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When you say "required" you mean that it is a condition of obtaining the work?
It may be required but obviously you don't have to sign it.
what the law was concerning whether those who hire independent contractors can require them to sign non-compete agreements. The essence of the difference between employees and independent contractors is that the latter have control over who they can seek business from and the person retaining the contractor does not have the legal right to exercise control. What is the law on this?
This isn't a matter of law. It may be a condition of obtaining the contract that for example 100% of your time & effort be devoted to that particular contact; It very well may be that in this particular arrangement the so called "independent contractor" is actually an employee. The issue is one of classification of the individual as an independent contractor or an employee based upon the facts and circumstances of the particular situation.
There is no law prohibiting an independent contractor from signing a non-compete contract. If that is a requirement of obtaining the work, the independent contractor remains free to accept the work or not accept it.
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