Showing posts from May, 2009

Stippers, private contractors and workers compensation - what's the connection?

Read an article today regarding a strip club out in Montana that tried to claim that it's nude dancers weren't employees but simply private contractors, thereby negating the need for the club to carry workers compensation. It seems the club required it's dancers to pay a fee for the use of the stage and various other fees for types of dances performed. I guess they figured this would somehow create the impression that the dancers were indeed private contractors and not employees. Well, the Montana Supreme Court found that this arrangement was designed solely to "circumvent the Montana wage laws" and benefit the club financially. The club ended up having to pay back to the dancers money paid to them. I cite this case because many contractors out there seem to think they can do the same thing by claiming their employees are actually sub contractors when they are in reality employees that are required to be covered by workers compensation. Many times they can …

Economic stimulas money to benefit contractors?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)is sending down approximately $64.1 billion to the states. This money is targeting transportationinfrastructure projects as mandated by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. This money started flowing in March initially with the release of $27 billion to states for transportation related projects. This is good news for contractors, especially with the general slowdown of housing related projects. The caveat is that this money can only go to existing plans already on the boards in the various states, not for new projects they might wish to undertake. Past experience has shown however that there are usually some types of projects waiting in the wings since the state governments have to keep their planning personnel gainfully employed. Keep an eye out, hopefully this can have a positive impact in your area and brighten prospects in a slow job market. At least until the economic engine gets some life back into it.

Contractor's have sufficient coverage?

Image via WikipediaAn article I read recently in National Underwriter pointed out a potential gap in coverage for many contractors. It seems that some drywall used in the repair of homes from damage caused by Hurricane Katrina and other hurricanes/storms, has been the culprit in lawsuits being filed on the behalf of homeowners whose homes had the been repaired using the specific type of drywall that was purchased through a German firm from China. It seems that drywall gave off a strong odor and caused damage to electrical equipment and copper piping when exposed to heat and/or moisture. The potential gap in coverage is the lack of environmental coverage in the contractor's policies. The attorneys are filing against everyone from the importer to the contractors. You can't cover every potential claim but this illustrates how important it is perform a proper risk management survey when putting together coverage for your business.