I live in Seattle Washington and would like to hire some casual labor (day labor) to help me with a couple roofing projects. they will be using tools and be on the roof. Does a hold harmless or release have any worth in this case? I'm willing to pay L&I, but not sure I can for very short term workers. I don't have a regular payroll either. How can I protect myself from claims and lawsuits?
Roofing work is very dangerous and you would be well served to hire a roofing contractor who has a bond and insurance. If you have a worker get hurt and your homeowner's declines coverage and L&I doesn't cover everything you will not be saving any money. Many licensed roofers will bid the work and do a great job.
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If you are working on roofing projects that are not on your own home, then you likely need to be registered as a contractor to do so. Make sure you are meeting the requirements of RCW 18.27 et. seq.
Elder Law Attorney
If you do own your own home, just call your insurance agent and explain that you want to hire some day laborers to help you with your own roofing project. Ask her/him to advise whether your insurance policy would cover for that. Then, if they say, "Yes," follow that with an email or fax: "Dear Ms. Agent: Thank you for advising that my homeowners insurance will cover me to hire day laborers to assist with my roofing project this summer. I'm counting on your answer, so if you review the policy and decide that I should purchase any rider or addendum, please advise within the next three days. My project will start on July X. Thank you." Then, call Casa-Latina (website is: http://www.casa-latina.org" and fill out a work order. They can send you casual day laborers who have experience, but who may not speak English. (A lot of Russian and Mexican immigrants go through them, or similar agencies.) They are NOT contractors. You should both agree on the pay scale (typically $15.00 per hour) and transportation arrangements, and how time cards will be verified. Interpreters are available for free through Casa Latina. Good luck!
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