Menstuff® includes here some information about dirt cheap
Dirt-cheap day labor
Even though it's just a day's work, you're still considered an
employer. As such:
- If you pay a worker more than $50 a month, you must pay the
employer's share of Social Security taxes and withhold federal
income taxes. These rules apply even if the worker is not a
- You must fill out an I-9 form, an employer verification notice
required by immigration authorities. It is available on the U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services' Web site. You don't have to
file it with any government agency, but just in case government
officials ever knock on your door to see the form, keep it
- You are required to see two valid identifications from each
worker, including one with a photo.
Safety: Yours and theirs
If a day laborer is injured on your property, he could sue you or
seek to make a claim on your homeowners insurance policy.
Because some insurance companies have riders that prohibit
payments to illegal workers, it might be a good idea to see what you
are liable for before you head down this hiring route.
Whether a homeowners policy would cover an injured day worker
depends on state workers-compensation law and whether any employer is
required to have coverage. Citizenship is not a factor. If state laws
do not apply, then a homeowner's liability and medical coverage may
cover an accident.
If you decide to hire a day laborer
- Learn some basic Spanish phrases. The majority of day laborers
are Spanish-speaking; many may not know English. At the very least
you should be able to name the task you would like done. It will
probably cost you more if you need an English-speaking helper for
the day, said Pablo Alvarado, the director of the National Day
Laborer Organizing Network, a coalition of day-laborer groups.
- Know what you expect to pay. This varies from place to place,
but a good guideline is New York and Los Angeles, where the hourly
rate is about $10. It's more expensive if workers bring their own
tools or if it is heavy-duty work, Alvarado says. Even if a job
lasts several days, expect to pay at the end of each workday.
- Typically, homeowners provide lunch if a job is for all
- Treat these workers like any other employee. They may need
your bathroom, regular breaks, or rides to and from their
originating point or to a public bus stop. "Employers are
employers, no matter whether you are hiring a person for a day or
a year," Alvarado says.
- The work won't be guaranteed. You cannot stop payment on the
check because you have most likely paid in cash. And you might not
be able to locate the worker to complain or get a shoddy job
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