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No workers comp.... an employee's story

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by cuttinjoe, May 30, 2008.

  1. cuttinjoe

    cuttinjoe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    I wasn't sure where to post this. I don't post often but I read almost daily.

    I was working for a guy for five years. He paid me as a subcontractor. I asked many times to be put on the books as an employee. Last fall a home builder that we did a lot of work for wanted my boss's compensation papers and my boss said we were both independent businesses and we don't need it. Well his insurance company called my boss and wanted our info. He gave them his info and I told them I have no insurance. My boss asked me to fill out these forms for Comp. but I told him that I couldn't lie to them and to answer the questions asked would get him in trouble. So after the snow season I quit. I haven't heard from him since. I started working at a factory on Monday. Yesterday while I was at work the compensation board called and talked to my wife and asked her about my relationship with my boss. She couldn't lie and neither can I.He asked if it was my equipment and how I was paid. He knew that I wasn't working for him any more. I called him this morning but he hasn't called back. I wonder how much trouble him or I might be in.
  2. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    You should be fine as long as your were paying taxes and social security as you should have been...he maybe in a bunch of trouble. Even if you were not "on the books" you still made money so you would still have to pay taxes.
  3. mowzum

    mowzum LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    the IRS can be a brutal beast did the guy give you a 1099 form at the end of the year? If so you have to pay taxes on that amount or anything he paid you for that matter.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    He's in Canada...
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Not sure what the rules are up in Canada, but it sounds like it's similar to the US.

    I'd say you did the right thing. He got greedy, and now it's going to bite him in the butt. You might actually like the guy, but it's not your problem. He has to sleep in the bed he made, not you.

    Think of it this way. If something were to happen to you when you worked for him, what would of happen if you got hurt or needed to make a claim. Do you think he would of helped you out, probably not, otherwise he would have paid comp.

    As a business owner, sometimes I feel that I'm too honest with my customers, but I've always felt that people are more willing to pay for honesty than shady landscaper.
  6. mowzum

    mowzum LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    DOH! .....:D
  7. Evans Lawn Service

    Evans Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    you are known as a contracted labor i dont know how canada is but look on the net for info.....now here is the rules on this in the us 1-if he told you what to do on a daily basis the you are not con. labor 2-he has to file on you to show you are con. labor.if not then he is in alot of trouble.if you get a 1099 (or something simular) in canada and you dont pay personal taxes and buisness tax then he not you is some world of sh1t.
  8. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    I don't think the Canadian laws are much different than the US. A lot of companies get caught up in trying to declare everyone sub-contractors so that they don't have to pay Workers Comp and the employee portion of CPP and UI.

    The gov't can deem someone an employee and go back after the employer for that money. One of the key items the gov't is looking for is whether you operated independently or not. If you supplied the equipment, they will likely leave it as a sub-contractor. If the employer did, you will likely be deemed an employee.

    There is very little disadvantage to being a deemed employee. You can file to get some refunds on your CPP payments and what not.
  9. cuttinjoe

    cuttinjoe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    I still haven't heard from the compensation guy. I searched their web site and it says I'm not in any trouble. My ex boss on the other hand is screwed. The fine could be as high as $10000. If they call it fraud he could be charged in criminal court as well. I hope they don't take it that far. I warned him for years. He's an a$$hole but I don't want him to be hit as hard as they could hit him.

    As far as what I owe. Its being taken care of every month. I am running about a year behind. By the end of the year I should be clear. I made a major mistake ever working for him but live and learn I guess. I've started my own company and so far its going good. I've picked up a couple of lawns and a few little landscaping jobs. The job at the factory is 4 days a week straight afternoons so it works out perfect for me. The response from the ad in the paper has been great. I'm receiving at least 2 calls a week. If I ever get big enough to have employee's then you can be sure I'll do it legit.

    I'll keep you posted
  10. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    I know ALOT of lco's that play this game with their workers. They pay them as contract laborers even though they show up when told and use their boss's equipment.

    The employer is really screwing the worker when they do this. The worker is stuck with the additional tax and has no protection if he/she gets injured.

    I dont have much sympathy for the employers that play this game and then get nailed. Ive heard of employers paying six figure penalties/back taxes for doing this.

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