When I ventured into the painting business, I was astonished by the unprofessionalism displayed by some of my competitors. However, it’s crucial to note that many hardworking and legitimate companies provide excellent service while strictly adhering to the law. Companies like Absolute Painting, Mountain Painting, ESP Painting, Sundeleaf Painting, and Pearl Painters serve as prime examples of those doing things the right way. Yet, we’ve all heard our fair share of contractor horror stories. Therefore, I’d like to address a specific issue that deeply concerns me about painting contractors and subcontractors in our industry.
The 1099 Subcontractor Issue
When you hire painting contractors or a painting company, your expectations may not align with reality. Some painting companies, in an attempt to evade the high costs of workers’ compensation insurance premiums, choose to subcontract their employees and file a 1099 form. What does this mean for you as a homeowner when working with painting contractors? Well, if you hire painting contractors who work as subcontractors, they can operate as sole proprietors without the need for workers’ comp insurance. If they, as business owners, sustain an injury while working for themselves, the responsibility squarely falls on them. After all, you can’t sue yourself. Consequently, these painting companies take their employees and classify them as 1099 subcontractors, falsely creating the impression that they are independent painting contractors. However, there’s a significant problem—they lack the necessary licenses! Without proper licensing, these are not legitimate subcontractors.
The Importance of Licensing
When hiring painting contractors, it’s crucial that subcontractors possess valid licenses and carry general liability insurance. In this context, homeowners bear no risk. According to contract law, the responsibility lies with the painting contractors, not the homeowner. However, this principle no longer holds if the subcontractor lacks the required licensing. Without a license, homeowners forfeit any exemption from liability. Consequently, the responsibility falls directly on the homeowner when hiring painting contractors who aren’t properly licensed.
In a nutshell, if an unlicensed subcontractor, hired when working with painting contractors, sustains an injury while working on your property, you could potentially be held liable for that injury. Consider the grave consequences of such a scenario, including the possibility of severe injuries or even fatalities.
So, what steps can you take to protect yourself when working with painting contractors? First and foremost, ensure that all subcontractors possess valid licenses to practice in the state of Oregon. You can verify their status on the CCB website using the CCB License Search. Furthermore, inquire with your contractor about their workforce composition—whether they employ regular employees or rely on 1099 subcontractors when working with painting contractors. If a painting company relies on 1099 employees when working with painting contractors, it’s advisable to seek alternative options. Reputable painting companies typically maintain their legal staff rather than depending on a fleet of 1099 workers when working with painting contractors. On occasion, a painting company might subcontract another firm to assist during peak periods. In such cases, meticulously examine the subcontractor’s business details to confirm they do not employ 1099 workers when working with painting contractors. Although overseeing this aspect can be challenging, it’s not entirely impossible when working with painting contractors.
Our Commitment at Sisu Painting, Inc.
At Sisu Painting, Inc., we never use subcontractors for our work when working with painting contractors. Instead, we deploy our highly skilled and trained employees when working with painting contractors, all of whom benefit from workers’ compensation insurance coverage. I strongly recommend hiring companies that adhere to this practice to safeguard your interests when working with painting contractors.