What are my rights as an independent contractor if my broker insists I work in their office during their office hours?

I've been an "independent petroleum landman" working for 1 broker for the past 5 years. I receive a 1099 and pay self employment taxes. I have NO benefits. Time off is unpaid. The broker is now insisting that I work in their office, during their office hours. Does my broker have the right to fire me if I refuse to work under those terms? Do those terms change the relationship to employer/employee? If so, what are my rights to insist on benefits?

Fort Worth, TX -

Attorney Answers (1)

Andrew Daniel Weisblatt

Andrew Daniel Weisblatt

Business Attorney - Houston, TX
Answered

Yes, your customer can fire you if you don't workt the way he wants. That being said, if he is picking your hours and the way that you work, you may no longer be properly categorized as an independent contractor, you may instead be properly categorized as an employee. This situation is a little more complicated than it seems and you both probably have something to lose if you get into it over this. I would suggest that you consider talking with a lawyer about this situation so that you can at least understand your rights and obligations. In such an interview, facts might be revealed which are not included in your question that might totally change the analysis - such as the presence of a written contract. I would not act on anything that you hear in response to your question until you have spoken with a lawyer and fully discussed with that lawyer all of the pertinent facts. I hope you found this response helpful! If so, please take a second and click the “helpful” button below. If you were really impressed, you could even click the “best answer” button! Thank you and best of luck.

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