View Full Version : 2 take or not
11-29-2009, 03:21 PM
If I offer to instruct people in a skill set, can I get into trouble for declining/refusing to teach a person some skills, for example, how to work a microphone, due to the fact that I don't agree with their message. What can I do to decline the work and not wind up in discrimination litigation? Do I legally have to take all potential clients?
I can visualize many scenarios and I'm wondering what protections and maneuvering room I have in this situation should it arise.
11-29-2009, 04:53 PM
Tom. Of course you do not have to take on all potential clients! You can choose to work with whoever you wish or decline to work with whoever you wish. Now, the only question I have that is not clear from your question is the word "offer." You WILL have to work with people that accept a legal offer you have made that forms a contract, so I would need to know more specifics about your "offer" to say if you are obliged in this situation to teach them certain skills.
In general, when turning down clients, however, I would make sure to give no reason as to why, or a generic one like, you don't have enough time or it is not worth enough pay, and NOT EVER say you are refusing to teach someone due to their race, religion, sex or sexual orientation. Technically, even those reasons are fine not to work with someone in a private setting, but in my experience those are the things under the law that MAY get you in trouble.
Good luck to you.
11-30-2009, 07:27 PM
Thanx for the reply Rob. I'm getting ready to actually, finally, at long last, produce my vid-pod. In the future, I may want to offer personal coaching/training, and I may propose this in the vid-pod with further info on the vid-pod blog. I use the word "offer" only because I don't have the product formalized yet and so I don't know the particulars.
So if I offer Training @ $100/session, I can't use money as a reason to decline. If the potential client is time flexible, I can't use my schedule as a reason. And of course I would never refuse based on the obvious "go to Jail cards." I bring it up now only to prepare myself in case it were to arise. Thanx again Rob and I promise to send you an internet destination to check out the initial podcasts. I will go public after I have 3 in the can as I've been advised that's the minimum to offer itunes for listing in their directory.
12-01-2009, 10:43 AM
Tom, if you're going to be doing a video podcast, have you considered showing examples of working with people, without actually coming out and offering the service? Once you become known for the expertise, and prospective students evaluate your teaching style from the video, some portion of them are going to call whether you ask for the order or not.
If publicly advertising it as a service opens you to issues you'd rather not have, that might be something to try.
12-01-2009, 11:43 AM
Hi Tom. I would be careful as to how you term your "offer" so that it is not a binding one. If you say something like "I am offering training to anyone who accepts for $100 per hour", then if someone calls and accepts, you will probably be contractually bound. I will be glad to take a look at what you come up with to make sure you are not obligating your services. You should certainly say something like: "I reserve the right to decline training of any student for any reason" then you will probably be OK. Again, I would like to see more specifics, however, so definitely shoot me a link when you're done. Or like Paul suggests, you should avoid giving any details as to price or what that includes, etc, during your podcast as that would be your safest way to ensure you teach the people you want to work with.
12-01-2009, 11:44 AM
There are hundreds of ways of structuring your business, so that you can legally deny access to someone. That given, I'm assuming you live in the great United States, where anyone is free to sue for just about any reason and can usually use the "cost of mounting a defense" as an excuse to extract some form of settlement or otherwise bust your balls.
I would strongly suggest contacting SCORE (Senior Core of Retired Executives) They have a site and you can post questions to experts there on subjects that may include developing a marketing or business plan, various types of insurances, such as E & O insurance, business structure, taxes and so forth. Make sure that you appropriately account for costs of preofessional services when putting together your spreadsheet.
12-02-2009, 12:13 PM
Thanx to Rob, Paul, and JS for the comments and advice. It's all good and gives me some direction to design a strategy that precludes the matter from arising in the first place.
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