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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.


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