You may have seen a small crowd of people looking for work in the Home Depot Parking lot. Who are these people? Are these laborers a good option for your home improvement projects? Let’s look into the ins and outs of hiring Mexican day laborers!
Day laborers are often congregated in the parking lots of Home Depots across the country. These individuals are usually undocumented immigrants looking for work.
If you are looking for mexican workers / day laborers outside The Home Depot to help you with a project, be clear about the scope of the project and your expectations. You should set an hourly pay rate before you hire a laborer. Provide a safe space, water, food, and bathroom facilities for any workers you hire.
Table of Contents
- How to Hire a Day Laborer at Home Depot
- What Documentation Should I Check?
- How Much Should I Pay Day Laborers?
- Ethical Issues
How to Hire a Day Laborer at Home Depot
This may seem like an overwhelming task! If there are many laborers in the parking lot, you may be swarmed by hopeful workers shouting “Trabajo!” (work). How do you pick the necessary workers from the throng?
Describe the Project to Be Completed
Have a detailed description of the job as well as your expectations. Pictures are helpful! Take pictures of the project area and then also provide pictures of what you desire for the finished product. This will also help with any miscommunications due to the language barrier.
Have a laborer description on hand as well. Are you looking for a carpenter? Do you need someone with drywall skills? Or, do you simply need someone for grunt work? It may be helpful to make a sign with the designated job in English and Spanish, such as “Drywall” or “Yardwork”.
Overcome the Language Barrier
Some Mexican laborers do not speak any English. If your Spanish is a bit rusty (or non-existent!), this may be the time to learn a few basic phrases. Find a friend who knows some Spanish, or use Google translate to write out a job description in Spanish.
There may be workers who speak some English. Pick these workers in order to simplify communication if you don’t speak any Spanish. Alternatively, if you know someone who speaks Spanish, bring them along to translate.
Ask for Pictures of Recent Work
Many laborers will save photos of work on their phones. Once you’ve narrowed the field to a few workers, ask them for pictures of previous work. This should give you a better idea of their skills and expertise.
What Documentation Should I Check?
I’ll be honest, most day laborers are undocumented immigrants. If this is a concern for you, ask for the following documentation.
An insured laborer will give you peace of mind that you will not be held financially responsible for any accidents that occur on your property. Call the number on the insurance card to verify the workers’ policy.
A contractors’ license is issued by the government or a workers’ guild to allow the holder to legally perform a certain job or task. There are usually qualifying standards that the contractor must meet in order to be licensed.
A licensed contractor is able to obtain permits for the project too. If you go with unlicensed workers, you are responsible for any necessary permits that may be required down the road.
Recent Worksite Information
Ask for references and photos! This helpful information can give you an idea of the worker’s skills, competence, and work ethic.
How Much Should I Pay Day Laborers?
Average Hourly Rate
Generally, day laborers are paid $10-$12 per hour. Don’t lowball them! If you pick up a laborer with a specialized skill, make sure you pay them fairly for their skill level. If you are satisfied with the work provided, add on a bonus or increase the hourly rate.
Provide Water, Food, and Restrooms
Food, water, and restrooms are a common courtesy that should be provided to any laborer that works on your home. It doesn’t have to be fancy!
Give Them a Ride
Return the laborers to the Home Depot at the end of the day or when the project is complete. Be clear if you need them to continue the project the next day and arrange a meeting place and time.
Treat Your Workers Well
Unfortunately, many day laborers are accustomed to unfair treatment. Often due to a language barrier or immigration status, they don’t have any way to combat this treatment.
Day laborers are human beings and deserve to be treated with respect and courtesy. They are willing to work hard to support themselves and often their families as well. As their boss, it is your responsibility to make sure they are safe and well. Any lesser treatment is cruel.
Some people are concerned with the legal ramifications of hiring an undocumented worker. The bottom line? It is against the law to hire an illegal immigrant.
However, immigration rarely goes after the homeowners who hire the immigrants. Their offices do not typically have the resources to pursue individuals.