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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116713
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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As an independent contractor courier service: The company

Customer Question

As an independent contractor for a courier service: The company recently instituted a mandatory phone data app. for the purpose of scanning each individual business location on the courier route. The cost of this app.($20 p/mo) has been passed on to the contractor along with the cost of the increased data capability of the personal phone ($10 p/mo) Should the contractor be responsible for the cost of using a mandatory system that benefits the company only.
#2. The app. lists the locations of each business in an order that cannot be changed, regardless of the convenience of the driver, resulting in additional mileage and backtracking. The app also has GPS so as to track the contractor along the route and the time spent at each location. As the first stop on the route can vary on a daily basis due to call(s) for service, they do no allow the app to be turned on untill 11am, thus not allowing the contractor to arrive at the first stop and be ready to proceed by 11am. This creates a situation of being late each day to the first stop due to not knowing which will be first. It is mandatory to end the day at 3pm to deliver blood samples to the Lab. Is this all legal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

As an independent contractor, it is legal for the client to require paying for and using their app. If their app is causing you to be late, they cannot punish you for being late though, since it is their own fault and if they seek to punish or terminate anyone for being late, then that person would have a breach of contract claim against the client for their app causing the delays.

However, legally they can make you use the app on their terms as part of the agreement with contractors and the client is liable for the proper operation of the app and any delays caused by the app, not the contractor and they could not legally hold the contractor liable for that.