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Not DIY, but...Hiring General Contractor and Workers Comp.

Not DIY, but...Hiring General Contractor and Workers Comp.


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Old 02-25-14, 04:45 PM
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Not DIY, but...Hiring General Contractor and Workers Comp.

So my inquiry isn't necessarily DIY, since I am looking to remodel a bathroom and do not have the time, tools, or experience to pull it off myself without a major disaster. Hopefully someone has some experience and can chime in:

I currently live in Southern California and am evaluating general contractors for a full bathroom remodel. I have found one general contractor who is licensed with the Contractor State Licensing Board (CSLB) and has very favorable reviews on Angie's List. I've met him in person and have a good impression, and believe he is offering a thorough and competitively priced bid.

I've hit a red flag that's kept me from hiring him. He does have an active CLSB license, general liability insurance ($1mil policy), and contractor's bond for $12,500. What caught my attention is on the CSLB, it shows he does not have a worker's compensation policy because he is labeled as 'exempt' (meaning he has no employees which would require a policy).

I asked the contractor about this and he said his 'workers' are covered with medical insurance. He used the term 'workers' but did not clarify if they were 'employees' or sub-contractors. I told him the workers compensation is a sticking point for me because I have family working in the field of civil law (court reporters) and they have seen many instances of workers comp. cases hitting the homeowner. He mentioned something along the lines of the contract that we'd sign would release me (the homeowner) of any liabilities.

I am really unfamiliar with workers compensation laws and more specifically the relationship between the homeowner, the general contractor, employees of the general contractor, or sub-contractors of the general contractor. Everything else looks to be in-line, I just don't know if I am paranoid about the matter, or if I am right in being worried about liability.

Does anyone have any experience with this topic or could provide some context for the matter?

Thanks.
 
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Old 02-25-14, 05:26 PM
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If he uses sub-contractors like myself, they are each self insured with their own insurance. I have liability and my own health insurance. The only way you would be liable for anything would be if there is an accident due to negligence on your part. Like if they fall in a hole that you dug in the yard or slip on an icy sidewalk that you didn't salt or if your dog bit them.
 
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Old 02-25-14, 05:48 PM
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My situation is similar to Brant's. I use subcontract labor, and they each have their own insurance. The State of Georgia does not issue Worker's Compensation to less than 3 employees. I maintain liability insurance and my own health insurance.
 
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Old 02-25-14, 06:02 PM
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Thanks for the input so far. So should I ask the general contractor how his workers are classified? Is there some sort of formal designation that would make them 'sub-contractors' and exempt my GC from having to have workers comp? The GC said they have their own medical insurance, but I am guessing that is not the same as workers compensation insurance...
 
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Old 02-27-14, 03:28 PM
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If they have their own liability insurance they are subcontractors. You could ask to see copies of any subcontractors certificates but i think you're being a bit paranoid.

Things not covered by their liability insurance are covered by his.

You could also check out https://www.caworkcompcoverage.com/
 
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Old 02-27-14, 03:36 PM
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I've sub contracted jobs from builders who required workmans comp. While I had a policy, for the subs that didn't they withheld a portion of their pay to cover it thru the builder's policy.
 
 

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