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Always seek attorney’s help when drafting contracts

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Creating independent-contractor agreements is not a do-it-yourself job. Always get expert legal help.

Recent case: Curtis and Margaret Johnson decided to buy a delivery truck and start a business. Neither was qualified as a commercial driver, so they planned to hire vehicle operators.

They signed up with FedEx to deliver packages to one ZIP code and signed an independent-contractor agreement. When the Johnsons failed to satisfy FedEx standards, the company terminated the agreement. The John­­sons then sued, alleging they had really been FedEx employees.

Fortunately for FedEx, its agree­­ment was very tightly drafted—and the actual work the Johnsons performed was almost entirely within their control. The court determined they were truly independent contractors. (John­­son, et al., v. FedEx, No. 04-CV-4935, ED NY, 2011)

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