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I have been working with a company in California (U.S) for…

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I have been working...

I have been working with a company in California (U.S) for several years as an independent contractor and they now want to switch me over to an official employee. I was okay with that, even though they have been treating me like an employee (long term consistent work, same kind of work, training and a direct boss that oversees everything, no independence whatsoever) without any of the benefits. Misclassification, but that's a whole other thing.Here are the parts I am concerned about:They say that I must sign any other documents they put before me and if I don't that I appoint them Attorney in fact irrevocably to sign the documents if I do not sign within a certain amount of days. (They also want permission to be able to deposit money into my account (as they always do) but also want the power to TAKE money from my account.)Also, that I cannot pursue any commercial endeavors outside of them. (I am a writer and have IPs that I have been working on for years - The Company is not associated with writing, but is in a similar industry - but the clause is so broad that it seems to cover all of that). This also applies to the attorney in fact clause because from what I tell, that means they would own my IP - intellectual property.They can dictate where I work. (I have been working remotely for years and they have an office out of state - which is out of the question for me and the wording doesn't mention remotely or guarantee that I can continue as I was before)I feel like the contract is very broad and does not benefit or protect me in any way. And I am not gaining anything from signing - I was okay as an independent contractor)It also says that I sign this of my own free will, but I know if I don't sign it, I will lose my job (which I am dependent upon for most of my income).Not sure what I can do. I dont want to sign a contract that I will regret later, because I do have other endeavors that I am pursuing that are finally starting to take off and may pay in the future.Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

I'm in California.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Nothing has been filed or reported at this time.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

This would be it for now. Although, I would like to focus on the contract portion of the question and not the fact that I've been misclassified as a independent contractor when I've been treated as an employee. I hope that makes sense?

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/30/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 6 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,333
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a CA licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Hello,Yes I would love if you review my question. I appreciate the assistance.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Thanks so much for your patience. I had a chance to review your situation; however, i'm not sure of what specific questions you had regarding this. What questions did you have with which I can help?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thanks for the response.1) Is it normal for a company to request irrevocable power as attorney in fact to sign my name to documents that I do not sign in a timely manner?
2) The employer says that by signing this contract, I am not to engage or concern myself with any other commercial endeavors outside of the company. I have been writing for years before starting with the company and am now gaining small profits so would this clause prevent me from continuing that?
3) I have been working remotely for four years with them, yet they do not mention me continuing to work remotely, in fact they say they can dictate where I work if it's "reasonable" to them and I worry about that because they have an office outside of the state of California where I reside that they can enforce a move if I sign the contract.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

1. No. In fact, unless you specifically assent to the terms of the agreement, the agreement is not enforceable. They cannot bind you to an agreement that you do not sign.

2. If this is a CA company, it is unlawful to restrict people from competing under the CA Business and Professions Code.

3. Unfortunately, if you are an employee, they can dictate where you work and your hours

My recommendation is to remind them that they don't have the authority to bind you to an agreement and you should definitely have a lawyer redline the oddities of this agreement. Did you have any other question for me today?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you for your response they are very helpful.
For question number 1 to be clear it is the document at hand that is saying that if I sing the contract that deems the company attorney in fact to sign future documents and if I don't they can sign them with my signature. So you would recommend not signing the contract that would give them that power?2) I wasn't aware that this fell under competition, just to clarify their company is a advertising company that deals with stock footage and is not associated with screenwriting (which I am pursuing), so would that still fall under competition? I though competition meant that I would not engage with their competitors.One more thing, I am always paid by direct deposit but now they want the right to not only transfer money to my account but from it, what are your thoughts on this?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Ok, thank you for clarifying. So, if the document says that, that's actually ordinary. Employers have that power anyway, generally, so they're just making it clear.

2. This has the whiff of a non-compete because it's super broad in that you can't engage in any commercial endeavors outside the company. I would clarify what that means. Does that mean you can't buy gum?

3. Don't let them transfer from your bank account. That is highly unusual.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Even if I clarify with the employer, the actual contract I am signing is so broad and I'm signing the contract not the discussion I had with them. Would my back and forth through email count as an extension of that contract without revising the actual contract?
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
you're saying that it's ordinary or normal for an employer to have "attorney in fact" and to be able to sign my signature on paperwork as they see fit?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

I'm sorry. My internet keeps going in and out. One moment....

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