Does anyone actually use day laborers from Home Depot parking lots?

19 Replies

oddly enuf, i never seen them at Lowes, but at local Home Depots they have a whole area in each parking lot set up for them, with porta potties, chairs, tables, refreshments at all.

so who uses them? i'd be to scared too because of the liability if/when they become injured working on an investor's property! 

a couple times i've seen people handing out legal biz cards to them. 

this one time i saw a laborer selling oranges car-to-car in the HD parking lot, so when i had to come back for something half hour later, i brought a big bag of oranges i just picked from my trees and gave it to him. we started talking and the guy handing out cards was there again so i asked him and he showed me the card and said it was PRO BONO and contingency lawyers reps trying to find people who ever been injured while working and that they sue owners for big $$$ whenever they find a client who got hurt and willing to sue  that scared me even more!  not that injured laborers are not entitled to compensation for their injuries, as they likely are, but, that's just not a liability i'd ever take. ditto for handymen, renters, etc anyone i invite onto my property, they must have their own insurance!

Contractors generally go to HD more than Lowes, so that's why they congregate there (if you were wondering).

We've never hired them directly ourselves, but we've had contractors do work on our properties before and we don't ask where they get their workers from.  We just verify that the contractor has all the licensing/insurance/etc. that he should, and then we're off the hook if one of his laborers gets hurt at our place.

yep thanks if its the contractor hiring them, its the contractor's liability and u have a contract to proof it.

that's a good idea to verify the contractor's insurance, do u actually ask the contractor for their insurance policy and then call and verify its active? for me, i have only so far verified the contractor is indeed a license contractor and that the contract they sign states they have their own insurance for all the work they will be doing on my property.

for me, when/if i'm a contractor (application pending qualifier), wouldnt  because of the observations already made- over liability

guilty as charged....

we had to get the interior of our Florida home primed & painted & most of those I called for quotes were too busy, or would be out in a few days & we were only there for the week.

My BIL was visiting from Phoenix, so at 5am we headed for HD & in fluent Spanish he had 3 guys finish the home in 2 days for $600. My BIL & one of the older guys made & served amazing tacos for lunch.

His current home(s) in AZ & Mexico have all been rehabbed by 'day laborers' & the work was exceptional.

Having a contract that requires the contractor to have insurance does NOTHING for you.  If he can't afford the insurance, you think he can pay $20-100k out of pocket to indemnify you?  Get certificate AND call the issuing agency...think photoshop/cut and paste.

Thanks all, if i ever use a contractor again and every time i SUBcontract (when am a contractor)  will ALWAYS get their insurance certificate and/or policy # and call to verify active coverage.

now i'm paranoid what if if my contracto or subcontractor's insurance lapses over the months while the contractor is performing work - how often is enuf to check that the contractor or subcontractor's insurance hasn't lapsed during the timeline of their work? 

I've used day laborers, and it was all-good.  Pick up and take them to the property.  They typically have skills above and beyond others, and put in a good day's work.  You negotiate the hourly rate upfront and pay them in cash at the end of the day.  I notice you're in California, and I'm in Georgia.  I'm in a much less litigious area than you are so I am unable to help you there.  Never been sued by workers or contractors (since 1994) 

hehe Scott lucky u and ur so far southern comfort then! make that southeastern comfort.

despite this LA area also being the 'south' its definitely the highest litigious area in the states down here in my experience so far and reminds me alot of fast-paced NYC dog-eat-dog way of 'business is business' - risks and all!

Would this be a good use of my umbrella policy, or would I need a separate worker's comp type policy?

interesting. i can totally picture the extra homeowners insurance (umbrella policy) refuting a claim for such technicalities as if the homeowner employed the day laborer(s) but did not withhold and report tax of wages and/or issue a 1099.. thus making it illegal employment they wont cover, etc... potential can of worms, no?

Originally posted by Account Closed:

yep thanks if its the contractor hiring them, its the contractor's liability and u have a contract to proof it.

Not really. Any contractor who hires illegals, you really think it's a huge stretch for them to take another step along the illegal path they are already on?

I am not admitting to hiring any "day laborers".  I love them, they do great work.  I have a fondness in my heart for them because my western european ancestors, when they stepped foot on this soil, were illegals by today's standards.  However, this is the interwebz and is easily monitored by our awesome federal agents.  So no, I am not saying I've every hired any "day laborers".

Originally posted by @Mike F. :
Originally posted by @Neil G.:

yep thanks if its the contractor hiring them, its the contractor's liability and u have a contract to proof it.

Not really. Any contractor who hires illegals, you really think it's a huge stretch for them to take another step along the illegal path they are already on?

 I see, good point. It would then stand in that train of discretion, that homeowner is expected to actually request proof of legal employment from every employee/subcontractor working under the contracted contractor that steps foot on the project/property?

Originally posted by Account Closed:
 in that train of discretion, that homeowner is expected to actually request proof of legal employment from every employee/subcontractor working under the contracted contractor that steps foot on the project/property?

Start by not hiring shady people. Shady people continue to do shady things. People with few material possessions have nothing to lose and you have little recourse. I don't think somebody with 20 creditors after him and his $14 truck, his $22 worth of tools and his two illegal workers, fears you becoming creditor number 21.

Wouldnt checking the Contractors license, a recent worksite completed, and insurance suffice, though? 

(I would be skeptical of him/her bringing outsiders to see work once completed though, I mean, what if his prospective next client visiting to check out his work, suddenly slips and falls down the stairs or something?)

Originally posted by Account Closed:

Wouldnt checking the Contractors license, a recent worksite completed, and insurance suffice, though? 

(I would be skeptical of him/her bringing outsiders to see work once completed though, I mean, what if his prospective next client visiting to check out his work, suddenly slips and falls down the stairs or something?)

I would require a waiver from all my subcontractor naming me also, checking active license and GL doesn't mean that you are covered, it means THEY are covered. If they started and didn't finish, you could be entitled to a bond claim up to $12,500, but thats it, unless they post a payment/performance bond for the whole project, which is more likely not to happen. Remember if you're a contractor, you need their w4 and I9, then you have to verify them before they start working, therefore 99% of the time, if somebody is hiring day labor, itis most likely illegal, you just dont have the time to do government requirements.

Not an insurance pro or legal advice but only a government contractor.

Slightly off topic, but my day job as high school teacher and wrestling coach in inner city philadelphia puts me in contact with plenty of kids that are willing to work for $50 /day. Unfortunately you get what you pay for, so I try to only use them for demo.

^ heh i hear child labor law alarms going off if they are in fact 'kids' =D

anyways, so i gather from Monolo D. that in SUBcontracting a contractor, one should request their w4 and i9, but not necessarily that of EVERY individual the contractor/subcontractor brings to work on the site?

does anyone here actually go a further step and require w4 or i9 of every individual the contractor/subcontractor brings in to work on the job site? at least one of the replies in this thread seemed to suggest that is actually in order, though i dont see why that's necessary as it can easily be argued that all workers that contractors/subcontractors bring onto the site are that sub/contractor's liability lest even the principal (ie, homeowner) be literally standing at the door 24/7 requiring w4s and i9s of ever person who enters the property to work while its the sub/contractors job under contract.

oh and again, i was wondering what is the most litigiously cautious yet practical way to permit sub/contractors to bring and show their prospective next client(s) the work once completed, i mean what if such next client of the contractor suddenly slips and falls down the stairs or something after the contracted work is done? would that liability be reason enough to just simply refuse the contractor bringing anyone except his employees, subcontractors and licensed/municipal inspectors on the jobsite?

All the time. The secret is asking the right questions to weed out the incompetent ones.

Originally posted by Account Closed:

^ heh i hear child labor law alarms going off if they are in fact 'kids' =D

anyways, so i gather from Monolo D. that in SUBcontracting a contractor, one should request their w4 and i9, but not necessarily that of EVERY individual the contractor/subcontractor brings to work on the site?

does anyone here actually go a further step and require w4 or i9 of every individual the contractor/subcontractor brings in to work on the job site? at least one of the replies in this thread seemed to suggest that is actually in order, though i dont see why that's necessary as it can easily be argued that all workers that contractors/subcontractors bring onto the site are that sub/contractor's liability lest even the principal (ie, homeowner) be literally standing at the door 24/7 requiring w4s and i9s of ever person who enters the property to work while its the sub/contractors job under contract.

oh and again, i was wondering what is the most litigiously cautious yet practical way to permit sub/contractors to bring and show their prospective next client(s) the work once completed, i mean what if such next client of the contractor suddenly slips and falls down the stairs or something after the contracted work is done? would that liability be reason enough to just simply refuse the contractor bringing anyone except his employees, subcontractors and licensed/municipal inspectors on the jobsite?

This is the issue of hiring a prime and them having hiring subs after the contract, some might know this but most contractors and homeowners would not. In CA, and in my practice, subs cannot go inside my project site without registering their suppliers or another sub-tier, lets go back a bit, you as a homeowner, should NOT allow subs if there is no documentation that your prime is working with the sub, and you should issue the checks on the name of the SUB and PRIME. if you don't want this route, just register the subs and have the prime issue you a conditional waiver then after you pay him, give a penalty clause of $50/day if after 7 days he wont issue a unconditional waiver, have him sign something for every received check the minute you hand it to him. With regards to w4 and I9, if your prime hires a sub, its the prime contractor's cargo, just check their license. It is best that you have a system where the contractor signs a daily logbook, that will help a lot of compliance requirements or litigations, particularly with payments too.

If they bring somebody and accidents happen, its their cargo (hence, if you are the GC, you are the boss, same goes for sub), be sure to put your caution tapes, or its going to be a grey area. Thats why clean-up and lock-up is a common practice of mine.

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