Plan ahead before hiring day laborers



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Posted on July 15, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 15 at 5:47 PM

Hiring a contractor to fix your home isn’t cheap.  That’s why so many people opt to do the job themselves.

Shari Purves-Reiter with the Department of Labor and Industries says day workers are a popular option for small jobs.  They cost less and are easy to find, often posting ads on Craigslist or standing outsides big box stores.  But there are risks when you make these hires.

“You’re taking on full responsibility as the home owner. If something happens it’s all on you,” explained Purves-Reiter.

Injuries aren’t the only concern.  Wages are another big issue.

“If they don’t get paid their minimum wage, they can file a wage complaint against you,” said Purves-Reiter.  “If it’s over a certain amount of money, they can you know go after taxes and other things.

And don’t think this is a case for your homeowners insurance.

“Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover having a worker on your property. It’s very rare,” said Purves-Reiter.

You can avoid all this by planning ahead and buying workers comp insurance.  It’s available through Labor and Industries and doesn’t cost much.

“You only pay for the hours they work, but it is a way you can manage your risk and cover yourself,” said Purves-Reiter.

Finally, make sure you’re not in over your head with the work you’re doing.  Leave things like roofing, electrical and plumbing to the professionals.  Otherwise, you could be in for much bigger costs down the road.