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Ethical delima?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Livingreen, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Livingreen

    Livingreen Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 24

    Well against my better judgement I put a guy in a truck that lets just say does not have the best history when it comes to keeping the truck in the same shape it was when he starts. My question is he is a sub in my truck and was told you wreck this truck it's coming outta your pay. Well he went off in a ditch broke a tailight rip the mudflap off ripped the inner fender well out pushed in both sides of the bumper and also took out a mailbox. My ethical question is, Do I still make him pay? Needing feedback!
  2. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    Did he agree to the terms of employment, did you make him sign an agreement, sub or employee regardless if he aint got money yikes whats your chances. Never never hire a person with a bad track record.
  3. mc1

    mc1 Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    not enough info if he only subs for snow season. make him pay when he says **** you, thank yourself for getting rid of a headache or lawsuit waiting to happen. if he is good which i doubt if he has a rep for tearing it up then keep him on but make him pay for damage.
  4. yard5864

    yard5864 Senior Member
    Messages: 149

    1) I would make him pay, since it was discussed with him prior to plowing. (At least the insurance deductible)

    2) I would find a new sub.

    You have to do what is best for your business. Something tells me this sub is not the best for your business.

    Just my 2 cents.
  5. Joe D

    Joe D Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    This is an I told you so situation, but your the one who told yourself. Suck it up as a lesson learned.
    This is also why we have insurance.
  6. Livingreen

    Livingreen Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 24

    I have already replaced him. I was under pressure to get someone in this truck. For sure lesson learned but I still have not decided whether to take it out of his pay or not. pretty much no pay for him if I make him pay and he plowed 33 hours straight for me.
  7. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,220

    Do you 1099 him? If not he could be considered an employee. If you do not 1099 him then he is an employee of the company and you can not garnish his wages.
  8. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    Wow!!! I'm sorry to say, but I think u kind of brought that 1 on yourself!
    #1 You knew he had a bad history-you took the chance (and lost) that he wouldn't screw up on your time. This one's your fault, you made a poor decision
    #2 He plowed for 33 hours straight, had an "issue" and then u want to can him for it !! ?? WTF
    This 1's also your fault, if I where him, I'd start asking around about the legality of making an employee work 33 hrs straight:dizzy:
    I say employee b/c in our state he would be classified as 1 b/c you furnish the equipment.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  9. ksgcapecod

    ksgcapecod Member
    Messages: 52

    I'm not sure you can leagally take it out of his pay.
  10. ksgcapecod

    ksgcapecod Member
    Messages: 52

    Sorry, correct spelling, legally. My bad.
  11. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    What happens if you file an ins claim?

    It goes on his record, he gets the points. Make him pay the deductible and you aren't out anything except time.
  12. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,912

    even if he 1099's him the IRS could decide otherwise and make him pay back taxes. i think maybe both of you should look over the IRS laws concerning sub-contractor pay...

    anyway, you had him running for 33hrs straight and then he ends up going off the road. was it during this shift this happened? if so thats a long shift to run straight and its dangerous. if he died in that accident would you feel differently about the situation?

    if that was the case i would just pay for the damages and part your ways. maybe think about putting another truck on that route to cut the time down so next time its not someones life thats wrecked.
  13. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Sorry,either way he's driving your truck he's an employee you can't charge him.
  14. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    If you tell him how to do his job then he's an employee, not a subcontractor.

    If he is managing himself then he can be classified as a subcontractor.
  15. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Correct but the key is he was using someone else truck.Now if he was renting or leasing it he may have a case. But that's a whole other can of worms.
  16. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    I don't think it matters who's truck he's using. Why would you have to have your own equipment to be considered a sub contractor? I don't think the equipment one brings to the table has any bearing on his employment status.

    Typical Companies hire subcontractors all the time, it's not like they have to bring their own computers to the office. They're hired to do a job and that's it.
  17. timberseal

    timberseal Senior Member
    from 46385
    Messages: 247

    If he uses company equipment and is dispatched through company routes he's considered an employee.
  18. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 983

    Actually, it matters quite a bit. If he's providing all his own equipment, then he likely would be classified as a sub, if he's using all my equipment doing my work, then he would likely be considered an employee. Not being an expert, I can't guarantee this is correct, but it's how it's been explained to me by more than one professional (tax and legal).
  19. ahoron

    ahoron Senior Member
    from here
    Messages: 422

    Having a guy in the seat for that amount of time is a bad idea. What did you think would happen working that amount of hours:dizzy:He was driving your truck= your problem. Unless you leased/ rented him the truck and payed him by the job he would be considered employee. Sounds like you learned a valuable lesson here. If you dock his pay and you don't have an agreement in writing he could call the labor board for the state or the I.R.S.and screw you over.
  20. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    right. If you tell him how to do his job (i.e. order of houses to plow) then he's an employee.

    But the equipment he brings to the table doesn't necessarily make a difference.

    "Significant investment

    An independent contractor often has a significant investment in the equipment he or she uses in working for someone else. However, in many occupations, such as construction, workers spend thousands of dollars on the tools and equipment they use and are still considered to be employees. There are no precise dollar limits that must be met in order to have a significant investment. Furthermore, a significant investment is not necessary for independent contractor status as some types of work simply do not require large expenditures."


    "Degree of Instruction

    Degree of Instruction means that the more detailed the instructions, the more control the business exercises over the worker. More detailed instructions indicate that the worker is an employee. Less detailed instructions reflects less control, indicating that the worker is more likely an independent contractor."
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009