WORKERS COMPENSATION

Discussion in 'Accounting and Legal Advice' started by TJamMoneyMan, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. TJamMoneyMan

    TJamMoneyMan Well-Known Member

    Hi, whoever can be of help with this issue.
    I don't know why I am supposed to carry WORKERS COMPENSATION on the job I am describing:
    This job involves driving window washers to and from their contracted jobs. My responsibility is to drive them and their window washing equipment, to and from their work, after tying down ladders to the roof rack of my 1990 Dodge Caravan.
    There are usually 2 or 3 window washers as passengers, and myself driving. There is also washing fluid, cleaning rags, and other window washing equipment inside the van.
    I DO NO WASHING OF WINDOWS, OR CLIMBING UP LADDERS!
    We work on site - at contracted homes and businesses. Then we leave, going to the next job or back to the home office for the end of the day. We eat at whatever establishments we run into on the road. There are little to no facilities at the office, only a place to store ladders and window washing gear. THERE IS NOT EVEN A BATHROOM WE CAN USE!!

    This business owner takes a percentage (about 7% I believe) directly from our percentage of the contracted income - that is he does NOT charge extra on the contract to cover the cost of worker's compensation.

    I don't know how legal this scheme of doing things is. I and the other worker's certainly don't think it is fair - we are underpaid already!
    As a driver, I wonder how fair, legal, or even necessary this worker's compensation setup is.
    I am also wondering, if worker's compensation is truly necessary, if I can't secure insurance on my own - maybe through my auto insurance or something.

    ANYONE with information/advice on this situation?

    I'd really appreciate it!
     
  2. pcincome

    pcincome New Member

    Alot may depend on your states individual requirements but I'll tell you how it works here in Florida.

    As an Electrical Contractor, should we hire an employee where we take taxes out of their paycheck, we are required also to have them covered by workmans comp.

    If we hire a sub contractor, if the sub contractor does not have their own coverage (or exempt status) then by law, it is our responsibility to provide workmans comp for them.

    As a business owner, we can have up to 3 officers of our corporation file for an exempt status for workmans comp but only 3. Each person would have to be listed as part owner of the business to qualify.

    If we were to do contract work for a local business, whether it's a bank, restaurant, office complex or what not, that business will require us to show our workmans comp status because THEY have hired US as a subcontractor therefore, they fall in the catagory mentioned above so yes.....

    If you are sub contracting work from someone else and/or, someone else is paying you a set fee for your work (you are to name the fee to be qualifed as a sub contractor) then they will either require you to show coverage (or exempt status) or they will deduct an amount from your fee because they will have to pay that when they get audited from their insurance company at the end of the year.

    Check out your local state government website or with your accountant and find out what you can about filing for exemption. Yes, there's a fee for that but if you qualify, it's much less than buying the insurance.

    Hope that helps
    Hakuna Matata
    Karen Umstattd
     
  3. TJamMoneyMan

    TJamMoneyMan Well-Known Member

    Quoting: pcincome
    Hope that helps
    Hakuna Matata
    Karen Umstattd

    Thanks Hakuna & Karen,

    That helps.
    At least I know what questions to ask!
     
  4. hank618

    hank618 New Member

    hi TJamMoneyMan,
    the WCB (workers comp. board) rules will vary only slightly from state to state, in my case from prov. to prov. But 1st I'll say that all rules & regulations of those boards- both for employee & employer(or contrctor/subcon.) are free and published information no matter where you live. If you have any further doubts about who has to pay what, you should look up the rules & reg.'s in your state.
    In my Prvoince,B.C. if someone(or company) hires you & they supply the materials for said work then they(a company, contractor, subcontractor or home owner) they have to pay WCB premiums.
    This can cuase problems getting work, when the home-owner has to pay for it. However, in any case there is a per job coverage-the premium is calculated from the estimated cost of the job.
    But I think that the most important thing you need to consider is that if you and your crew are injured in a car accident on the way to or from these jobs your auto insurance will probably not cover any of you, maybe not even you(the driver).
    I was injured at work over 3 yrs. ago and still cannot work. My employer(who was also my landlord) hadn't had WCB coverage for his "family owned & run co." had not paid premiums for close to 10 years. He was devasted when he found out that because he supplied the materials to do the job he was deemed the "employer" and was fined thousands of $$$ in back premiums. WCB paid my wage for 2 yrs and now I get a small pension.. but still can hardly walk to the store...My point is that you need to make sure that everyone is covered.
    maybe you and the company should look into extended health insurance or group, this may be cheaper.
    Good luck, Hank
     
  5. TJamMoneyMan

    TJamMoneyMan Well-Known Member

    Quoting: hank618But I think that the most important thing you need to consider is that if you and your crew are injured in a car accident on the way to or from these jobs your auto insurance will probably not cover any of you, maybe not even you(the driver).

    I was thinking about that.
    There is business auto insurance, I'll be looking into that.
    Still, I seriously doubt that Worker's Comp would cover the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in liability that an auto accident can generate!

    Thanx for your answers though.
    At least I have a better idea of what questions to ask, and where to go for answers.

    thanx,
    TJ
     
  6. TJamMoneyMan

    TJamMoneyMan Well-Known Member

    Quoting: hank618My employer(who was also my landlord) hadn't had WCB coverage for his "family owned & run co." had not paid premiums for close to 10 years. He was devasted when he found out that because he supplied the materials to do the job he was deemed the "employer" and was fined thousands of $$$ in back premiums.

    My 'employer' was saddled with the same issue, without the particulars of paying for an injured employee (sub-contractor).
    He was assessed at owing $30,000 to the Worker's Comp Board.
    (No workers comp had been paid for years and years)
    His solution?
    He folded the corporation and re-opened it under a new name!

    Now WE have to pay W.C. out of the money we get from a percentage of the contract - with nothing added to the contract price to help pay for W.C.

    I don't know how fair or legal this is, but this is what is going on at my place of work.

    Thanx again,
    TJ
     
  7. dmitch31

    dmitch31 New Member

    Trying to get this employer to pay out more to you is never going to get you anywhere. It would be best for you to just find a different job somewhere. OR, start washing windows for yourself!

    This employer not carrying worker compensation insurance is really leaving himself open to exposure. If someone gets injured and he can't take care of it, he could get sued.
     

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