“Becoming a Consultant? – Here are 21 Smart Points to Raise”

Published on May 19th, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

“The second mouse gets the cheese.”

– Terry Pratchett

ACTUAL “CASE HISTORY: These days, as employers are seeking to limit employee-related expenses, yet retain the services of valuable individuals, they are increasingly turning to the hiring of individuals not as employees, but as independent consultants.

The reduction in employee headcount provides employers with lower overall expense, especially as to benefits and legally-required payments, such as mandated contributions to healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, Social Security, unemployment benefits, and workers’ compensation plans. In addition, most of the many other laws that protect employees from discrimination, retaliation, harassment and non-payment of wages, are not applicable to independent consultants.

For this reason, we are seeing more and more people “selling their services” as consultants rather than as employees. The most common scenario is for a company to provide to a consultant its “standard form” of consultant agreement for signature. And just as commonly, important points in those “standard forms” are slanted heavily in favor of the interests of the company, and not the consultant.

But, “forewarned is forearmed.” You have every right, and an obligation to yourself and your loved ones, too, to request changes in the language and terms of any agreement. Here are the most important points to raise if it is a Consulting Services Agreement.

LESSON TO LEARN: Most employees do not have written contracts, for many different reasons, chief among them that employers commonly view written agreements as commitment they don’t want to make, and may be difficult to get out of. (That said, senior executives do commonly have written employment agreements that do protect them.)

On the other hand, most consultants do have written contracts, provided by the company, that lean heavily toward the protection of the rights and interests of the company. As a consultant, you look to your own resources – and not legal protections – to protect you and what should be yours. If you do not, you have only yourself to blame.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: In any Consulting Services Agreement submitted to you for your review and signature, look to see if these “21 Smart Points” are already provided and are clear, and in your interests. If not, consider asking that they be inserted to clarify and modify the consulting services agreement, either (a) incorporated into the main agreement given to you, or (b) set forth on a “Rider,” “Addendum” or “Amendment” in each instance to be signed by both sides when the main agreement is also signed.
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Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on May 18th, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

Featured Coffee Cup

“A loving person recognizes needs.”

– Leo Buscaglia

. . . and all successful employees and businesspeople do, too. That’s because successful people all understand that, in the marketplace of goods and services – including the employment marketplace – needs are opportunities, just waiting for someone to notice them and to figure out a new way or a better way to address them. So, go forth, and love thy boss and customer!

© 2015 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

[If you would like to contribute a favored quote, saying or proverb, please submit it to us at info@SkloverWorkingWisdom.com].

Al’s Perspective

Published on May 14th, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

“Is Better Treatment of Employees Good for Business Relations?”

Just this week Facebook Inc. notified all of its vendors that it would require them to treat the vendors’ employees better in matters of wages and benefits.

Minimum wages must be at least $15 per hour. In addition, Facebook is now requiring its vendors to give most of their employees at least 15 days off each year for holidays, sick leave and vacation. If vendors’ employees become parents, Facebook insists that they receive either paid parental leave or $4,000.

Sure, Facebook has the financial ability to absorb the additional expense these improvements will likely incur. But at least they make a strong statement, through their actions: we all benefit from fair, decent and respectful treatment of employees.

It seems that every day another employer reduces headcount, eliminates time off, and trims or eliminates benefits. The seemingly never-ending attempts to save every penny in employment–related costs is one that will, sooner or later, come back to haunt employers in any number of ways. Now there is one more way it can hurt them.

Now, Mark Zuckerberg, will you and Facebook halt your own use of non-competition agreements to force your own employees to remain where they work, if they decide to move to a competitor? Or are we “too close to home” in this respect?

Only time will tell . . .

© 2015 Alan L. Sklover All Rights Reserved. Commercial Use Prohibited.

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on May 11th, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

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“All you need to grow fine, vigorous grass is a crack in your sidewalk.”

– Will Rogers

This quote has been on my mind each and every day this spring that I have prepared for and planted my garden and flowers. Will Rogers was so, so right: the healthiest grass does seem to grow in the sidewalk cracks. And, too, I have thought of how this quote also applies to work: sometimes it seems that “If it can go wrong, somehow, it will go wrong, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and in the wrong way, too.” It’s just sometimes what life seems all about: finding the weeds where you don’t want them, and seeing the green grass where it doesn’t belong. Oh, well . . . there must be a reason.

© 2015 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

[If you would like to contribute a favored quote, saying or proverb, please submit it to us at info@SkloverWorkingWisdom.com].

Mother’s Day

Published on May 10th, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

“God could not be everywhere and
therefore he invented mothers.”

– Jewish Saying

To every mother, grandmother, and great grand-mother out there, THANKS. Today is Your Day. It’s even named after you. In case anyone hasn’t said it to you yet, THANKS for all you do, all you’ve done, and for the zillions of things you will do tomorrow and the day after that, too . . .

© 2015 Alan L. Sklover All Rights Reserved. Commercial Use Prohibited.

Alan L. Sklover

Alan L. Sklover

Employment Attorney
and Career Strategist
for over 30 years

Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. Learn the trade secrets and 'uncommon common sense' of Attorney Alan L. Sklover, the leading authority on "Negotiating for Yourself at Work™".

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