Do you know your freelance rights? Freelancers are independent workers, and they have some rights, which protect the client from controlling their behavior and financially. The freelancer can object if the employer tries to control them, and they can inform the client that there is a difference between an employee and an independent worker which is acknowledged by the IRS and department of labor. Even if the employer has signed an agreement with the freelancer, the freelancer will continue to retain his rights. For freelancers who are not sure about their status, or wish to claim that they are employees, they should contact an attorney. All rules are listed on the IRS website.
– Freelancers can work wherever they want, they are not required to work at the client’s office for some hours. However, the freelancer may have to attend meetings, events or make presentations as specified in the contract
– Freelancers can work whenever they wish, the client cannot stipulate that he works for a specific number of hours in a day or control the time schedule
– Since freelancers are hired for their existing skills, they decide how they will complete the work assigned, the steps taken and equipment which will be used. The client will not train the freelancer, though they may provide guidelines for the work and indicate what they expect. The client will not control the work process.
– Freelancers can take additional clients if they wish to. Freelancers are free to market themselves to prospective clients and get more orders, the client cannot prevent the freelancer from working for a competitor. The client may specify that the details of the work done by the freelancer for them are not discussed with, others, by having them sign a non-disclosure agreement.
– The freelance work may be subcontracted to others, without informing the client. If the freelancer has many orders or feels that some part of the project may be completed better by another freelancer, he can subcontract part of the order to another freelancer if he wishes. The client can specify the end product and its quality, the freelancer will not specify the process used by him.
Other rights specified in the contract
– Intellectual property rights: The freelancer should always grant the client the least possible rights to the intellectual property (IP) since the IP may be profitable in the future. Contracts which specify that the freelancer should give up all rights for the future should be avoided.
– The freelancer contract should specify how much he should be paid, either hourly or for the project and when the payment is due or payment schedule. Specifying a late fee, usually 1.5% interest can help ensure prompt payment.
– The freelancer should also specify the kill fee or early termination fee in the contract. This is the amount that the client will have to pay the freelancer if they terminate the contract early. It is a very effective way to protect the freelancer from clients who cancel projects or change their requirements.
– Freelancers have the right to offer a reasonable number of revisions for free, and then charge for each additional revision. It is not advisable to spend more time, the effort for only a few clients, the effort will depend on how much they pay.