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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102320
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have employment question. I work as a freelance

Customer Question

i have employment question. I work as a freelance independent contractor in a reta setting
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: florida
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: yes I work as a freelancer, I
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

What can I answer for you, exactly?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
as a freelance independent contractor in florida I work for multiple companies that contract time based on hours per week. company A contracts me to go to location 100 for 10 hours per week, and company B wants 15 hours at location 200. thousands of freelancers work this way. Now company A says you must exclusively work for them. No additional hours or change in agreement. can company A legally forbid you from working for another company , when you are technically a independent contractor?
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.

Yes. I am going to assume that there is no contract in place with company A (if there IS a contract, reply and let me know).

If there is no contract, a company is free to forbid a contractor to work for another company and/or to take contract jobs from another company. This is not unusual. For example, I doubt that a third party contractor that transports Coca Cola is allowed to do the same with Pepsi.

Companies do not have to give you contract jobs. Meaning, you are free to disagree to this constraint. But if so, they simply do not have to give you the freelance jobs, then.

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Customer: replied 7 months ago.
contracts are signed with all companies and all were aware of all freelancers working for multiple brands, that's how we were hired , this is how they add you in to their brand, they observe you at work for another brand and then ask you to join as freelancer for them as well.
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.

I see. In that case, if you are working under a contract that does not state anything about a non-compete (which is what this is), then they cannot enforce it.

The problem is, they also do not have to give you jobs. They can just say, "Okay, no problem. You can refuse to stop working for the other company. We simply won't call you for jobs."

Unless they have a specific quota they have to give you (which I doubt), then they can do so. They do not have to give you work.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE THREE OR MORE STARS and click FINISH to submit your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I realize they don't have to give me work or hours, this is understood , however, my question is while under contract to preform is it legal for them to insist this after the fact
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.
This depends on the contract.
If the contract MANDATES that they give you a certain amount of work, and if you refuse to sign the non-compete, they will refuse to provide the remaining quota - this would be a breach of contract from their part. This is because they'd be trying to add extra terms to the contract, you would disagree (as you can do so), but then they would refuse to finish the contract.
However - if the contract has no demand for certain amount of work, and it is "per diem" meaning they call you when they need you, then they can demand you to agree, you can refuse (as it is your right to do so), but, they can simply refuse to continue working with you. And this would be legal.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE THREE OR MORE STARS and click FINISH to submit your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.