> I find that the client is masquerading as a business in a foreign country asking for work from people located only in the US.
You are saying they're pretending not to be US-based? What do they gain from that?
> And of course, upwork does not advise taking work outside of the platform. Which I don't unless I have an already developed working relationship with the client or I know them personally.
More than advise, it's actually prohibited to take a client off-platform unless you have been working with them for over 2 years or pay the opt-out fee. Announcing you do so in public may not have been a wise move.
Actually legally Upwork is not allowed to restrict the ability of freelancer to work ofline with the people that they connect with on Upwork as that is a restraint of trade. Restictive covenants that disallow individuals from working with clients offline almost always void contracts regardless of whether the clause was agreed to or not. Essentailly "Canadian courts generally consider non-competition covenants in employment contracts to be “in restraint of trade” and therefore unenforceable. Canadian courts, like many US state courts, will not enforce agreements that prevent competition by a former key employee, unless an employer can establish that the covenant is reasonable, that is, it:
„ Goes no further than is necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests because it is reasonable in:
„ geographic scope; and
„ all other aspects (such as scope of activity covered).
„ Does not unduly restrain the key employee from making use of their skills and talent.
„ Is not contrary to the public interest."
(This article was first published in the Labour and Employee Benefits 2011/12 Volume 1 multi-jurisdictional guide)
2 years is generally seen as too long. Therefore unenforceable.
If you are able to send me the user's Fiverr link through a private message, I can go ahead and look into this further.
Let me know and I'll wait for your message!