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#39450 - 06/20/04 05:02 PM Family employees
Electric Ian Offline
Member

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 132
Loc: MA, USA
Today being Fathers Day and all, I have started thinking about my son entering the trade in a few years, he's only 10 now. I'm wondering how this works from a bussiness end. If you bring your son with you occassionally to help you out and teach him the trade, is he considered an employee?? Do you have to get workman's comp for him?? Are you required to withhold taxes from any income you pay him?? Any father/son teams out there that can tell me how this works? Thanks.
Ian

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#39451 - 06/20/04 05:21 PM Re: Family employees
Tom Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
Can't admit to being a father, but I will pass on a little advice.

Make him an employee and cover him with workers comp. It would be a shame if he got hurt on a job, it would be much worse if you had to pay the medical bills.

Also, if you don't have a retirement plan for your employees, have him open an IRA account & let him put in some of the money he earns. You'd be amazed at what compound interest can do in 50 years. Then, being the great Dad you are, you can give him a gift of $XXX to replace what he puts in.
_________________________
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

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#39452 - 06/21/04 11:55 AM Re: Family employees
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Ian:
TALK to your insurance agent BEFORE you take anyone with you on a job. Accidents are unpredictable and you don't need or want any problems.

I recently had a person that wanted to "see" if the sparky trade was "OK". Turns out this person was a full fleged lawyer!!! I have to say I said "no way in he**". Talk about inviting a disaster??

I had my son work for me for about 10+ years, we had good days and bad days.....it's tough to have a family member as an 'employee'; that's all I'll say.

John
_________________________
John

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#39453 - 06/21/04 02:21 PM Re: Family employees
Fred Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 461
Loc: Straughn, IN 47387
I can't comment on having a son or daughter work with me on a regular basis, but I did have my wife work with me for 7 years. She loved the job and we had a great time together. Having her along on those service calls to an elderly lady's home or a single woman's place eased a lot of fears for the customer. I know I was always a little hesitant to have a service man I didn't know come to my house when my wife was there by herself. There were other pluses to the situation too. Other trades on a job would always be quick to lend her a hand with heavy stuff when I wasn't right there. We worked well together. I got tired of hearing other guys say, "Man, I couldn't work with my wife, we'd kill each other in 3 days". It got to where I'd reply, "I know your wife. I couldn't work with her either." I also got a lot of really cool tools for Father's Day and birthdays. Once, when she had spent 2 days dragging a corded sawzall and 100' cord around a crawlspace, I got a Dewalt cordless sawzall for Valentine's Day. A similar situation yeilded me a cordless hammer drill. She finally had to stop when she was 6 months pregnant with our second child. We were at a new condo jobsite and she looked at the scuttle hole and said she could get down in there but feared I'd need to use the block and tackle to get her out. I know it can be a strain working with family, but the only downside we had was sometimes we would go home with our faces aching from laughing all day. She was the only help I ever had that I could pinch their butt or steal a kiss from on the job. She's also the only help I ever wanted to.

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#39454 - 06/24/04 06:24 PM Re: Family employees
Desmo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 3
Loc: College Point, NY, USA
you know what , that post had me in stitches.
but im sitting here now toying over the idea.the husband/wife team could work.

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#39455 - 06/26/04 12:54 AM Re: Family employees
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Ian,
I used to have my late Fianc'ee fill out Certificates of Compliance here in NZ and leave me to fill out the Certfication bit.
But, that is a different thing.
I've worked for Companies where all the family members get the easy jobs and those that aren't family get what is left!.
Sorry to be so negative but that is the way I see it.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#39456 - 06/26/04 04:56 AM Re: Family employees
electure Offline

Member

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
If you'll have other employees, think of the stigma that will go along with being the "boss's son". Even if he busts tail, and works circles around others, it'll be a hard thing to live down.

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#39457 - 06/26/04 07:35 AM Re: Family employees
cs409 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 28
Loc: Orange, Texas
i was 8 when i started with my dad, but that was also before lawers on each block, and the aclu! and you didnt have home owners worried something would happen!

at age 10 in texas, u will not bring him on any commercial sites and for sure no industrial sites,,,are at least not to my knowledge... home sites! there again, if its new con. u maybe could and you maybe couldnt, i know contractors that wouldnt have a problem.....weekend work on new construction of homes and repair work would be the best way to work him in. you would be surprised what a 10 yr old can do! at age 10 i had no problem nailing boxes, pulling runs, and so forth. but again i was 10 years old!

at age 10, you face problems with insurance and employement of a 10yr old!

the best way is to invest for your son,,there are many ways.

second, at age 10, pay him out of your pocket,,,but the biggie is insurance now a days,,,,,can you cover him someway on your work insurance? is there a ad on plan just for summer kids? what states allow a 10 yr old to become legally employed? so if not legally employed, how do you put them on workers comp?? catch 22....maybe a ad on program of such for famly? interesting,,,lets us know...and good luck..

just one last note, if hes interested, thats good for dad, but make sure you do whats best for son! its good to be an electrician, but its better to be an educated one aka, 2yr degree or a BS of some sort related to the trade etc!

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#39458 - 06/26/04 07:46 AM Re: Family employees
cs409 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 28
Loc: Orange, Texas
p.s. if he does end up working in some manner, you make sure hes underpaid....at age 10 i would pay him 1/2 of what min. wage is, and then make him put half of that in a savings of some form! dont want to give him ideas at an early age that money is easy to come by! as he gets older, increase it to a more fair wage..just my 2 cents...i see to many kids help their dads in other trades and end up out of school before they finish!

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#39459 - 06/26/04 05:23 PM Re: Family employees
John Steinke Offline
Member

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 509
Loc: Reno,Nv., USA
Even in the best of families, I strongly suggest that the youngster spend time working for other contractors, so that they have a basis for comparison and are exposed to wider range of work.

Then, you might consider diversifying. In this town there is one family that has one kid as a plumber, another doing HVAC, and the wife has a payroll/office services company.

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