The Truth Behind Moving Employees
Most Gainesville moving companies that have been around for a while provide a great service. Otherwise, they wouldn’t still be in business! However, every summer, the local Gainesville moving industry sees companies pop up, only to fizzle out once the high demand of the busy season winds down around September. Most of these movers are well-intentioned, and simply have the desire to make a little extra money. However, often they lack experience, protection, and other business practices that can ultimately be a liability.
Established moving companies have a track record of satisfied clients, and generally, their reputation speaks for itself. But there is one business practice that even some established Gainesville Moving companies don’t always perform, and it is important for you as the consumer to know and understand this one thing, before you pay them your hard earned money.
Watch Out For Independent Contractors
Before hiring your Gainesville mover, make sure to ask if their workers are employees or independent contractors! The difference here could could have ramifications on what you as the consumer are liable for when the movers are inside your home.
Why Moving Companies Hire Independent Contractors
Many moving companies utilize independent contractors instead of employees for one reason, to save money! Employees can add up to an additional 30% or more of a company’s payroll over independent contractors who may receive cash under the table (perhaps another tax short-cut local movers may take). Even though you may feel like you are paying a premium for moving services, the local mover may be cutting corners to increase their bottom line. Independent contractors by law are not required to uphold company standards, not required to follow consistency procedures, and perhaps most importantly, are usually not covered by the company’s worker’s compensation insurance. You see, it is very difficult and expensive for moving companies to obtain worker’s compensation because of the inherent risk involved in the moving industry. Technically, independent contractors are supposed to have their own insurance, however, if the actual company does not, it is unlikely the contractors do either.
How to Protect Your Move From These Risks
So what does this mean for you? Well, if an independent contractor slips and hurts themselves while on your property, you could ultimately be held liable for their injury. This also means that the actual company may not be legally liable for any damage that could occur to your items, as technically it was not done by one of their employees. Overall, just a messy situation, but an avoidable one!
How do you tell if the Gainesville moving company you hire uses independent contractors or has its own employees? Start by asking! Even if a company says it is fully licensed and insured, you still must ask about worker’s comp. Although the labor department requires companies with more than three employees to carry worker’s compensation, the state of Florida only requires general liability and auto liability insurance to issue a mover’s license. Make sure to be specific when asking about worker’s comp, and see if they will provide a certificate. This is easy to do if the company truly has this insurance, so don’t let them give you the run-around!
Another thing to watch out for is any company that only accepts cash, or offers incentives and discounts to pay cash. Yes, it is true that credit card processing companies charge a fee to charge cards, so some companies may want to avoid paying this fee by taking cash. However, it is a legal requirement to accept at least two forms of payment. If a company offers a cash discount, they should also offer a discount for check, money order or cashier’s check. Take it as a red flag if they offer cash only incentives, as this could be a sign that they are paying workers under the table or illegally avoiding taxes.
Why 2 College Brothers Does Not Cut Corners
At 2 College Brothers, all of our movers are W-2 employees and completely covered by worker’s compensation. They are legal to work in the United States, uniformed, and extensively trained to provide the best and most consistent moving service in Gainesville. We revolve around a culture of transparency and doing business right. Yes, it is more expensive, and yes, it takes away from our bottom line, but we know that as we strive to be Gainesville’s best moving company, we cannot afford to cut corners, and neither can you.
Wade Swikle started out in the moving business while a student at the University of Florida, graduating with a Bachelor’s in Telecommunication and a Master’s in Entrepreneurship, before becoming president of 2 College Brothers.