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I have been doing part-time/casual time work from home under a 1099 contract for a company that a friend works at. This is a side job for me and I have been noticing that life responsibilities are making it harder and harder for me to juggle this along with my day job. I haven't made a decision yet but am considering resigning.

It is universally accepted as an unwritten rule for employees in the United States to give at least a two-week resignation before quitting. I do not have much experience working as a contractor, so I was wondering is there such a universally accepted standard for part-time 1099 contractors?

The contract I signed clearly states that either party can willfully walk away from each others responsibilities to the other party at any time for any reason so I am fully aware that I have the right to do this, however is it frowned upon as an unwritten rule? Is it possible that I could be burning bridges if I walk away tomorrow?

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    What is a 1099 contract? I presume this is a reasonably good summary (since it is top link in a google search). – Mark Booth May 15 '12 at 14:42
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So you know you could walk away from the contract tomorrow, without needing to give any explanation, and not need to worry about suffering any contractual penalty. So you don't have to give two week's notice. I'd say you should talk to the manager/boss/whoever on the other side, tell them you would like to leave but also let them know that you will be willing to continue for n days (up to some reasonable number) until the current unit of work is done. It might depend on the nature of the work but I would generally think that walking away without any notice could burn bridges.

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  • Well there is no "unit of work" so much as an endless abyss of work in a FUBAR project and the constant relentless pleading for me to work more and more hours, but I get what your saying </rant> – maple_shaft May 14 '12 at 17:34
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    @maple_shaft: Hehe OK. Either way, I still think that defining the quantity of work you will finish (even if it's small) and making it very clear that it will be the end before walking away is better than just walking away. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner May 14 '12 at 17:51
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Normally the contract termination agreement would be stated in the contract. For example mine states that I have to give 2 weeks prior to the contract termination and the same is true about the company I currently work for.

If this clause is not specified in the contract or Statement Of Work you might want to consult a lawyer about the default requirements for such types of contract terminations but generally if there is no stipulation you can just say "Buh Bye!" at any moment and walk away.

As far as "burning bridges". If you do just walk away you will be burning bridges with the company that you contracted with and possibly hurt the head hunter if you have gone through that. The other thing one has to consider is that depending on what area and industry you are in the word about your "walking off the job" could spread.

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  • I did not go through a headhunter. I more or less serve to make an existing contractor more productive by helping him with his work during off hours. The actual client knows almost nothing about me, just that I exist. – maple_shaft May 14 '12 at 19:44
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    So basically your contract is with the existing contractor for the client. Then client basically has no expectation of you. I would evaluate your relationship with the contractor who's asked you for help. Judging by you working during off hours this must be personal. – Karlson May 14 '12 at 19:51

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