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Have you ever hired a day laborer?
Old 11-29-2009, 08:27 PM   #1
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Have you ever hired a day laborer?

Not looking for a political discussion here. I'm just wondering if anyone has ever hired a day laborer. DH and I have been fixing up the rental house and the thought has crossed our minds. We've painted, installed new flooring, bathroom fixtures and many other things. There are some tasks before use that require the strength of younger and stronger people than us. As is the case in many communities, there are clusters of day laborers waiting for work in our area. A group gathers near our neighborhood grocery daily. Seems to me they need the work and we need the help.

Here are my questions. If you do hire them, can there be legal problems? What is the usual payment? Any other issues other than political objections? Thanks in advance for your honest advice.
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:52 PM   #2
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A handfull of times.. i felt like $10 / hr plus lunch was more than they were getting from a contractor from the work product and gratitude. It's such a tough choice when you pull up to a few and that multiplies by eager workers. Some with language skills and some with honest faces.... they seem to be ok with you picking who you want to deal with - not yet a bad experience but of course no guarantees.
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:56 PM   #3
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Nope, for many reasons I won't get into on the forum.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:05 PM   #4
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My SIL has hired day laborers many times, mostly for clearing shrubery, trimming trees, and various landscaping chores. The hiring was done through a friend who knew the workers. No one spoke English and everything was was done through hand signals. Never have more than two at a time. Pay in cash at end of the day and drive them back to where you got them.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:26 PM   #5
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My BIL has done it before.... I have not..

The rate here is $10 per hour... I do not know if he threw in lunch...
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:36 PM   #6
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If you bring these people on your property and they are injured you are screwed. You and they have no insurance so guess who's holding the bag. That's just the first of many reasons not to hire illegals.

You'll be buying more than lunch.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:38 PM   #7
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I have BEEN a day laborer (after college, the recession in the late 70's). Can you go through a temp agency if you have the willies about hiring someone off the street? That's how I got my temp work.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:42 PM   #8
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People who are willing to accept day laborer work are needy. ALWAYS offer a rib-sticking meal, generious enough to take left overs home. If you have more to spare offer it.

We have used them to unload for household goods calling the local service service agency for referrals.

They do need close supervision, there may be language issues. Do not assume they are undocumented or have substance abuse issues, however, they are strangers so be careful.
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:43 PM   #9
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I hired a group of guys to help me move some furnture out of the house and into the truck. $100 ($20 apiece) and 3 pizzas. They did a decent job, no wall damage. Nice and polite. Luckily it was a job that didn't need communication skills.

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If you bring these people on your property and they are injured you are screwed. You and they have no insurance so guess who's holding the bag. That's just the first of many reasons not to hire illegals.

You'll be buying more than lunch.
You don't need to hire them to have that happen. All they have to do is walk onto your property and fall over. Edit: and we do have insurance. Liability and umbrella.

I'm sure it's happened, but I've known a fair number of people who've hired day laborers, and the worst that's ever happened is something got broken. DW even left some (cheap) jewelry out on a coffee table as a test. All that happened was it got set over on the bar. No problemo.

Of course, if somebody gives off bad vibes when you talk to them, just walk away. Go with your gut. Most people are decent, IMHO.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:34 AM   #10
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As someone suggested try an agency. The 2 that come to mind are Labor Ready and Manpower, there you can specify that at least 1 must speak english and they carry the req'd insurance and fight the hassles. It does reduce your liability. Even though you are a well insured homeowner there could be an exclusion to coverage if you are doing something illegal, and hiring undocumented workers can be classed as against the law in many places. My son who's is a college Senior has worked thru the agencies more times than he cares to remember. Tip them in cash if appropriate.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:06 AM   #11
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Harley you are right, except they are less likely to get injured on your property if you don't drive around looking for them, pick them up and bring them to your house. It's not like you can call them up and have them drive over.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:16 AM   #12
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craigslist. then you eliminate the language barrier and likely find someone with at least a little sense.

i used 3 guys from craigslist on ym last rehab, actually got a skilled drywaller for 10/hr and am MORE than pleased with the results!
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:21 AM   #13
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Thanks for the comments and suggestions everyone.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:32 AM   #14
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Used one to help with a kitchen install. Kid had flooring experiance so I paid $12/hr. Also only hire based on referral from people I know.

Oh, so I hire him back for a third day and he says he needs to be in court at 1pm ... "for what", I ask .... "screwed-up things" he says. Turns out he had been arrested for robbery and wittness tampering. Other than that, he was a nice kid. (Haven't hired him since thou).
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:55 AM   #15
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This goes on in Houston daily, and I dated a guy who had a construction crew that picked up Hispanic day laborers on corners where they gather for work all the time. Sometimes I'd be with him and he would be dropping them off at their corner in his car. Never had any problems. They just seemed like poor immigrants trying to make it.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:18 PM   #16
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The potential liability if they get hurt on your job/property has always prevented me from doing it.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:36 PM   #17
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No, but it's because I'm too stingy. I do almost everything myself, and if it's big enough (new kitchen cabinets) I hire out someone that is a pro. But all yard work, electrical, and plumbing, painting, trimwork, I do myself.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
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The potential liability if they get hurt on your job/property has always prevented me from doing it.
Agree. LOTS of risk in hiring someone to work for you without insurance coverage to protect you from FIRE-wrecking settlements if they are hurt while in your employ. I doubt your home owner's policy would cover a claim made by someone your were paying to be there and who was working under your direction. Not sure about an umbrella policy. Just not something I'd care to risk.

Our community is more than half Hispanic and, for all I know, many so-called illegals are residing here. Don't know, don't care. When I hire a tradesman or contractor, they are usually Hispanic and have workers with them who speak no English. I always demand proof of insurance from the person I contracted to do the job before work begins and the folks I directly hired must be registered to do business in my town.
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:15 PM   #19
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If you are having anyone do any type of work on your property you should always make sure they are insured. If a work gets hurt doing work for you and has no insurance you are liable. Always make sure you check their ins. paperwork. If they don't have any don't allow them on your property.

You may save a few bucks with an illegal or uninsured worker but you can also lose everything you've worked so hard for. Even the 95% rule won't help you get out of a mess like that. (heh)
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:53 PM   #20
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In Los Angeles, day workers are "the" choice for getting a small job done. Probably 90% of small contractor types use them and go by in the mornings at day worker hangouts and grab however many illegals they need to do a job.

And I doubt the homeowner is immune from suit if one of those day workers is hurt by some fault of the homeowner. Like a worker falling down steps because carpet is loose. Homeowner is gonna get sued anyway. Probably by the legal contractor.

Hire the day worker, cut out the 50% middleman.
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