Re: Proofreader Job Requirements -- Protect agency/client from violations

Subject: Re: Proofreader Job Requirements -- Protect agency/client from violations
From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2012 13:46:05 -0800

On 12/10/2012 1:10 PM, Robin Davidson wrote:

I'm reading a job description for a Proofreader and one of the requirements reads, "Ensure that the agency and client are protected from any violations when it comes to improper or incorrect verbiage and/or visuals in creative."

Stay away. They are delegating legal responsibility are they also delegating legal liability? This passage that delegates liability is so vague it can mean anything, like if you have a misplaced comma that costs the company or government $1M (http://www.snopes.com/legal/comma.asp) or $2M (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6383383), then you will have to pay. If you are incorporated, then you have your own insurance for errors and omissions, a solo agent may not have that insurance and could be on the hook for costs.

A discussion of insurance.
http://freelanceswitch.com/freelancing-essentials/errors-and-omissions-insurance-do-freelancers-need-it/

If, for whatever reason, you find yourself accepting a position like this, then be sure to include a disclaimer of liability in the employment contract that you sign if your proofreading fails to catch "violations" or "improper or incorrect verbiage and/or visuals in creative." I would make sure that the passage delegating this liability is stricken from the agreement before signing.

Proofreaders should make reasonable "best efforts" to assure whatever compliance is necessary and they should not be negligent in their work. Proofreaders cannot be legally bound to ensure that the company is "protected," since they do not have the legal capacity to provide that protection. Failing to ensure protection could lead to the proofreader having to insure the company if it is not protected. I would never enter into an agreement with this requirement.


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