Independent Contractor Agreement for Fitness Instructor
Legally, it is easier to move an instructor from contractor to employee status than to transition the other way around. Contact your accountant and perhaps your employment lawyer to make sure your workforce plan makes sense for your business. While the coach uses the gym and pays the gym a fee for each client, the coach is free to act like his own boss. Gyms and coaches can use an agreement to make it clear that the coach does not benefit from the gym. The agreement may also stipulate that the trainer must maintain professional liability insurance for his work. If you and your lawyer are convinced that you are an entrepreneur, it`s time to look at other issues that arise in connection with working as an entrepreneur in a gym. Having staff also gives you more flexibility to ensure that all your classes are covered and that you have substitute teachers available if another teacher is on vacation or sick. Unless expressly stated in the contract, independent contractors have the right to refuse collective assignments. You can – and should – ask your independent contractor instructors to sign a secret. This contract prohibits the instructor from following your studio`s clients to purchase services directly. It also prohibits independent contractors from encouraging other employees to work elsewhere. It is also forbidden for the teacher to disclose or use the information learned during his stay in your studio.
The IHRSA Health Club Employee Compensation and Benefits Report found that the majority of clubs pay their group fitness coaches overall as employees rather than as independent contractors. But how do you know what kind of classification applies to your business? Keep in mind that a gym that employs you as an independent contractor must take reasonable precautions to ensure that you are both fit (in the legal sense) and able to perform the particular type of work you are hired for. Also note that a gym that employs independent contractors cannot delegate responsibility for reasonable precautions against negligence or injury to those contractors. In practice, this means that you may need to follow certain protocols or procedures as part of their contract, provide proof of insurance to gym owners, including general liability insurance and auto insurance, your tax number (EIN or SSN), and even a business card to prove that you are running a separate standalone business from the gym. The exact characterization of the relationship may never be a problem until there is a conflict in the relationship between the gym and the coach. However, if there is disagreement or disagreement, every element of the coach`s work can be important in determining the coach`s relationship with the gym. In terms of legal classification, group exercise instructors could be staff if the club sets the times and locations for classes and provides an established routine with pre-selected music. An independent contractor agreement is only enforceable if the coach and gym comply with the terms of the agreement and treat the coach as a contractor when training clients at the gym. There`s a boost to flexibility that comes with business owners hiring instructors as independent contractors. It is a relationship in which courses are taught and instructors are paid without a tangle of taxes and benefits. But maybe as a business owner, you thrive by leading a team that has embraced a common goal. Or maybe you don`t feel comfortable with the freedom that an independent contract offers your employee and prefer to bring them completely in-house.
So, should you offer your instructors a permanent contract or job? An independent contractor agreement solidifies the nature of the coach`s relationship with the gym. It is important to read it carefully to ensure that the agreement covers all important issues. One of the most common topics of discussion in the fitness club industry is the discussion between the employee and the independent contractor. Many club owners try to reduce their exposure to employment costs and potential liability by using independent contractors instead of having employees. This is very common with personal trainers and group exercise instructors. There are pros and cons, regardless of the payment method used by the club owner to pay their employees. The gym and the coach should have gotten along clearly. The agreement must be in writing. Note that by signing an exclusive agreement, you may be relinquishing your status as an independent contractor.
As an independent contractor, you can work freely for other gyms and companies. For this reason, it is important to be wary of “non-compete clauses” in contractor contracts. In most cases, an independent contractor cannot be prevented from looking for work or training opportunities at another institution or company while working with the first company. An independent contractor also has the general right to refuse orders – so if there is a customer you don`t want to work with or a particular methodology you`re not comfortable with, you have the right to refuse (until you approve that right). On the other hand, an employee may be required not to train elsewhere or at a customer`s home, not to refuse orders, and to be required to use certain proprietary methods and programs through a non-compete clause in their contract. When paying instructors as independent contractors, keep in mind that the IRS is notoriously demanding. Employing independent contractors can raise red flags on the IRS, which may ask you to prove that your instructors pass these three qualifications: Your independent contractor agreement with the gym should address issues of insurance, compensation premiums for workers, and the impact of liability in the event that one of your clients is injured by a fitness device. Do not assume that you are protected by gym insurance or that they will be responsible for injuries sustained by themselves or any of your clients, even if such an injury occurs on their property. Ask a lawyer to review a subcontract or contractor`s contract before signing it to make sure it is not unfavourable to you as an independent contractor. Trainers and instructors in Group “X” are much more difficult to classify than independent contractors. If your members pay their training fees at the club, if you tell your coach how to dress, if you hold “meetings” with coaches, if you schedule their appointments, they are NOT independent contractors.
If you still decide that the independent contractor method is best for your club, be sure to get it in writing and make sure you get a certificate of insurance from these coaches mentioning your club as an additional insured. It`s always difficult when a beloved instructor leaves your club. However, there are steps that need to be taken to ensure a smooth transition for members and staff. One of the most common misconceptions club owners have is that if they have their “1099” coaches and/or instructors instead of having them on the payroll, they don`t have to pay workers` compensation. Most of the time, the status of “independent contractor” does not hold in the eyes of the states that govern workers` compensation laws. The fact that club owners make or monitor appointments, tell instructors when to work and how to dress represents an employee-employer relationship. Most club owners do not have written agreements with their independent contractors that clearly separate the affairs of the club from the coach. This agreement should also include a waiver or lockable language that separates liability issues between the club and the coach or coach. There are reasons why gyms and coaches prefer an independent contractor relationship to an employer-employee relationship. From a gym perspective, working with an independent contractor rather than an employee can protect the gym from legal liability in the event of an accident. If a trainer is an independent contractor, he controls the specifics of his work. Gym operators can`t tell the coach to let clients do certain exercises or stick to any type of workout plan.
The gym can`t set rules that all coaches should do things the same way. You`re probably responsible for charging the gym for payment – although this is usually stated in your contractor contract. Talk to a lawyer and accountant about the pros and cons of paying on behalf of your business unit, not on your own behalf. Some states specify a preference – Colorado, for example, legally prefers that independent contractors be paid on behalf of the business entity to overcome the assumption that you will become an employee rather than an independent contractor if you are paid in your own name. Learn about the distinct differences between hiring an independent contractor and hiring an employee so you can determine which employee best meets your club`s business needs. Keeping control can allow the trainer to build their brand and business instead of just taking a job. The entrepreneur agreement can also allow the trainer to take his clients and customer information with him if he decides to work with another gym. .https://www.actubis.com/independent-contractor-agreement-for-fitness-instructor/