Is is legal for the owner of the building I rent to make me wear his company shirt?

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Is is legal for the owner of the building I rent to make me wear his company shirt?

If I were to set up a business inside of another already existing company simply utilizing the space, can the owner legally have me wear the Company uniform even though I am not an employee? Not in the contract, but he says he is going to put it in. Is that a legal clause? If I’m not an employee why should I have to wear an employee shirt. Could I wear/make a shirt that has my business logo that is similarly colored to his? I don’t want to advertise for him I need to advertise my business.

Asked on January 13, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If it's not in the contract (i.e. lease) at present, he can't make you do this (he's free to offer you an incentive, like a rent rebate, if you will). If it is in the contract or lease, it is perfectly legal--anyone can be paid to wear any company's shirt, and there is no law saying that only employees can wear a company shirt.

If a clause gets  into your lease (e.g. at lease renewal time, your landlord insists on this and won't lease to you unless you agree) that says you have to wear his shirt, you have to wear it--failure to do will put you in breach of the lease and therefore liable for damages and/or to be evicted. Trying to get around it with a same-colored shirt would be a violation of the lease.

As long as the current lease is in force, the owner can't add or change terms.


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