5 Take-Aways from the Virtual Education Series Event – Contracts: Signed, Sealed, & Delivered

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USDF recently held a virtual education event called “Signed, Sealed, & Delivered” covering topics like preparing contracts for dressage competitions; key areas of facility contracts; contracts for show officials, staff, and independent contractors; and workers compensation. Featuring presenters Carlie Evans, Tom Struzzieri, and Elizabeth Clarke, this webinar was free to attend and open to all as part of the USDF Virtual Education Series. Here are 5 key takeaways from the event.

Featured presenters: Charlie Evans,Tom Stuzzieri, and Elizabeth Clarke
  1. Key areas of a facility contract to take note of and discuss with the facility owner/ manager.
    1. Can you have early or late arriving horses? What days and times can they come in and are there additional fees?
    2. What is included in renting the facility? Check to see if things like ring setup, restrooms, trash or manure removal, watering, and dragging are included, or available for an additional fee.
    3. Does the facility provide food or allow outside food vendors to set up?
  2. Public versus privately-owned facilities
    1. Public facilities are usually overseen by a board and costs may be less negotiable.
    2. Private facilities may offer a 3–5-year contract to keep costs consistent.
  3. A good contract should prevent disputes. Don’t worry about the length of a contract, so much as clarity. Be sure to have a thorough contract so there isn’t room for assumptions.
  4. An enforceable contract must include who is doing what, for how much money, by/until when, and be signed by both parties. Be sure to use legal names. Anything in writing is better than nothing!
  5. Workers Compensation insurance
    1. In most states it is required for employees. Health insurance often excludes injuries at work.
    2. Some policies cover independent contractors, some don’t. Some policies include payments to contractors in workers compensation premiums.
    3. Be careful of interns and unpaid staff. Interns may be covered, but it is always best to talk to your insurer to be sure who (such as any interns or unpaid staff) is covered. Volunteers are not employees and are not “at work”.

Want to learn more from this webinar?  USDF members can watch it on demand here.

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