Is it true that I am not an independent contractor if I am required to be a specific place at a specified time?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it true that I am not an independent contractor if I am required to be a specific place at a specified time?

I am an independent contractor for a newspaper. I am contracted to deliver their paper every morning. I have been doing this, with no missed days, for 7 years. I was left a note with my papers

this morning stating I would need to be at the library today at 10 a.m. for a meeting. I had a prior commitment so i contacted the DM who said if i wasn’t at the meeting they were going to replace me. It was my understanding they could not tell me an independent contractor to be anywhere at any certain time except to deliver their papers every morning. Can they legally fire me for not attending

when they gave my no notice?

Asked on March 19, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It's not quite as clear-cut or absolute as you indicate. While an independent contractor cannot generally or commonly be told to be at a certain place at a certain time, the law accepts that occasional or periodic meetings are appropriate and necessary in work--sometimes an employer needs to meet with those who work for it, to coordinate, to pass on information, to get feedback, to check on progress or status, etc. A rare meeting like the one you describe does not alter or endanger your independent contrator status or make you an employee; and if you do not attend, they are free to no longer employ or use you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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