Requesting & Amending ICAs & MOUs
In some instances the law may impose penalties where a contractor starts work without having a written contract. The written contract is for the PI’s protection as much as it is for the protection of the contractor, and in general it is unwise to allow any contractor to begin work without having a written contract in place. The contract makes clear to the contractor what the PI expects the contractor to do, what the PI expects to receive, when the PI needs to receive it, and how much the PI is prepared to pay the contractor. If the PI allows the contractor to start work without a contract in place, the PI is leaving open to dispute, after the work begins, all of those elements of the PI’s expectations.
Remember there can always be disputes, even with the most reputable contractor or with a contractor with whom the PI has had past favorable experience. There is no reason for the PI to expose the project to all of those risks, when submitting an ICA request is simple. Have the contract in place before work begins.
No. Independent contractors are in business for themselves, and are engaged to perform specific tasks for CUNY or RFCUNY. Each item on the question shows that the worker has an ongoing connection with CUNY or the campus and is not truly independent.
A worker who might otherwise have qualified as an independent contractor could be found to be an employee, even after work had begun (or concluded) if the worker is given a campus office, letterhead, or any of the other items listed in the question. Such a finding could subject the program and RFCUNY to penalties and assessments for taxes and other amounts that had not been withheld in the belief that the worker was an independent contractor.