an excuse to not pay at all, and court cost would eat any profits plus put them in the negative (not to mention the time lost, etc). My question of how they could prove it was more mental exercise as to why they would put a clause like that in at all, but then I figured if they know most people won't bother spending the time or money to fight it, they can get away with paying as little as possible and get away with it. As usual, it's all about the money.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Can an Independent Contractor Be Told Who They Can or Can Not Have Working for Th

    The reason for the agreement is because of the workers compensation laws in FL. Unless the contractor has workman's comp coverage for his employees ,the person who hires him can be sued for compensation if someone is hurt on the job.

    Comp coverage in FL is extremely expensive. Does your brother have workman's comp coverage?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Default Re: Can an Independent Contractor Be Told Who They Can or Can Not Have Working for Th

    Yes, they're both covered by Worker's Comp. They've moved on now, found a more reputable client with a less restrictive agreement.

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