Firing an Independent Contractor: Some Guidelines to Follow
Firing an independent contractor is a error in terms. As they are not an employee, they cannot exactly be "fired". That's not to say, however, that you don't have options as an employer.
Review the Contract
If you wish to terminate an independent contractor, you'll need to first carefully review the contract in place, if one exists. If nothing exists, you will probably be able to terminate the employment at will. Go forth and never do business in this way again (it can have major repercussions in future scenarios). Assuming you and the worker in question were smart enough to draft a contract, look through it to see if there is anything regarding the termination of the work. If they exist, follow them to the letter, as doing otherwise would result in a breach of terms.
Negotiate a Termination
If there is no easy way out of the contract, you may wish to negotiate a termination. Bring the worker in, discuss why you are unhappy with how things are proceeding, and ask them how you can resolve the issue. You may even find there is enough on the table to continue the relationship in a different way. An independent contractor, however, will usually not want to continue working on a project that is going unappreciated. Depending on how early in the process you take this meeting, you may be able to buy out of the contract for a fraction of the total price.
Seek Legal Advice
It's easy for these situations to quickly spiral out of control, especially if you're dealing with large sums of money or a professional independent contractor who has been in business for a long time. They will know every legal right they have to defend themselves, as they will need every tool they can get to defend themselves against larger companies that like to take advantage of the law. Talk to a lawyer about the situation and make sure you stay within the confines of the law moving forward. This can help you avoid the chances of a bad situation becoming something much worse.
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