Use a contract when working as a temp

i know to use a contract when doing freelance fix fee, off-site.

but what about when you go to work freelance on-site at a design firm or do temp agency per hour work and you see them everyday? Should you still try to use the elaborate contract (termination, invoicing, limits of liability, kill fee, etc) ?

I ask because i worked for a design consulting firm doing hourly rate work on site, it was cool, they just had me sign an NDA and cut me a check each week, neither of us put those terms formally, they were like there’s no need for me to submit my contract, i did not push it because i wanted to work there and trusted them and it all worked out ok. Is that like cool designers code, no contracts necessary when you work for other designer?

It may be different if working for say an ad agency or other non-design type firm like a small manufacturing co. on site where there is no “designer code”? what do you think, be safe right, kindly insist right?

romm, you weren’t working “freelance”, you were working as a temporary employee. In most states (in the US) if the person to whom service is rendered (the employer or principal) has control or the right to control the worker both as to the work done and the manner and means in which it is performed, then you are an employee, not an independent contractor.

Reference: California Independent Contractor vs. Employee

They’re getting a good deal because they are not incurring the cost of formally employing you (paying payroll taxes, minimum wage or overtime, complying with other wage and hour requirements such as providing meal periods and rest breaks, etc. Additionally, “employers” do not have to cover independent contractors under Workers’ Compensation Insurance)

I won’t ask what the hourly rate was that they were paying you, but it had better be significantly more than $10.

Designer’s Code… you’re dreaming, there ain’t no such animal.