In addition to meeting the requirements of the Texas Health Spa Act, fitness center owners in the Lone Star State need to make sure they’re using the right Texas personal trainer contract.
It may appear simple to treat all of your trainers as independent contractors. However, that’s not the case.
Because if you disguise an employee as an independent contractor in your Texas personal trainer contract, you’re assuming costly legal risks that could bankrupt your fitness business.
The Label You Use Isn’t Enough To Protect You
You’ve probably heard the expression, “If it looks, walks, and acts like a duck, it’s probably a duck.” That’s true even if you call the duck a “flamingo.”
The same is true for a Texas gym personal trainer. If you’re treating a trainer as an employee, calling him or her a “contractor” won’t change that fact.
How Much Control Do You Have In The Texas Personal Trainer Contract?
The key issue is control.
For example, if you’re telling your fitness workers they must train your gym members at certain hours, attend staff meetings, take set lunch times, 15-minute work breaks, and two weeks of annual vacation, chances are you’ve got an employee instead of an independent contractor.
Related Article: 3 Texas Gym Membership Agreements Every Owner Needs
Micromanaging the work done, providing the equipment to do it, and referring to “hiring” and “firing” personal trainers are also factors that can be considered when determining whether you’ve got an employee who is improperly classified as a contractor.
What If You’ve Misclassified Your Personal Trainers?
So, what can happen if your Texas personal trainer contract misclassifies a worker as an independent contractor instead of an employee?
You can be liable for many things, including…
- Back taxes and penalties
- Contributions to Social Security and Medicare
- Unemployment compensation
- Workers’ compensation
- Death or injury caused by the worker in the scope of employment
And you’ll likely find your business being audited by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
What’s The Solution?
Have an experienced Texas business contracts lawyer review what your fitness trainers do for your gym. Based on the facts, the right Texas personal trainer contract can be prepared for each of your workers….either an employment agreement or an independent contractor agreement can be prepared to protect you and your gym.