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Old 05-26-2011, 07:21 AM   #1
jondon
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Workman's Comp. Policy

I am thinking of getting a workman's comp. policy. I want to slowly work into having a helper over this next year. Anyone who employs people on they're payroll... Any advice from those who employ people. I would like to just have someone part-time. Having some trubs with my hands.... like when I lift heavy stuff and grout. I need to start looking ahead, to have someone around to lift stuff like tile and grouting. If I get a policy and have someone part-time would I have a number of hours they could work per week. Is a policy like this affordable? thanks for any input
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:08 AM   #2
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Workmans Comp is based on payroll not hrs and the classification of the work. They will ask you what you project for a yearly payroll amt and compute it from that. Here in NY it's around 6-9% of payroll.Dont even mention saws or ladders or that % will jump into the high double digits.

What you might want to do is classify the helper as "Casual Labor" if he is going to just be moving box's and bringing you mud or grouting. I have guys that just show up to unload tile and set up and tear down the job site for me a few times a year. Some are more casual than others!

If you do end up getting a full WC policy....be prepared to be audited the first year. Its going to happen. They will want to see a payroll printout and/or your checkbook to see if you wrote checks to any individuals and who they are and what they did.

The kicker about WC is that it doesnt even cover you!

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Old 05-26-2011, 08:08 AM   #3
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It's based on how much you pay out to your employees, so what I do is get what they call a ghost policy which is around 1100 dollars, but you cant list anybody that's working for you and you'll have to pay him in cash because they do an audit every year to see what your paying out. I know an installer that has 7 people working for him and when they got finished going through him payroll for last year he end up having to pay an additional 3600 bucks...
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:22 AM   #4
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Craig, thanks for your input. I agree with the "Casual Labor" statement. This year it will just be someone helping me like you said, bringing me mud, setting up, unloading tile, etc. No ladders or saws this year, just a grout float!

So if I git the policy for one worker, does it have to be the same all the time or can it be any part-time help I git? Does that person's name have to be on the policy?

Yes, I don't mind being audited, I keep good records.

Leads me into to my next question, the "ghost writer" policy which I don't really understand. Who does that cover, just yourself. If you have a liability policy why would you need a ghost policy and don't want to pay cash. I want this to be legal. Things can get shady when you start paying people under the table, I want to keep the good reputation I have worked for and build from here. I want to get an apprentice to teach
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jondon
does it have to be the same all the time or can it be any part-time help I git?
Covers anyone you have helping for that year. Policy is in your name.

It gets even shadier when all your help has their own WC in their own name!!
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:02 AM   #6
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Just spoke with my rep. and he is going to look into it. Asked me what I would project to pay in a year for help. Said he is going to look into it today.

Another issue just came up after I spoke with him. Reason I bring it up is I had a dog bite me in the back of the leg recently on a job, I was a sub. I gave the one attention then when I turned my back the other one bit me. I didn't have any issues as for swelling, etc. Didn't have to go to doctor. I let the company know I did the work for........ just "for the record." Of course the h/owners said they never had a problem before but of course they would say that. I have never been bit..... can't say that anymore

Here is my question. I just did an estimate for someone, they have 4 large dogs. Don't get me wrong, I love dogs, always have. After being bit now I can't help but to be paranoid. On this job I would be working directly with h/owner. To be honest I don't feel real good about it after what happened. In the incident I got bit, the wife was out in the garden working. I told the people yesterday and she said she would make sure one a them was always there. Problem is when they are not around, dogs tend to do things around you they won't do when the owner is there. Guess I am just feeling very uncomfortable now. Of course now after being bit for the first time ever by a small dog, they have 4 LARGE ones. What to do
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:03 AM   #7
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Pets shouldn't be an issue on any job. They should be safely secured in another part of the house, outside, or whatever. Besides, you can't tell a dog "Hey watch it! That thinset is wet!".. Although I think mine is starting to understand.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:10 AM   #8
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Yes, I agree they should be in a different area. When I got bit though I was outside gettn something outta my trailer. Again they had said, oh never had a problem before. I guess I should demand they put them outside but then the wetsaw will be outside. I want to know if I do get bit again, who is responsible since I am on they're property of my own free will. If they went off they're property and bit someone I realize that would be a lawsuit if the person was not tormenting them.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:04 PM   #9
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A 'ghost' policy from my understanding just allows you to secure jobs in that you can show you have a policy. From there on, once you are on a job, anything that may or may not happen means that YOU are on your own. No WC policy covers you.

Kinda like saying someone gave you permission to do something a certain way and you deviate from such certain way, you are now on your own. You are basically paying $1,100 bucks or whatever the price may be to play with fire. Sooner or later you end up getting burned and perhaps losing your license and even payment for the job because you made a contractual violation or not being able to qualify for WC down the road. There could also be some criminal charges too. I would not go that route, especially for the faint of heart. It is shady and you will always be looking over your back (if you care one bit). It isn't worth the energy it will rob you of and you are better to be legal.

As for the dogs, if you get bit, only a judge (if it comes to that) can say who is at fault or not. IMO the HO should do something with the dogs for everyone's protection, including the dogs. I have a few dogs now, I recently only had one (for like 10 years now) and I trust him to an extent. Let me just say he is very predictable. He though will nip me every once in a while but only when he gets excited and it is more of a love bite/pinch than anything but it can hurt. He usually goes for the groin area or the back of my leg, especially if we wrestle but he stops if I tell him to do so in a stern voice. He's nipped a few people for just fun after he gets to liking them a lot and he tried to bite the locksmith once. You just never know with any animal so out of precaution and respect for others, I put him up when certain people come over. My uncle has a bad ticker and he is scared of him but my uncles getting better. For some reason, 1/2 the time he just doesn't like my uncle and he doesn't like repair men. If you are a woman, he won't hurt you. He has been trained not to lick or jump anyone (except for me but no licking just tackles me every once in a while but I do it to him LOL (tackle him but not lick him)...).

Yeah, they need to secure those dogs. Not cool.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:37 PM   #10
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Jondon,

Why not just hire a subcontractor? I know a guy he has Workmans comp and he is the only employee in his company he gets it for one contractor he does work for.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:47 PM   #11
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Jon, when I had an employee and not subs, my policy was a little more than$1000 for the year for him. $15 an hour and about 20 to 25 hours a week.

Be 100% legit with this end of things. No reason to pay for it and not have it work for you because of a technicality. I used Erie insurance and I thought it was reasonable.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:01 PM   #12
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A lot of the builder's around here require the "ghost policy" for their WC. I was paying about $1200 a year. State rate was $19 per $100 paid.

Jon, do you use Quickbooks? I get my worker's comp through them. I paid a fee (they called it "State Constant") of $220 plus an activation fee up front (about $40). I run my payroll for me through Quickbooks. They charge me an additional $5 a month to send my weekly payroll info to the WC insurer. They then debit my business account 3 days after payroll. I receive an email from them telling me the cost and date it will be deducted. My audit is done every week. Also, they had the lowest rate of anybody else in my area ($14 per $100 paid). If I need a certificate of insurance, I can send and email and they will either fax, mail or email it for me.

I have a guy that works for me on and off, less than $8000 last year. The cost of the Quickbooks Payroll and workers comp was about $300 less than my last WC company was charging. As a benefit, my accountant charges me a lower fee since everything is in QuickBooks.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:56 PM   #13
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Yeah ditto what everyone said, WC is based on payroll. So lets say you are looking to get someone this year and you project to pay him maybe 6-10 thousand throughout the rest of the year, you are going to tell them 6 thousand. Then you pay and by the end of the year if you happened to pay him 10 grand because you got slammed, when they audit you you will simply have to pay the WC rate for the extra 4 thousand. You will get audited every year at least in most cases.

It's better to shoot low and then pay more at the end of the year if you happened to go over then to overshoot and pay for insured dollars that you never paid in payroll.

On the dogbite issue, if an animal attacks you it is the owners responsibility. Also in my county it is the law to report any dogbite to the local authorities, the owner is automatically fined, and the dogs shot records are investigated. DO check on this dogs rabbies records, ect. if he hasn't had the shots you have to get a series of painfull shots in the butt. (Literally)

If the people have dogs be straightforward with them and tell them; "the dog has to be put away when I am working here."
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:19 PM   #14
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i got bit by a rottweiller and he locked on, you should have seen the bruise. I hate mean dogs i freaking crack a dog if he bites me. I have a dog he doesnt bite anyone though or Ill crack him.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:32 PM   #15
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If a dog bites me it gets booted-

I have had a few tough dealings with dogs and customers lately, the big ones arent' the problem, its the little ones that are vicious. Nothing like going to look at a job and having a little dog just snapping at your heals the whole time and the people just acting like its no big deal, telling you some line about how he "gets excited" or "he's grumpy" Yeah lady, not as grumpy as I am gonna be when that thing bites me!
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