Client Terms of Service Compliance Notice

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Why did I receive this notice?

You have received a notice that your Upwork account may be closed in 60 days because we have become aware of a possible violation of our Terms of Service (TOS). We enforce our TOS in order to provide a safe and trusted online workplace where freelancers and their clients can hire, invoice, pay and receive contracted work with confidence.

Specifically, the activity in your account suggests that work is being taken off the Upwork platform. We closely monitor our marketplace to ensure that work is not being solicited or paid for outside of the Upwork platform. The email you received serves to remind you of our TOS and to inform you of what you need to do in order to avoid account closure.

Suspicious activity patterns that might receive a warning:

  • A high number of job posts, with no hiring activity
  • A high number of hired freelancers, with no payment activity
  • A high number of job invites, with no hiring activity

Does this notice restrict my account or my company in any way?

No, this is simply a notice. We value your business and hope you will take this time to bring your hiring practices back into compliance with our TOS (see above for potential reasons your account may have been flagged). Your account will be checked in 60 days and may be closed at that time if we continue to see that you are not fulfilling your obligations to your freelancers, the Upwork community, or Upwork.

What should I do to prevent my account being closed?

To prevent your account from being closed, you must demonstrate that you are not in violation of our Terms of Service (TOS) within 60 days. If you want to use the services of freelancers you find on Upwork, you must hire them to contracts and pay them through the Upwork platform (or pay the opt-out fee, as outlined in the TOS). If you were flagged for having a high number of job posts open, you can resolve the issue by hiring through the platform. If you have already hired freelancers on Upwork, we’re asking that you pay your freelancers through Upwork.

In 60 days, your account activity will be reviewed again. If you don’t do anything in your Upwork account within that timeframe, your account will be closed without any additional notice.

What if I no longer need to hire for the jobs I posted?

You should close them in the marketplace as soon as you realize you no longer need them. We understand that in some cases you may no longer need to hire anyone, or that the occasional contract may end before it truly begins.

However, this email was only sent to accounts that had a consistent pattern of improper use of our platform. In addition to suggesting a violation of our Terms of Service, excessive job posting without the intent to hire is extremely damaging to the integrity of our marketplace because it leads to a very frustrating experience for freelancers.

What happens if I hire or pay for work outside of Upwork?

Although there is fine print, you may be in violation of our Terms of Service (TOS) if you find freelancers on Upwork, but hire or pay for their work outside of Upwork. In the event of this violation, your account will be closed, making you and the freelancers involved ineligible for the work and payment protections Upwork provides. In some cases, you may face a $2,500 or higher fee or further legal action to reclaim funds owed. Make sure all your hiring, collaborating, and payment activities are done through Upwork for a smooth and stress-free experience for both you and your freelancers.

In some rare cases, clients may choose to pay an opt-out fee to take their work with a freelancer off the platform, and not be in violation of our TOS. Please review Section 7 of the Upwork User Agreement for details about the opt-out fee and whether it might be a good fit for you.

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