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How to Find a Contract Worker

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Jesse Jacobson, vice president of Heppner's Auto Body in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, has hired workers on a contract basis to help with paint booth cleaning, maintenance and air compressor maintenance. 

Jacobson was lucky when he turned the issue to his staff and received recommendations for people he could hire. But, he learned that the process involved more moving parts at the beginning then he first thought. 

The Definition: Contract Worker

The main differences between a contract worker and an employee arise from the control that the employer can exert over his or her staff. Employees are under certain requirements when they are hired, including dress code, work hours, work assignments, meetings to attend and firing offenses. A contract worker, also known as an independent contractor, on the other hand, is an individual retained by a company for a predetermined time and price, meaning a company is not responsible for providing traditional employer benefits, such as taxes, social security, health benefits, vacation or sick leave, retirement, unemployment benefits and worker’ comp.  

The Method: Hiring a Contract Worker

Jacobson had a checklist of items he wanted to see before he hired a contractor for an expansion project that would add a 6,500-square-foot paint department in his Woodbury, Minn., shop. Before he settled on hiring a contractor, he made a 30-page contract and had a lawyer look over the document. Jacobson was concerned about liability for his shop and what could happen if something went wrong during the project.

He wanted someone who was trustworthy, had a history of building codes, permit processes and zoning limitations. After consulting with a contractor on replacing some paint booths in the shop, he was instructed that, since the old paint booths were outdated, the best way to install new ones would be to add on to the shop and not stop production by ripping up the entire floor, electrical and power systems.    

Jacobson found his contract worker through a referral from friends and family members of his staff. He has also hired contract workers for maintenance that the facility maintenance manager is not comfortable doing, like HVAC repairs and installation of fire protection.


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