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-   -   Employee acts on his own, contract? (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=11207)

fredthewolverine 03-08-2010 11:56 PM

Employee acts on his own, contract?
 
I started my lawn care business and i'm ready to find work but I have a question. My really good friend is going to help me and we have worked out a deal, i'm going to pay him per job until work picks up. He is really excited to help me get this business off the ground, so he asked me if he could have some business cards to pass out with his name on them. Im okay with that but it got me thinking. I plan on having uniforms like t-shirts with my company logo and my trailer will also have my logo.
Now my question is; would if he finds business on the side and doesn't tell me about it and so I never document it and he does a lawn and damages something. I'm sure I am the one thats going to be liable, considering he will be wearing my logo and have his name attached to my business right? maybe i'm just paranoid.
So i was hoping there is a Contract on the site that says something along the lines of- If you work on someones yard and that client has not been registered a client through the owner or through the proper procedures of the company and you damage something you will be liable for any and all damages.
Thanks all.

lklandscaping 03-09-2010 04:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fredthewolverine (Post 67139)
I started my lawn care business and i'm ready to find work but I have a question. My really good friend is going to help me and we have worked out a deal, i'm going to pay him per job until work picks up. He is really excited to help me get this business off the ground, so he asked me if he could have some business cards to pass out with his name on them. Im okay with that but it got me thinking. I plan on having uniforms like t-shirts with my company logo and my trailer will also have my logo.
Now my question is; would if he finds business on the side and doesn't tell me about it and so I never document it and he does a lawn and damages something. I'm sure I am the one thats going to be liable, considering he will be wearing my logo and have his name attached to my business right? maybe i'm just paranoid.
So i was hoping there is a Contract on the site that says something along the lines of- If you work on someones yard and that client has not been registered a client through the owner or through the proper procedures of the company and you damage something you will be liable for any and all damages.
Thanks all.

You better register him as an employee to be safe.

SuperiorPower 03-09-2010 11:22 AM

I think I would mention it to my insurance agent and see what they have to say about where you stand. They would likely have something to do with its outcome if that were to happen.

Also, if you worry that they would do that, are you sure you want to go into business with them? I mean if you can't trust him....... You may also research other threads on here about going into business with friends and what recommendations have been about that. Friends tend to want to have the same control over the business as you do and then you end up with an upset friend and a competitor.....

Good luck and let us know what you decide,
Eli

Steve 03-09-2010 11:24 AM

What you are talking about doing sounds very messy. Sure when anyone gets started, you tend to do a lot of things that you later would look back at and think were crazy. But I would pick one thing and go with it.

Is he going to be an employee? Or a sub-contractor?

I don't think he can legally fall under the category of sub-contractor in this instance and we talk about this in other posts on the forum but I guess it's up to you.

Could you be held liable for his mess up? Sure you could.

What's your thoughts on all this now?

jasonw 03-09-2010 11:44 AM

It is my understanding that you would not be held liable. Yesterday I wore a #3 BFG Nascar shirt. If I did anything to cause damages in anything not just business a lawsuit agents BFG or NASCAR would not hold up in court. It dose not matter what my shirt says, I am liable. That being said I would not give an employee business cards. There is no reason for them to have them. My contact info in on my cards, estimates as well as invoices. Oh and in the unfortunate indecent that I caught an employee sucking up side work his *** would be in the UE line that day. I'm sorry but if you work for me you work to make me money and represent my company. I will be damned if my employee will be part of my competition. Ask any company, doing side work in line with the work the company dose almost always leads to termination. If I were approached with this question I would make sure I was clear from the get go that its there choice to take on side work but if they do they will no longer be getting a paycheck from me. bottom line end of story.

SuperiorPower 03-09-2010 01:19 PM

Jasonw,

You make some good points. Here is where I disagree with you. When you were wearing that t-shirt you were not representing to work for BFG or NASCAR were you? You didn't hand out a business card that said "Jason W, Employee of BFG and NASCAR". His employee are not only wearing his shirt but are also REPRESENTING him. If he allows the employee to hand out business cards with the employee's name on it, while driving a vehicle with the business name on it, while wearing a business t-shirt, and using business machines then he is in a whole new boat.

I completely agree about the termination part though. You work for me and represent me so you will ONLY work for me and represent me. Deviation = termination! (you like that rhyming statement?! lol)


fredthewolverine,

You may chose to allow them to pass out your cards but I would not allow them to pass out their own unless and until they become a team leader and are authorized to give bids (probably not recommended).

I see a potential problem where it would be easy to do a quick cash job with your equipment (thereby not only keeping the income from you but also costing you in fuel and equipment wear and tear). But all this goes back to, do you trust him or not?

Either way, let me pass on something my supervisor gave me some years ago: If you have to ask yourself whether you should or not, you already know the answer.....

At times like this it may be best to follow your gut feeling.

fredthewolverine 03-09-2010 02:06 PM

All the advice is good thank you.
Just for the record I trust my friend completely but accidents happen and i'm keeping my business and family's best interest in mind. Plus I want to be prepared if an employee in the future does something like this.
I just got back from a meeting with a friend of mine who has a law degree and is currently in a new business with someone who is a friend of his and so he said he can relate.
He said have him sign a Non-Compete as if he is an employee and thats that. Let him know the reason is insurance, he went on to say sure I could take the blame and have my insurance cover it but then I would have a bad record with the insurance companies and I definitely don't want that. Or (non-sercomvent) kind of the same thing but for Partners and have a clause in it about work on the side.
He said if I value the friendship have a strong understanding of how the business needs to run. He said his friendship is great but they both know money is money and you can't mess with that.
He also said if a rouge employee did damage property the Land Owners Lawyer is going to go after whoever LOOKS like they have the money to pay for everything and thats always the Business owner. In court they are going to ask the property owner " Did you know he was working on the side, and was not sent from the company?" The Property Owners are going to say " I had no idea I just called the number on the card and thats who they sent."
He also said he could work his way up to partner like Lawyers do. First they start as interns then employees, then associates, then ultimately partner. ( or something like that I can't remember but you get the idea.)
Botton line he said what Jason wrote, if he does work on the side tell him he is on his own and part ways. I agree 100%
So I'm going to have him sign a Non-Compete and I'm not going to give him cards.
Thanks guys

jasonw 03-10-2010 01:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fredthewolverine (Post 67173)
He said have him sign a Non-Compete as if he is an employee and thats that.


I still dont really understand this one. No signature is required, you take on side work you are fired bottom line end of story. If he cant commit to you and your business then he can go work somewhere ells. Trust me this will only lead to heartache and over complications that are not necessary.

fredthewolverine 03-10-2010 02:40 PM

Your right, thats the best way to go about it. Thats the precedent that I'm setting right from the beginning. After thinking it through and getting advice and reading the comments it's kind of a no brainer.

Steve 03-11-2010 12:47 AM

What do you feel you would like to do now to handle this situation?


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