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Contractors Bill of Rights
 

Contract Worker's Bill of Rights

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By receipt of this document the recipient (e.g., contract broker) expressly 
agrees to the terms and guidelines of the Contract Worker's Bill of Rights.

In the event the recipient is unable to comply with these terms, the recipient 
further agrees to return or destroy all information in the recipient's 
possession relating to the sender.

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                       Contract Worker's Bill of Rights


                                       I

                          RELATIONSHIP OF THE PARTIES


The Contract Worker's Bill of Rights addresses specifically the relationship 
between the contract worker (contractor) and contract broker (broker). 
Contractors are individuals who perform services defined by a contract or other 
separate agreement for an end user who is not the contractor's employer. 
Contractors may be self-employed sole proprietors, employees of "their own" 
corporation, partnership or limited liability company, or employees of a third-
party employer of record. Brokers are individuals or firms that assist 
contractors in their relationship with the end user.

It is a basic right of the contractor that the broker shall have no interest or 
strategic alliance that conflicts with the best interests of the contractor. 
Whenever the potential for a conflict of interest exists, it is incumbent upon 
the broker to operate always in the best interest of the contractor.

The contractor performs direct services for the end user, whereas the 
contractor performs no direct services for the broker.

The end user pays for the contractor's labor, either directly or through the 
broker.

It is the end user that evaluates the performance of the contractor, and to 
which the contractor is ultimately accountable.

The primary working relationship is always between the contractor and the end 
user. The relationship between the contractor and the broker is secondary to 
the relationship between the contractor and the end user.

The exact nature of the relationship between the contractor and the broker 
depends on the professional services provided by the broker. However, the 
contractor-broker relationship shall never diminish the primary relationship 
between the contractor and the end user. The broker is the contractor's agent, 
and the contractor is the broker's client.

Contractors engage brokers to provide certain professional services on a fee-
for-service basis. These services include, but are not limited to, 

     1.  Job matching.
     2.  Contract negotiation.
     3.  Invoicing, collections and payroll.
     4.  Accounts receivable factoring.
     5.  Employer of record.

These services may be offered individually or in combination.

For example, a self-employed independent contractor may engage a marketing 
broker to locate a direct contract assignment with an end user. As an option 
the broker may also represent the contractor during contract negotiations.

In addition to job matching and contract negotiation services, the broker may 
provide separate invoicing, collections and payroll. When the broker receives 
payment from the end user, the broker withholds its fee and remits the 
remainder to the contractor. Another service often provided by brokers is 
accounts receivable factoring, also called cash flow management, whereby the 
broker advances payment to the contractor before the end user actually remits 
payment.

Alternatively, an independent contractor may locate assignments without the 
assistance of a job matching service, yet still engage the broker to provide 
invoicing, collections and payroll, and possibly also accounts receivable 
factoring. A common term for this type of relationship is pass-through. In a 
pass-through situation the contractor usually contacts the broker only after 
the contractor has already negotiated the terms of a contract with the end 
user.

Brokers may also provide pass-through service to contractors who require W-2 
status, either because the contractor wishes to avoid the time, effort and 
expense of self-employment, or because W-2 status is required by the end user. 
Contractors who have W-2 status are properly referred to as contract employees.

While it is acknowledged that the W-2 contract employee is a regular employee 
of the broker, this relationship remains secondary to the primary relationship 
between the contract employee and the end user. The end user still pays for the 
direct services of the contract employee. The contract employee still performs 
direct services for the end user, and performs no direct services for the 
broker. And, the end user still evaluates the performance of the contract 
employee, who remains ultimately accountable to the end user.

W-2 employer of record service is, in fact, just another professional service 
provided by the broker. Brokers that provide W-2 status to contractors are 
properly referred to as contract employment agencies. The contractor assumes 
the role of employee solely for the convenience of having a third party 
withhold payroll and income taxes, and for the purpose of satisfying certain 
issues of compliance that may be of concern to the end user.

It is not uncommon that contractors engage brokers to provide job matching as 
well as employer of record service. The fact that the broker provides multiple 
services for the contractor in no way detracts from the primary relationship 
between the contractor and the end user, for whom the contractor performs 
direct services, by whom the contractor's work is evaluated, and to whom the 
contractor is ultimately accountable.


                                      II

                   FULL DISCLOSURE OF SERVICES AND CHARGES

It is a basic right of the contractor to be fully informed of all charges 
imposed by the broker in return for services the broker performs as agent of 
the contractor.

Disclosure of rates, fees and charges is a hallmark characteristic of the 
professional service provider. Hiding or refusing to disclose service charges 
is unethical and may constitute fraud.

The end user pays for the direct services of the contractor. In those cases 
where the broker receives payment on behalf of the contractor, it is incumbent 
on the broker to disclose to the contractor all revenues remitted by the end 
user as payment for the contractor's direct services. No broker shall arrange a 
separate agreement with the end user for the purpose of concealing the full 
amount paid by the end user for the contractor's direct services. Doing so is 
unethical and may constitute fraud against the contractor.

Brokers shall clearly and fully disclose what services they provide, and 
clearly and fully disclose the separate and incremental charges for those 
services. Brokers shall employ a uniform fee schedule that applies equally to 
all contractors who engage their services. Brokers shall charge only for 
services they actually perform.

The broker may charge for professional services on a contingency or non-
contingency basis. The broker may charge a fixed fee or bill for actual time 
and materials. Most frequently, the broker charges a percentage of gross 
revenues earned by the contractor over a specified time which may extend for 
the entire duration of the assignment. Exactly how the broker charges for its 
services to the contractor is immaterial to the requirement that all charges 
shall be detailed with respect to services provided and the specific charges 
for those services.

The contractor is under no obligation to honor a service agreement or an 
employer of record agreement that does not clearly identify specific services 
to be performed by the broker and their associated charges. Any attempt by the 
broker to withhold full disclosure of service charges is unethical and may hurt 
the contractor's ability to obtain gainful work.


                                      III

                            INTEGRITY OF THE RESUME

It is a basic right of the contractor that the contractor's resume shall never 
be modified or distributed without the contractor's knowledge, review, and 
expressed permission.

The contractor's resume is protected by copyright, and remains the property of 
the individual contractor. Copyright protection is not diminished because the 
resume is posted to an electronic database, personal web page or other public 
venue. The contractor's resume is specifically not in the public domain.

The integrity of a contractor's resume is inviolate. Modifying the appearance 
and content of a resume for the purpose of misrepresenting an individual's 
skills and experience is fraud. Such misrepresentation may create unrealistic 
expectations of the contractor's performance, and thus damage the contractor's 
reputation and hurt the contractor's ability to obtain gainful work.

A resume may never be distributed to potential end users or to other brokers, 
or posted to an electronic venue, or sold to a third party without the 
contractor's expressed, prior approval. Unauthorized distribution of the 
contractor's resume may result in multiple submissions to the same end user, 
resulting in the contractor being removed from consideration for a qualified 
assignment, and thus hurt the contractor's ability to obtain gainful work.

The contractor has no contractual obligation to a broker that distributes the 
contractor's resume to an end user or other broker without first receiving the 
contractor's expressed permission to release the resume to that particular end 
user or other broker.

                                      IV

             REFERENCE INFORMATION IS PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL

It is a basic right of the contractor that reference information shall be used 
solely for the purpose of conducting a narrowly defined background check of the 
contractor. Any other use constitutes theft and misuse of proprietary, 
confidential, information belonging to the contractor.

Examples of misuse of reference information include, but are not limited to, 

     1.  Marketing candidates to references.
     2.  Soliciting job orders from references.
     3.  Soliciting from references the names of co-workers, colleagues, and 
         contractors.
     4.  Soliciting business leads from references.
     5.  Attempting to recruit references.
     6.  Transferring or copying reference information to any location 
         outside the contractor's own file.
     7.  Making reference information available to anyone not specifically 
         engaged in placing the contractor with an end user.

Misuse of proprietary and confidential reference information as described 
herein may negatively affect the contractor's relationship with valued 
references, and thus hurt the contractor's ability to obtain gainful work.


                                       V

                                FREEDOM TO WORK

It is a basic right of the contractor to work whenever and wherever the 
opportunity exists, free from unreasonable and overly restrictive non-compete 
periods and end user buy-out provisions.

In the case of job matching service, the contractor's obligation to the broker 
shall not extend beyond six months from the initial introduction to a 
prospective end user. When the introduction leads to a contract assignment, the 
contractor's obligation to the broker shall not extend beyond six months from 
the end of the assignment. The six-month maximum applies equally to non-compete 
periods and to end user buy-out provisions.

Non-compete clauses and end user buy-out provisions shall apply only when the 
broker introduces the contractor to the end user, and only for the specific 
department and physical location where the assignment is carried out.

No broker shall restrict a contractor from engaging the services of another 
broker.

No broker shall restrict a contractor from accepting work with a specific end 
user except as provided by a valid non-compete clause or end user buy-out 
provision as described herein.

As the contractor's agent, the broker shall exercise no ownership privilege, or 
exclusive right to represent the contractor.

Individuals and firms that attempt to interfere with the contractor's freedom 
to work as described herein may be practicing indentured servitude and other 
prohibited activities that can hurt the contractor's ability to obtain gainful 
work.

                                      VI

                                 Consequences

Individuals and firms that violate the terms and guidelines of this Contract 
Worker's Bill of Rights may be practicing fraud, indentured servitude, theft 
and misuse of proprietary information, copyright violation, and other 
activities specifically prohibited by law. Individuals and firms that carry out 
illegal activities, or cause material harm to the contractor, or otherwise hurt 
the contractor's ability to obtain gainful work may be subject to legal 
prosecution and civil remedies to the full extent permitted by the law, 
including substantial punitive damages, court costs, and attorney's fees.


                                      VII

               PRIMACY OF THE CONTRACT WORKER'S BILL OF RIGHTS

No direct contract or third-party contract with the end user, and no employment 
agreement between the contractor and a broker, shall supercede or override the 
terms and guidelines of this Contract Worker's Bill of Rights.

 


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