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Author Topic: liability of hiring temp help  (Read 4491 times)

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Offline Ivan72

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liability of hiring temp help
« on: February 12, 2010, 10:34:50 AM »
I just purchased a 100+ acre farm that has a lot of cleanup, reforestation, etc. work - a lot of odd jobs.  I have a good acquaintance in my town who is unemployed.  He is a hard worker, and anxiously looking for odd jobs to do.  I want to help him out, and know that he would work responsibly.  However, I am concerned about the whole liability thing.  Can anyone comment on this issue?  What about liability, worker's comp, taxes?  Can I hire him as an independent contractor, and if so, require him to have his own liability and workers comp insurance? 

Offline stonebroke

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2010, 10:40:15 AM »
If you want to do it right you have to get workmans comp, then it is a good idea to check your insurance and see if it covers you for liability if not you have to buy some more insurance. Then there is tax withholding and social security . This is why most people do it under the table.

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Offline beenthere

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2010, 11:04:55 AM »
Ivan
Welcome to the forum.
I think if he is an independent contractor, he has to come with all his own tools. Not use any of yours.
My understanding, anyway.
Your tax accountant should be able to give you info, and maybe read up on your liability insurance coverage.

Such things could be what stymies small businesses from growing and helping our economy grow, and putting people to work ... IMO
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 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline Tom

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2010, 02:49:28 PM »
Liability is pretty much State dependent.  The laws differ from State to State. 

In Florida, you don't need workman's comp for yourself or 3 employees, but you are still liable for injury, etc.

I agree wholeheartedly with beenthere about the governments curtailment of small business.

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Offline Twig farmer

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 03:45:01 PM »
Hire him. He's your friend and neighbor, and you are in a position to help him while doing what you need done. What goes around comes around.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 10:31:12 PM »
In NC, if you have a Farm Bureau Farmowners Insurance policy, it includes workmans comp on up to 2 farm employees.
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Offline wolfram

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2010, 07:40:59 AM »
Beenthere, Tom, right on.  I know of several good businessmen in "exile."  Over-regulation kills incentive to take risk.

OP, if the person you hire gets hurt, you will likely get hurt.  And the decision to look to you for compensation will not be solely your good friend's to make.  It will be out of his hands and into the hands of hospitals, insurance companies and gov't. 

Furthermore, the decision to be an "independent contractor" is not up to you or him.  It is regulated based on the actual facts of the specific relationship.

Twig is right.  But it's not that easy anymore.

Offline Magicman

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2010, 11:04:50 AM »
First Ivan,  Welcome to The Forestry Forum.  My first stop would be the insurance agency.  I have Farm Bureau, and have to fill out a questionnaire each year stating how many workers I have.
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Offline ford62783

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2010, 03:43:13 PM »
here in ny to get workers comp is a hasle u have to put down 25000 to bond ur plan then pay 17 percent  of ur profit or ur employees profit up to 850 dollars a week and it will nt cover family subcontractors, unpaid volunteers, or ur self. it is for that reason that many loggers around here who work for sumone else are considered subs and have to use there wn tools and have their own liability and equiptment insurance. on the other hand though if the work is not large and dangerouse IE. fixing buildings and other related jobs u can hire him as a sub and he has to be responcible for his own insurance which personally i wouldnt be that worried about. but if u pay him under the table and he gets hurt on ur land ur homeowners insurance should cover him and anyone else on ur property
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Offline indiaxman1

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2010, 02:18:19 PM »
Aside from the liability/insurance handcuffs, litigation is what scared me off from just getting volunteers...used to coach hs wrestling...had boys out to move small logs several times...one sprained ankle....was told to knock off work training for them.....authorities/principal feared lawsuits....sad thing was these were city boys who really enjoyed busting it in the woods....lawyers and govt!

Offline PC-Urban-Sawyer

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2010, 05:59:04 PM »
Hire him. He's your friend and neighbor, and you are in a position to help him while doing what you need done. What goes around comes around.

Of course that goes hand in hand with the other old saying...

No good deed goes unpunished!  :D

Herb

Offline Twig farmer

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2010, 06:50:42 PM »
Hire him. He's your friend and neighbor, and you are in a position to help him while doing what you need done. What goes around comes around.

Of course that goes hand in hand with the other old saying...

No good deed goes unpunished!  :D

Herb


"Love thy neighbor as thyself"... ;D
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Offline bill m

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2010, 07:19:21 PM »
There is a large article in the Wall Street Journal today on how the IRS is cracking down on companies illegally using contract workers in place of employees.
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Offline aksawyer

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2010, 07:56:02 PM »
I have researched this subject very heavily.The problems lies in the fact that no matter what state you are in ,no matter what laws are supposed to be in place,the blood thursty lawyers will think of a way to sue if enough money is thrown their way.They run this country sorry to say.But there is hope,this is how I have done it successfully, even in court.Since the begining of this great country our Forefathers new progress would lead us this way.They had a great idea to protact the small guys through the share cropping of their efforts.As you log it off a share is his, a share is yours,with no govnt.regulation.aksawyer....fairbanks alaska.......no fed forest regs here thank god

Offline Mark K

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2010, 08:28:03 PM »
Ford62783-here in ny to get workers comp is a hasle u have to put down 25000 to bond ur plan then pay 17 percent  of ur profit or ur employees profit up to 850 dollars a week and it will nt cover family subcontractors, unpaid volunteers, or ur self. it is for that reason that many



It isn't really that bad. I went through an agency and have comp. through NYSIF. Costs $2k up front and around 1800 a year. It's called a blanket policy, u can not collect on it yourself. I have one employee under this policy. Most mills require it to do contract work.

I guess it depends on what you have him doing. If it is just painting or cleaning up I wouldn't worry about it. When it comes to running equipment, well thats a little different. Is he collecting unemployment?
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Offline stonebroke

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2010, 08:30:18 PM »
Now on the farm in NYS we pay a percentage not a flat rate,I didnot think the workmans comp board would let you do that.

Stonebroke

Offline Mark K

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2010, 08:39:20 PM »
I have comp. through our farm also and it is based on my pay and covers me not my uncle who claims me as a employee. My logging comp. policy is a blanket policy, doesn't cover me, I pay a flat rate because my employee makes less than $2500 a year. If I have an employee my rate goes down. I use my brother in law who works construction and helps me a little during the winter cutting on tough jobs. My wife could explain this better because I have no clue how it works.
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Offline bill m

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2010, 08:41:56 PM »
In this state ( Mass.) liability insurance is based on gross sales and workers comp is based on total payroll with a minimum payroll of about 28 thou.
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Offline Mark K

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2010, 08:54:20 PM »
See here I have liability which bonds me for 1 million dollars, workmens comp, and disability. It doesn't matter if I make $1 a year or $100k a year, it still costs me the same. Kinda funny how different states have different regs. I don't like paying $2800 a year for a comp. policy that I can't use. All it gives me is a piece of paper that allows me to do contract work. I ran without it for years, just had liability until things got slow last winter and I needed work. I don't need it now because I have enough work for the next year but was told if I drop it, I can't get it back for 2 years. Can you guys collect on your policys?   
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Offline gascher

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Re: liability of hiring temp help
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2010, 09:31:18 AM »
In Wisconsin, for non-farm operations, lots of people hire people to work for them as "independent contractors".  They require proof of general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance.  So most of the independent contractors purchase a "minimum premium policy" which excludes them.  Then, they can give the "employer" a certificate of insurance so he doesn't have to pay for workers compensation, but no one is actually covered.  We have had seen several incidents where an "independent contractor" was seriously injured or killed.  In some cases it was even family members that were killed or injured.  When the family of the injured or killed employee is faced with economic ruin, they will do anything to survive.  The "employers" are being sued for a variety of causes including unsafe work conditions, negligent supervision, etc. And, with sympathetic juries, they are winning hundreds of thousands of dollars. These are recent, real life scenarios. 

In Wisconsin, and I believe most states, there is a legal definition of independent contractor.  There are 9 points that the worker must comply with in order to considered and independent contractor.  These include working for more than one person, being faced with making a profit or a loss on the job, etc.   


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