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May 14, 2010
Key Aspects of Independent Contractor Agreements in Your Organization

Maria Anastas describes independent contractor agreements in a BLR webinar entitled ‘Employee versus Independent Contractor: Where’s the Line? How to Make the Proper Call and Stay Out of Court’. She explains that key aspects of an independent contractor agreement include the following:

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  • Avoid ‘control’ terminology
  • Specifically place responsibility for taxes, insurance, business licenses, etc. on the independent contractor
  • Require only compliance with industry standards
  • Specifically state that the independent contractors controls the manner and means of the work and that the company is interested only in the result
  • Specifically state that the relationship is one of independent contractor
  • Avoid payment by the hour, day, or week (payment should be by project or task)
  • Make the current IC specifically responsible for his, her or its employees, unemployment and Worker’s Compensation for such employees, and all taxes applicable to such employees
  • Include a waiver of any right to participate in any firm benefits (even if found to be a common law employee)
  • Include a contract term, if possible (if not project-based)
  • Avoid contract provisions allowing for termination ‘at will’
  • Specifically state that the IC will provide all necessary tools, equipment, etc.

Maria Anastas is a partner in the San Francisco office of law firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC ( ). She represents employers in labor and employment law matters exclusively, with a primary emphasis on traditional labor matters. She also devotes a substantial portion of her practice to providing employers with practical advice on a wide variety of employment law issues. She can be reached at

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