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Client wants me to sign this outside contract. Bad idea?

Community Guru
Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
21 of 33

@Prashant P wrote:

Why are people responding to old posts?  How are they even able to find them?


(Shrug) Because it was on the first page?

 

How did the person who bumped it find it - maybe she was following the usual recommendation to search posts before dupe posting and she didn't happen to check the date? I don't know... 

Active Member
Laura C Member Since: Jul 12, 2018
22 of 33

Prashant P, 

 

So tell me, my dear friend. Why did you respond to this old post? And what value does your response add?

 

Warmly,

 

Laura C.

Active Member
Laura C Member Since: Jul 12, 2018
23 of 33

I know this post is old, but this might help someone if they come across this type of situation. 

 

Upwork's TOS does an excellent job of protecting the client's interests, including a built-in NDA. That is something for both clients and freelancers to keep in mind. Likewise, Upwork's TOS does an excellent job of protecting the freelancer's interests. That is another thing to keep in mind. 

 

I have adopted the following policy when it comes to Upwork clients' requests of signing a contract outside of Upwork: If a client requests that I sign a contract outside of Upwork, I request to know what the client's concern is with Upwork's TOS. If their concern is valid (which none have been so far), I will consider it. Otherwise, I push back and state that from what I can tell, Upwork protects their interest and mine fairly. Therefore, I will gladly work for them but only if they agree to be bound by Upwork's TOS and built-in contracts. If they have concerns, I will point out to them where Upworks's TOS addresses their concerns by sending them a link to the appropriate online documentation. So far, I have had no issues with any clients regarding that policy of mine. 

 

Warmly,

 

Laura

Active Member
Hunter K Member Since: Jul 1, 2019
24 of 33

Thank you for your response. I think it is really helpful!

Active Member
Laura C Member Since: Jul 12, 2018
25 of 33

You are most welcome. Thank you for the compliment. :~)

Active Member
Neringa D Member Since: Apr 30, 2019
26 of 33

I've just received a 7-page contract from the client before I start a 10hr job including "The Contractor shall have personal liability for any loss". Am I being paranoid, or shall I say a firm NO to this client?

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
27 of 33

Neringa D wrote:

 Am I being paranoid, or shall I say a firm NO to this client?


Just walk away. Going through and fixing a 7 page document and argueing with a paranoid client over it for a 10 h client is not worth it.

 

Active Member
Laura C Member Since: Jul 12, 2018
28 of 33
I would not walk away... I would run away. You are not being paranoid.
Upwork's terms protects clients' interests just fine. If the client insists
on an outside contract, I would be very suspicious and wary of that client.
Active Member
Neringa D Member Since: Apr 30, 2019
29 of 33

One potential client asked me to sign an NDA before I start a few hours job. He sent me a few page mumbo-jumbo contract (copy-paste from the internet), including non-competition without a defined term, full liability clause, the right to use my name for their benefit, etc. The bit that sounds the most disturbing to me is as follow:

 

The Contractor shall have personal liability for any loss, liability or costs (including reasonable legal

costs) incurred by the Organisation in connection with the provision of the Services and shall accordingly

maintain in force during the Engagement relevant insurance in respect of the provision of the Services.

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
30 of 33

Honestly?

 

Who knows?

 

This is lame copy-and-paste legal boilerplate garbage which could end up meaning nothing or it could mean your complete destruction.

 

Clients should not be sending garbage like that to freelancers.

 

The client may very well have no idea what he is sending you. Or maybe he knows exactly what it is.

 

One option you have is to revise the document and sign only the revised version without the objectionable clauses.

 

Another option is to provide your own NDA, which you sign and provide to them.

 

Either way, they might choose to not hire you.

 

Signing their version is an option as well. Doing so is a gamble. Every freelancing contract is a gamble, of course. But signing a document that says in essence “we reserve the right to destroy you if we feel like it” is more of a gamble than not signing such a document.

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