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  1. #1
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    Default Can an Independent Contractor be Required to Rent and Use a Client's Equipment

    My question involves independent contractors in the state of: Ohio

    Iím an IC for a delivery company. Itís possible that I am misclassified, but that is not my concern in this thread. As an IC, I generally use my own equipment to perform the work, yet the company will not allow this with regard to the mobile scanner/device used to pickup and capture signatures on delivery. Instead they mandate that ICs use company owned devices and service for which they ICs are charged weekly. Neither the device nor software is proprietary; the software can be installed and successfully used on any android device with oneís own service provider, and the identical device is readily available for purchase if need be. It seems to me that a company shouldnít be able to dictate that a contractor buy service and rent a device from them, which he could otherwise supply. Is this legal?

    I know there has been a thread on this subject, but it seemed to diverge into the topic of misclassification, which is understandable, as this is excersizing a high degree of control over the work. But that thread is now closed.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mandated Rental of Company Owned Equipment, Rather Than Identical Ic Owned Equipm

    Quote Quoting DubiousIC
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    It seems to me that a company shouldn’t be able to dictate that a contractor buy service and rent a device from them, which he could otherwise supply. Is this legal?
    Of course it's legal.

    As an IC you are in business for yourself providing services to clients for which you are paid a fee.

    To get the work you do what the client tells you to do.

    It's that simple.

    If you don't like the terms, you dump the client and look elsewhere for business.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    15,192

    Default Re: Mandated Rental of Company Owned Equipment, Rather Than Identical Ic Owned Equipm

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Of course it's legal.

    As an IC you are in business for yourself providing services to clients for which you are paid a fee.

    To get the work you do what the client tells you to do.

    It's that simple.

    If you don't like the terms, you dump the client and look elsewhere for business.
    I don't think its that simple AJ. If the IC can work for as many clients as the IC likes and otherwise controls how they run their business, then you might be correct. Otherwise, you might not be.

    This sounds like one of those situations where the IC works for only one client, and requiring the IC to use the company's equipment might put them perilously close to misclassification.

    Quote Quoting DubiousIC
    View Post
    My question involves independent contractors in the state of: Ohio

    I’m an IC for a delivery company. It’s possible that I am misclassified, but that is not my concern in this thread. As an IC, I generally use my own equipment to perform the work, yet the company will not allow this with regard to the mobile scanner/device used to pickup and capture signatures on delivery. Instead they mandate that ICs use company owned devices and service for which they ICs are charged weekly. Neither the device nor software is proprietary; the software can be installed and successfully used on any android device with one’s own service provider, and the identical device is readily available for purchase if need be. It seems to me that a company shouldn’t be able to dictate that a contractor buy service and rent a device from them, which he could otherwise supply. Is this legal?

    I know there has been a thread on this subject, but it seemed to diverge into the topic of misclassification, which is understandable, as this is excersizing a high degree of control over the work. But that thread is now closed.
    I realize that you are not concerned with misclassification for the purpose of the question you are asking here, but misclassification actually is a major issue in determining what the "client/employer" can and cannot do. Therefore, its not so much of a question of can the client/employer require an IC to use their equipment, but rather does requiring them to use their equipment contribute to misclassification.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mandated Rental of Company Owned Equipment, Rather Than Identical Ic Owned Equipm

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    I don't think its that simple AJ. If the IC can work for as many clients as the IC likes and otherwise controls how they run their business, then you might be correct. Otherwise, you might not be.

    This sounds like one of those situations where the IC works for only one client, and requiring the IC to use the company's equipment might put them perilously close to misclassification.
    Of course it does.

    But OP made it clear that he wasn't interested in a discussion about misclassification so I stuck to his question.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mandated Rental of Company Owned Equipment, Rather Than Identical Ic Owned Equipm

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Of course it does.

    But OP made it clear that he wasn't interested in a discussion about misclassification so I stuck to his question.
    Yes you did, but you were a bit flippant about it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mandated Rental of Company Owned Equipment, Rather Than Identical Ic Owned Equipm

    The issue of using the company equipment may be discussed in the IC contract. OP, you do have a contract, correct?

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Mandated Rental of Company Owned Equipment, Rather Than Identical Ic Owned Equipm

    agree it should be part of the contract.....

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mandated Rental of Company Owned Equipment, Rather Than Identical Ic Owned Equipm

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Yes you did, but you were a bit flippant about it.
    I think brusque is a more appropriate description of my comment than flippant.

    Definition of flippant - lacking proper respect or seriousness.

    Definition of brusque - markedly short and abrupt, blunt in manner or speech often to the point of ungracious harshness.


    Quote Quoting budwad
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    The issue of using the company equipment may be discussed in the IC contract. OP, you do have a contract, correct?
    Of course he has a contract.

    Client: You work for me you rent my equipment.
    OP: OK.

    That's a contract.

    OP does the work and gets paid, less the cost of the equipment.

    That's performance.

    When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie.

    That's amore.

    (Now, THAT was flippant.) LOL.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can an Indepdendent Contractor be Required to Rent and Use a Client's Equipment

    Whether or not it is in a written contract, if the client requires that its own equipment be used it can impose that requirement -- in writing or orally. There may be something in the contract that restricts the client's ability to terminate the contract based upon the contractor's refusal to do so, but it's unlikely; and even if there is such language it would not affect the client's ability to decline to renew the contract at the end of its term.

    Unless we are going to get into the issue of worker classification, realistically speaking, it's a matter of doing what is demanded by the client who is paying your fees.

    There may be valid reasons why the company does not want to share its program with third parties, or allow its program to be installed on devices it does not own. For example, it could be worried about somebody hacking the script or device in order to engage in fraud.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2018
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    2

    Default Re: Can an Indepdendent Contractor be Required to Rent and Use a Client's Equipment

    Alright, so it sounds like pretty much any conditions are within a contracting companyís purview to stipulate. The contract mentions company devices as something which might be rented, but as exclusions to aught else which the IC is obliged to supply himself, but nowhere specifies this as mandatory. The software is not their own, anyone can download it from the web, and could log in as a driver from any device once added to the system via a name and password. At this point I guess itís more of a control issue by which they want to track the ic when the device is on (which incidentally, they want to be at all times) and have remote control over the device. Ostensibly to keep it functioning, but in practice their IT is fairly incompetent and Contractor owned devices prove more reliable.

    Alright... so if this inevitably delves into the issue of misclassification, what then? If one is in fact misclassified, of what benefit would be challenging it? Iíd guess none, other than a feeling of vindication at the cost of a lost job. Am I mistaken?

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