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Old 11-30-2009, 11:07 PM   #21
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My guess is that the Hispanic day laborers in Houston are most likely illegals. Your chances of them taking you to Court is slim would be my guess.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:54 PM   #22
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It's been a while, but I have hired some guys off a Houston street corner. We were building a house through a contractor, but I took on the fence, the yard drains and the landscaping myself.

I just needed strong backs and the ability to hold a board or to operate a shovel, a wheelbarrow or maybe a hammer. No ladders, no power tools.

The only negative experience was when I picked up some guys late in the day for a few hours of work before sundown. On the hiring line, all showed the usual enthusiasm. I found out after the hard work began that one had spent a good part of the day on the corner drinking beer. Hire early in the day.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:13 AM   #23
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My guess is that the Hispanic day laborers in Houston are most likely illegals. Your chances of them taking you to Court is slim would be my guess.
All the things that I carry liability insurance to cover are "slim" possibilities. But I still carry insurance. And I won't be bringing uninsured workers onto my property to save a few bucks.

I do suspect you're correct however. Odds are you could do it many times without mishap. It's kind of like automobile liability insurance, you always carry it and seldom, if ever, need it. I've been driving for 46 yrs and my insurance company has never paid a claim on my behalf. Still carry insurance though.......

So........ Do you feel lucky?
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:26 PM   #24
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The liability issue is no different from have the kid next door mow the lawn or shovel the driveway or paint ... or have trick-or-treaters ring your door-bell. We all take risks every day. A homeowners liability policy is designed for exactly these issues. If you have one, you won't have a problem.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:56 PM   #25
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It sounds like some are saying that a standards homeowners policy doesn't offer protection in this situation? There doesn't seem to be anything in my HO or my umbrella specifying excluding liability from using an undocumented (or uninsured) laborer.

DW did use a couple in the past for some yard work and they did a very good job and were quite appreciative of the work.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:11 PM   #26
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It sounds like some are saying that a standards homeowners policy doesn't offer protection in this situation? There doesn't seem to be anything in my HO or my umbrella specifying excluding liability from using an undocumented (or uninsured) laborer.

DW did use a couple in the past for some yard work and they did a very good job and were quite appreciative of the work.
I don't think the illegal or undocumented aspect has anything to do with it. I'm concerned that if you hire someone not specifically in that business (ie., a landscaper, licenses and insured) but rather just a laborer working for you - as opposed to contracted to do a specific project for you - there might be some uninsured liability if they are hurt on the job. At least that's the conventional wisdom around here, that you should always be sure people working on your property are insured in their own right.

I'll give my State Farm agent a call when I get a chance and see what he says.

Interesting discussion. This is the kind of thing where I'll continue on the conservative side and not take a chance until I know positively what the insurance and liability situations are.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:43 PM   #27
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I'll give my State Farm agent a call when I get a chance and see what he says.

Interesting discussion. This is the kind of thing where I'll continue on the conservative side and not take a chance until I know positively what the insurance and liability situations are.
Yes, I tend to be on the conservative side too. I'll be interested in what your agent has to say. I must say the potential legal issues are a concern.

Interesting thing is, when I asked about legal issues in the OP, I wasn't even thinking about an injury on my property (should have though!) I was thinking more about the issue of potentially hiring an illegal alien. My DH was concerned immigration staff may "stake out" day labor sites and bring charges those that hire the workers.

Right now, I'm not inclined to take the risk but do look forward to hearing more about this issue.
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:26 PM   #28
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The liability issue is no different from have the kid next door mow the lawn or shovel the driveway or paint ... or have trick-or-treaters ring your door-bell. We all take risks every day. A homeowners liability policy is designed for exactly these issues. If you have one, you won't have a problem.
I had this discussion with my home owners insurance company and they said I would not be covered for workers working on my property. So I think you statement is incorrect.
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:08 PM   #29
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Yes, I tend to be on the conservative side too. I'll be interested in what your agent has to say. I must say the potential legal issues are a concern.

.
OK, got my agents POV. I needed to call him anyway since we ordered a small RV (pop-up camper actually) last Friday, for March delivery, and I needed to talk to him about insurance for that.

I have my auto, home owners and umbrella policies with State Farm. We've been with this particular agent many years. I asked him if I had hired help, such as day laborers, to do some work for me on my property would my home owner's policy protect me if someone got hurt and sued. His answer: Yes. He said they would consider me as having "provisional workers compensation" coverage and would defend me and pay any awards to the injured worker within the limits of the policy. BUT, he then went on and gave me a 10 minute lecture on why bringing folks who aren't insured/bonded/licensed onto my porperty to work directly for me was a bad idea. Some of the issues he mentioned made sense, others sounded more like he was just trying to limit State Farm's potential exposure to my possibly risky behavior. The implication was that State Farm did not look favorably on homeowners who have uninsured help working directly for them on their property on a regular basis.

I never mentioned whether the worker might be an illegal or not and my agent never asked.

This certainly goes against generally accepted procedures around here. Even web sites such as Angie's List and others warn against bringing uninsured/unbonded/unlicensed workers into your home for projects.

As a result of this conversation, if I had some manual labor to be done (basic landscaping comes to mind) that did not involve power tools or ladders and I had a way to understand who I was hiring (don't want to bring Jack the Ripper to my home), I'd consider a direct paid day laborer. I'd be more enthusiastic about this if there was a person I could hire who was referred to me by someone I trust.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:36 PM   #30
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I also checked with my agent (Allstate). She said I would be covered, although I got a similar lecture. She mentioned that it was always better to have someone else's insurance pay a claim, so hire insured workers. I said "or I could toss them over into the neighbor's yard if they fall off the ladder.

The job I hired the guys for was pretty simple, and these guys hang out near the U-Haul rental place. The guy who rented me the trailer had told me the same guys seem to show up there most days, and he knew of customers that had hired them and hadn't heard of any problems. He of course couldn't recommend them, it's against company policy since U-Haul will rent you some workers if you ask. I suspect if I wanted to go that route they'd sneak across the street and hire the same guys I got.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:59 PM   #31
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She mentioned that it was always better to have someone else's insurance pay a claim, so hire insured workers. I said "or toss I could them over into the neighbor's yard if they fall off the ladder.
I'll keep that in mind if the need arises!
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:12 AM   #32
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I have a contract at manpower that we use for day laborers. Manpower deals with all the insurance, OSHA and deals with there taxes. We have a list of 20 workers that are on our preferred list and most of the time we get one off the list.

We pay Manpower $12 an hour and there employees get $9.75 to $10 (not sure on how it works). We donít pay them for there 30 minute lunch break but if there good workers then Iíll buy there lunch and a few drinks thought the day. If itís a truly crappy job and they donít complain and just do it they will find a 20 under there windshield wiper.

Depending on the accident it might be covered by manpowerís insurance or it might fall under the company/person that singed the contract. Our insurance knows we hire general labor though manpower for our business from time to time so we would be covered. So far nothing more than some scrapes and bruises that the employee did not care about, but we still document and give it to manpower so they can follow up as needed.

At one point we did use labor ready. I had some big issues with the trash that labor ready sent me.

Iím not sure what the best way for a home owner to hire someone to get a few things done. Every time I see some kid cutting the grass at someone elseís house I see the money flying.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:59 AM   #33
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YouBet, aren't you from Chicago? Having lived in both Chicago and Houston, things in Houston are 180 degrees different than in Chicago. Hiring day labor is really common in Houston due to such an over abundance of illegals there. Don't ever know even one person in Chicago who hired a day laborer, but Houston? Common and standard operating practice.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:16 AM   #34
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We've had good luck with ours. I would recommend that you ask a server at a Mexican Restaurant (or check their bulletin board) if they know of anyone looking for work. Use them on a small simple job so you can build a relationship if they do it well or you can move on with someone else if you are not satisfied with their work. We have used the same guy for over 5 years, we have built a trusting relationship with him and in fact will give him the keys to our home. He only does what he knows he can do, and he will recommend others for those things he cannot do.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:18 AM   #35
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We hire a friend's son and people we know.

Otherwise, I would go through Manpower or another local labor agency.

I am of two minds on the subject, but I prefer going above-board.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:27 PM   #36
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I had this discussion with my home owners insurance company and they said I would not be covered for workers working on my property. So I think you statement is incorrect.

Do you have a liability rider on you home owners policy? Seems most are covered (with the usual disclaimers).

FWIW I keep a commercial liability policy on the rentals and a homeowners liability rider on the primary residence. Layer-on an S Corp and a trust and I am not worried about Jose running with the scissors.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:44 PM   #37
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Tryan, I just spoke with my agent and got a different answer than I did last time I spoke with her. Bottom line is I'm covered under my homeowners policy.

I'm going to round up some day laborers ASAP.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:39 PM   #38
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Hiring illegal day labor is a felony according to a 1986 Reform and Control Act amended the Immigration and Nationality Act. I think itís about a $10,000 fine but Iím not sure.

Iím sure this information would come up after an insurance clam
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:41 PM   #39
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Now I'll have to call my probation officer to see if it's OK.
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:05 AM   #40
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Speaking of being fined for hiring illegals:

I had a client who owned a big car wash in Houston with people who actually did the washing. Most were illegals and INS set-up the cleverest sting: Hispanic lady brought her 2 little kids with her. They had no lunches, so one of the managers even shared his lunch with her and the kids. Her accent indicated she was a national of a Hispanic country...or so everyone thought.
She was the ringleader of the INS sting, and they all rushed in after lunch and tried to grab so many illegals as they could. Manager/Owner got a HUGE fine...and was just flabbergasted over the whole thing as he had done this for years and years with no problems.

So...it happens. But rarely. So rarely that this is the only time I ever know of anyone fined out of thousands of clients I had in Houston who hired illegals.
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