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

Fort Worth, TX |

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?

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Attorney answers 1


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.

The above comments are based only on the information presented in your online question and are not meant as specific legal advice and should not be relied upon by you as legal advice. There may be other facts which would impact your situation which may not be included in your question. I have not been retained as your lawyer, and I do not possess enough information to give you a legal opinion on the outcome of your dispute nor can I completely answer your question without an opportunity to fully discuss all of the facts of your situation. I can only be retained as your lawyer by both of us signing a written engagement letter. You should retain a lawyer to advise you before making any decisions relating to the issues raised in your online inquiry. You should retain a lawyer quickly, because there may be time limits which impact your legal situation. I HAVE NOT PROVIDED ANY LEGAL ADVICE TO YOU AND URGE YOU TO GET A LAYWER. I provide a free initial consultation. If you are interested in talking with me, please call 713-666-1981.

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