the pay depends on the area where you live at. So lower pay or higher pay can depend on a smaller city, larger city, greater income area, or lower income area. Perhaps call around and get some per hour price ideas from other LCO's and also other companies in the area that are not just LCO's.
They are trying to get the most for their time. It is the start of salary negotiations. You can haggle with them. Here you can pick up a day laborer for about $7.00 an hour. They will ask you to buy them lunch, but you do not have to. And, you can pick from 40-50 guys on any given day. If I was paying $15.00 an hour I would just go to a Ready Man Labor store and pick up a guy.
You can claim up to 600.00 per year without 1099ing them. Any more then they have to have a social security number to report to the IRS. BTW, we have regular employees. Not everyone uses the immigrant labor here.