starting up minor employees

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Springmeadows, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. Springmeadows

    Springmeadows LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    Just wanting some feedback on staring up a helper that is a minor. Dad is a friend and wants his son to know what work is and has asked me to work him 2 or 3 days a week. Says he will sign a waiver if I need it. I am undecided how and if I want to do it.

    I may regret this but I am open to suggestions. I would appriciate "good" advice not snide remarks.

    Yes, I am licensed and insured. Been in business since 1991.
     
  2. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,297

    I was in your same situation. However, I was the kid, not the employer. My father knew a lco owner through business, and asked him if he would take me on as a part time helper. I was 13 at the time, and he accepted. I had experience before, and was a very hardworking, no bullshit or screwing around kid.

    He took me for 2 days a week (busy days) and had me run a trimmer or blower (no mowers). It worked fine. I learned, did good work, and acted just like the other guys.

    4 years later I still work during the busy months for him. We got along great, and I was so scared of losing the position, or making my father look stupid that I was careful, meticulous and worked harder than anyone out there.

    Give the kid a chance. If not for this guy doing so for me, I may have never got involved.
     
  3. Todd's lawncare

    Todd's lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from P.A
    Posts: 548

    Being an a** but in 12 years you never had a helper ? Or just not a minor ? I guess it all depends on the laws in your state and ins rules . I really can't answer i have never had a minor help me besides my brother so.
     
  4. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Every summer with the school system we would get helpers but they were not allowed to run any power equipment unless they were 18. Maybe laws are different there. I don't know specifically if it had to do with the workman comp. or just child labor law in general.
     
  5. Springmeadows

    Springmeadows LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    I have had plenty of helpers, but none of them were ever minors. Also, never had a parent involved or asked to work their child. The last guy was pretty good, but I learned a valuable lesson; never lend your help to a friend because you don't get the help back.

    I had a "friend" ask to borrow my helper for the winter, I agreed to it so the helper would stay busy. The agreement was that when the season started I would get him back. Yeah right. Anyway, now I need a couple of replacements, one may be this kid. I will continue to look for another guy that I can trust to good work without too much supervision.
     
  6. Eddie B

    Eddie B LawnSite Senior Member
    from gone
    Posts: 859

    Isn't it illegal for a minor to be employed to operate dangerous machinery? If an employee at Arby's needs to be 18 to operate a meat slicer, I don't see how it can be legal for a minor to operate a mower with spinning blades. If the kid puts a WB in reverse and he trips and falls, and the thing runs over him, there's no more kid. And you were his only supervision, and most likely will hold responsibility.
     
  7. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    You need to check your State's Employment Laws as the State controls when and where and at what age a "minor" can legally work. For example here in NC a minor cannot be lagally employed (unless in is your own child in your business) until they are at least 14 years old and even then in some cases they may have to have a work permit and the hours and type of work they can do is limited.
     
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Another thing is, that the kid's father can write, type, and sign any kind of agreement he wants..he can even sign it in blood. It will be null and void at any civil precedings involving damage and/or personal injury of ANYONE, including the kid.
     
  9. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    Exactly right Runner! I missed that part of his post and since he is in NC Liability Waivers are NOT legal here period, as you cannot "sign away" liability under NC Civil Law.
     

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