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  • Contract for IC's

    What type of contract format do you use for IC's? I just started as a Manager for a new shop that currently has no written contracts. We need to have something in writing and signed but I have always been an employee and need some input on what is appropriate for IC.
    One of the groomers has been especially rough with the dogs, and it needs to be addressed in writing for us to take care of it... he has been spoken to by the owner and still acts out. We also need to implement a policy of random drug testing. Any input is grately appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by cschell View Post

    We also need to implement a policy of random drug testing.
    I can see where drug testing can be enforced with employees. But ICs, I'm not so sure.

    And even if it can be, I'm not so sure you can insist on them signing any contract with employee-like restrictions after the fact.

    I'll await other opinions with great interest.

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    • #3
      You should consult with an attorney and accountant to make sure they are indeed IC's and not Employees it is a very fine line depending on your level of control over them. You might also want to contact the IRS and make sure they are truly IC.

      I'm not sure that you can discipline IC's as it would just have been something that would have been spelled out in the contract as to handling of pets. If you write up an IC control how they perform thier jobs too much, if you/the business are setting thier appointments, collecting monies from pet owners, doing the advertising, providing the phone lines these are employees.

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      • #4
        Um, the I in IC stands for "independent". As in you don't have that kind of control over them. They aren't your employees.

        If you were a general contractor, and had a plumber come and put in all the plumbing in the house you're building, do you think you could randomly drug test him? Do you think you can control what type of language he uses? Nope. He's not you're employee. you just hired him to perform a service. It's kinda the same thing.

        You have an arrangement with a groomer to perform certain services. That groomer can even hire someone else to come in and do the work. You don't have much control over how the service is performed, so long as the end product is satisfactory.

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        • #5
          How can I take care of this situation effectively and legally. What is the most appropriate way to handle this situation? If I hired a plumber to fix my sink and s/he was not acting professionally, I'd fire that person. Can I release this contractor in the same manner?

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          • #6
            Control over IC's is possible to some degree. The degrees are set by the contract, and this is the weak point today with most owner/IC's in that they didn't write a professional contract. Plus, before everyone shares one, this is an area of expertise where you can share ideas yes, but contract law is radically different state to state. There are web sites that offer boilerplate IC contracts and you can customize, but you better be sure it's legal. You can take a sample one, even one you customized using an online service, and then take it to a "contract attorney" usually listed as such in the Yellow Pages, or ask for a referral from your CPA and other businesspersons.

            You need professional assistance. We can all learn from this. You don't have the same control over an IC as an employee, but your contract can implement some controls. You can be sure they have to have a professional appearance as you define it, they can be asked and required not to use foul language, they cannot STINK, personal cleanliness, they cannot go through your client files, print reports off your computer of your clientele...oh yes, as a consultant I even had one where the IC took the owner's checkbook to write some checks to himself!! We got a restraining order. Write a list of the controls you want, ask the attorney to customize. Sometimes you can require them to wear the company's smock or aprons. You state what you supply in detail, utilities, shampoo etc, but what they must supply, sharpening. You may be able to require proof they have insurance that covers damage, liability even malpractice coverage and they have to provide physical evidence of such. You should allow the IC to counter with suggestions for changes too, and get a legal opinion first before you agree. Also mention when compensation is paid, how it is computed, etc. Make a big list.

            By the way you may get some additional ideas in the JOB AGREEMENTS we used for employed positions in From Problems to Profits book. Yes you can generally state a generally accepted productivity amount in average working hours, broadly, but you can. Some think you cannot. It's not that absolute in most states.

            Just be sure your list doesn't make it sound like you are controlling them like an employee. It's a fine line, that's why you need legal help.

            Just remember it's got to meet the contract law / commercial code of YOUR state in which the business resides, so you gotta get some professional help but won't it be worth. The more research you do ahead of time the less time a lawyer spends. I've seen these reviews take as little as 1 hour of attorney time, sometimes 2. Not bad to have a great contract for ICs.
            Most questions regarding GroomerTALK are answered in the Board Help Talk Forum. Thanks for coming to our community a part of PetGroomer.com https://www.petgroomer.com.

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            • #7
              I forgot to add a possibility.

              Let's say there is an issue and you don't have it covered by an agreement.

              You can notify an IC of a problem and put it in writing. Let them understand why it is important, such as negative effects on your business. Document it. Ask your legal professional for help thereon. In many states it's pretty darn easy to let an IC go without the worries of "wrongful termination." To be sure, yep, ask your legal professional. In the meantime it gives you an idea of perhaps some new stipulations to add to your IC contract.
              Most questions regarding GroomerTALK are answered in the Board Help Talk Forum. Thanks for coming to our community a part of PetGroomer.com https://www.petgroomer.com.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cschell View Post
                How can I take care of this situation effectively and legally. What is the most appropriate way to handle this situation? If I hired a plumber to fix my sink and s/he was not acting professionally, I'd fire that person.
                But if you have a contract with that plumber, and you fire him because in your opinion he's "...not acting professionally..." you'd still have to pay him. You can't break a contract without consequences.

                If it's written well, you can find cause to release your IC from his/her contract. But you have to get an attorney, find out what you can and cannot require of an IC, and put it all in writing.

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                • #9
                  IC's are not suggested to be allowed to use the shops clients shampoos etc. In order to do this they could "rent a table" which would be a complete and separate contract, one not having anything to do with the other. In THIS contract I would attempt to control the behavior of the IC. If they break thier rent contract you would no longer be liable to have to rent to them. right? They could then attempt to make a living off of thier own clients (if they dont choose to just quit). Write into the IC contract that you only need thier services if they are capable to producing 5 dogs a day or more (or whatever you choose) at least 5 days a week, and that it would be a breach of contract to go more than 3 days producing less than 15 dogs. THEN, when you quit your client list because if thier behavior and they cant make the 15+ dogs on thier own client list merit in the first 3 days, then they would be breaching their own contract and you could dismiss them? Sounds like it could work to me. but im not a lawyer so.....
                  Last edited by Jane512; 06-10-10, 12:35 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Thank you all.

                    In taking into consideration the posts you all have contributed, we are taking steps in the right direction. Especially grateful to Admin. We'll let you know how things turn out! I LOVE this board

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                    • #11
                      Do you have an example of a contract I can look at between a shop and an IC/groomer? Or perhaps a link to a contract. Ive seen ones between groomer and client but not groomer and shop. Thank you in advance.

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