Can you fire an independent contractor within 7 days of written notice?

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Can you fire an independent contractor within 7 days of written notice?

I have a hair stylist renting a space that did not have her rent to me by the 1st. She had signed my contract and I have sent a letter giving her 7 days to leave. She is now threatening to get legal battles started stating she is allowed 60 days to work and refuses to leave. Is this able to be done?

Asked on November 10, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An independent contractor may be terminated at will, without notice, unless there is a contract stating that a certain amount of notice is required--if there is, you had to give her as much (but no more) notice than is required.
But if she is a renter/tenant (e.g. she is paying your rent for space or a chair), the you have to treat her as a tenant, not a contractor. In that case, if she is renting either under an oral (unwritten) agreement or under a written month-to-month lease, you have to give her at least 30 days notice, unless and only if there is a different notice period in the agreement for her to vacate the space/chair by. If there is such a different specific notice period, you need to follow it.
Also note that if she is renting space, then if she doesn't leave after notice, you have to bring a legal action to remove her, the same as you would any other commercial tenant or subtenant.


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