Is Your Subcontractor Really an Employee?

Question 1: Are you hiring someone for more than personal labor?

Are they bringing employees?
  If you are hiring someone who is bringing his/her own employees to perform the work, and you are not supervising this work (see Question 2), then that person is not your employee.
  Note: Your subcontractor is responsible for his/her own employees. Make sure he/she is registered as an employer with L&I and is current with workers' comp premiums. If not, you will be held responsible for unpaid premiums. For more information, refer to Avoid Liability for Your Subcontractor's Unpaid Workers' Comp Premiums. (L&I publication F262-262-000)


Are they bringing heavy equipment?
  If you are hiring someone who brings more than “ordinary hand tools” to the job and you are not supervising the work (see Question 2), then he/she is not your employee. Examples of heavy equipment include earth-moving equipment, such as a backhoe or bulldozer, an on-site rain gutter manufacturing machine, a metal lathe, a feller-buncher or a skidder.

Did you answer “yes” to even ONE of the above questions?

Then they are a contractor, and usually you will have:

  • No workers’ compensation premiums due.
  • No wage and hour requirements.
  • No unemployment tax.

Did you answer “no” to BOTH?

Go on to Question 2: Are you supervising them?

Go back to the previous question.


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