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Starting a Handyman Business: Essential Tips and Considerations

Jul. 1st 2024

Question: I think I will start being a handyman for hire in California, just fixing small things as I can do a bit of everything, but I don’t want to have to get a license to do bigger jobs and only me that will be doing the work. I am still considering starting and having that be my only job. I like some tips on how to get going and what I may need to get started.

Response: Starting a handyman business in California can be a great opportunity, especially if you have the skills and passion. One crucial step to get going is creating a solid business plan. A business plan will not only help you determine your target market, pricing strategy, and the specific services you will offer, but it will also give you a sense of preparedness and confidence in your venture. Since you mentioned that you only want to do small jobs, focus on marketing yourself as a specialist in quick home repairs and maintenance tasks.

Networking is also crucial. Reach out to friends, family, and neighbors, and let them know about your new venture. Their support and word-of-mouth referrals can be a powerful tool for getting your business off the ground. This network will not only help you find clients but also make you feel connected and supported in your new endeavor. Consider creating a simple website or social media profile such as Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Neighborhood to showcase your skills and advertise your services.

In terms of legal requirements, while California may not require a specific handyman license for small jobs, it’s essential to research and comply with local regulations and permit requirements. Additionally, consider investing in basic insurance to protect yourself and your clients in case of accidents or damages during the job.

Building a solid online presence through a website or social media can also help attract customers. Consider showcasing your past work and client testimonials to build credibility.

Lastly, invest in quality tools and equipment to ensure you can deliver top-notch service. Building a positive reputation through excellent work and outstanding customer service will be critical to your success in this field. Good luck with your new endeavor!

The Importance of Insurance Coverage for Your Handyman Business

Before starting your handyman business, it’s crucial to understand the importance of having the right insurance coverage. At the same time, it might seem like an additional expense, but having the proper insurance can be a lifesaver in unexpected mishaps or accidents.

Liability insurance is essential for handymen. It provides coverage if a client’s property is damaged or if someone gets injured while you’re working. For example, if you accidentally break a valuable item while fixing something in a client’s home, liability insurance can help cover the replacement or repair cost.

In addition to liability insurance, consider getting tools and equipment insurance. As a handyman, your tools are essential for your work and represent a significant investment. Tools and equipment insurance can protect you if your gear is stolen, damaged, or lost. This could include power tools, hand tools, ladders, and other equipment you use regularly.

Moreover, having insurance can give your clients peace of mind. They’ll feel more comfortable hiring you knowing that you have coverage, and it shows that you are committed to professionalism and responsibility in your work. This commitment to safety and responsibility will not only make your clients feel secure but also make you feel more professional and trustworthy in your work.

Ultimately, investing in insurance is an investment in the longevity and success of your business. It’s an essential step in protecting both yourself and your clients. You’re demonstrating your commitment to operating a reliable and trustworthy handyman service by getting the right insurance coverage. Remember, accidents can happen, and having the right insurance can make all the difference. It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind it can bring.

Determining Pricing Strategy for Your Handyman Business

When starting a handyman business, one of the essential aspects to consider is determining the pricing for your services. Setting the correct prices is crucial for the success of your business and requires careful consideration and planning. Here’s how you can determine the pricing for your handyman services when you first start.

1. Research the Market: Research the prevailing rates for handyman services in your area. Look at what your competitors are charging and what services they offer. Researching your competitors will give you a good understanding of the market and help you set competitive prices.

2. Calculate Your Costs: It’s essential to calculate all your costs, including tools, equipment, insurance, transportation, marketing, and overhead expenses. You need to ensure that your prices cover these costs and leave you with a reasonable profit.

3. Determine Your Value: Assess your skills, expertise, and the quality of service you intend to provide. If you have specialized skills or can offer unique services, you may be able to justify higher prices. Highlighting the value you bring to your clients can justify charging premium rates.

4. Consider Your Target Market: Understand the needs and expectations of your target market. If you are catering to a higher-end clientele, you may be able to charge higher rates for premium services. On the other hand, if you are focusing on more budget-conscious customers, you may need to adjust your pricing accordingly.

5. Offer Competitive Pricing: While covering your costs and making a profit is essential, it’s also crucial to remain competitive. Consider offering introductory rates or package deals to attract your first set of customers and showcase the value of your work.

6. Factor in Profit Margins: Don’t underestimate the importance of setting prices to generate a healthy profit. Your pricing should cover your costs and provide you with the means to grow and expand your business.

7. Adjust as Needed: As you receive customer feedback and understand the demand for your services, be prepared to adjust your pricing. It’s common for businesses to refine their pricing strategies as they gather more experience and insights from the market.

Considering these factors, you can develop a thoughtful and competitive pricing strategy for your handyman services. Remember, the goal is not just to set prices but to set fair and attractive prices that reflect the value of your services and ensure the success of your business.

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Saudi Arabia adopts sustainability as a fundamental focus in the Kingdom’s recent boom in construction projects

Jan. 31st 2011

Saudi Arabia’s growing sustainable industry and booming economy are being driven by the construction industry which is currently valued at SR 1 trillion. Saudi Arabia has adopted sustainability as a fundamental focus in the Kingdom’s recent boom in construction projects.

CertainTeed showcases sustainable construction products at the 2011 International Builders’ Show

Jan. 31st 2011

CertainTeed Corporation, a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, will showcase its sustainable products and an industry-first mobile app at the 2011 International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fl.. The company’s building science team will also help tackle several key building industry issues .

Eco-Solids International showcases Cellruptor installation at Yorkshire Water

Jan. 28th 2011

Eco-Solids International has showcased its Cellruptor installation at Yorkshire Water’s Esholt WWTW, which proved to be one of the main highlights of the 15th European Biosolids and Organic Resources Conference & Exhibition.

Jerseys sand and gravel quarry takes delivery of a new Terex Finlay 683 Supertrak

Jan. 16th 2011

A Jersey-based sand and gravel quarry has taken delivery of a new Terex Finlay 683 Supertrak from Finlay Plant Southern. Simon Sand & Gravel Limited a fifth generation, family-owned quarry situated at St Ouen’s Bay on the west coast has been supplying the island’s building equipment for years.

FM Conway orders Fuso Canter trucks to operate in Londons Low Emission Zone

Jan. 15th 2011

FM Conway, based in Dartford, Kent, has ordered 31 Canter 7C15s trucks to work on its portfolio of maintenance contracts with borough councils across the capital. The new fleet of clean, ‘green’ 7.5-tonne Fuso Canters will be used in London’s Low Emission Zone.

Save time and money on costly basement repairs with TRX Compressed Swell Plug

Jan. 14th 2011

Mr. Sponge Waterproofing is now offering its newly developed tie-rod hole leak device called “TRX Compressed Swell Plug”. Property managers and maintenance repair personnel can now save time and money on costly basement repairs by doing this repair process themselves.

Aon Risk Solutions Public Entity practice provides specialty consulting, risk control, claims services and construction-related products for public entities

Jan. 13th 2011

Aon Risk Solutions has formed a Public Entity practice to address and work to fulfill increased demand among state governments, counties, towns, special districts and public schools for specialized risk advice and services.

Government confirms support for anaerobic digestion at ADBA Conference, Handyman News

Jan. 12th 2011

Building on its inaugural conference in 2009, ADBA’s (The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association) second national conference in London attracted the industry’s leading players to a packed day of speakers and discussions.

William Anelay repairs grade 1 listed St Augustines Church

Jan. 11th 2011

William Anelay Ltd has announced it has completed the latest phase of work at the grade 1 listed St. Augustine’s Church in Hedon near Hull. The contract involved repairs and replacements to some of the building’s structural masonry, much of it dating back eight hundred years.

Handyman DOL Releases Lactation-Break “Preliminary Interpretations”, Seeks Comment

Jan. 10th 2011

The U.S. Labor Department has now published what it calls its “preliminary interpretations” and a request for information regarding the federal Fair Labor Standards Act lactation-break amendment we wrote about in April and July.  The deadline for submitting information and comments is February 22, 2011.  Employers should give serious consideration to weighing-in on these “preliminary interpretations”.

The material says that the “reasonable break time” required should be evaluated according to individualized considerations of both the time spent expressing milk and “steps reasonably necessary” to that activity.  In DOL’s view, the length of a required break will depend upon a variety of things, like:

•   How much time it takes to express the milk (DOL anticipates 15 to 20 minutes),

•   Time spent walking to and from the break location, and any time waiting to use the space,

•   Time spent retrieving, unpacking, and setting-up a pump and related supplies,

•   The efficiency of the pump,

•   Time spent in washing, in cleaning the pump and attachments, and in any related steps, taking into account whether there is a sink with running water nearby, and

•   Time spent storing the milk in a safe manner.

As for the frequency and number of breaks, DOL will consider factors such as:

•   The baby’s age as this relates to the child’s feeding needs,

•   The number of feedings in the baby’s normal daily schedule,

•   Whether the baby is eating solid food, and

•   How often the baby usually nurses.

DOL anticipates that the number of necessary breaks will “typically” be two or three during an eight-hour shift (and possibly more for longer shifts).  Apparently, then, DOL would not consider total breaktime of, say, 45 to 90 minutes each workday to be out of the ordinary.  DOL also says that these breaks might not track the employee’s regular break times or meal periods.

According to DOL, employers are required to make a suitable room available for use “where practicable” (although this room need not necessarily be a permanent space dedicated to that purpose).  If it is not “practicable” to do so, the employer must “create a space with partitions or curtains” that is also otherwise appropriate under the amendment.  DOL says that employers are not complying with the break requirement if the space is so far from the employee that it is “impractical” for her to take the breaks, or if the number of employees needing to use the space means that this “prevents” an employee from taking breaks or “necessitates a prolonged waiting time”.

DOL continues to “interpret” the amendment to mean that:

♦   An employer allowing paid breaks must compensate a nursing employee in the same way it does others if she uses such a break in order to express breastmilk; and

♦   The break must be treated as worktime if the employee is not “completely relieved from duty” (apparently ascribing this to a non-existent “general requirement” in the FLSA itself).

For a variety of reasons, both the correctness of these positions under the FLSA and DOL’s authority to propound them are subject to serious question.  Nonetheless, DOL clearly intends to impose them.

These “preliminary interpretations” touch upon and seek input with respect to other subjects also, such as:

•   Whether and under what circumstances managers’ offices, locker rooms, utility closets, storage spaces, or anterooms or lounges associated with bathrooms might be adequate break spaces,

•   What approaches there might be to situations in which employees (such as drivers) do not perform their jobs at a fixed place of work,

•   How to comply with the requirement when an employee works at a client’s or customer’s place of business,

•   How the employer is to be notified about the employee’s intention to take lactation breaks (including whether a “simple conversation” should suffice), and

•   How the under-50-employee “undue hardship” exemption will apply (indications are that DOL intends to construe it very restrictively).

Although this latest release is couched as a request for public comment for DOL’s use in “formulating further guidance”, there is some hint that instead it might actually be DOL’s last pronouncement on the subject for the foreseeable future.  Moreover, DOL states that it does not intend to issue regulations “[a]t this time” (it is not apparent by what authority DOL would do so in the absence of any empowering language in the amendment itself).  Even so, employers ought to study these materials carefully and should submit their reactions and any suggestions or objections.  For one thing, a muted response risks a later argument that the “regulated community” tacitly embraced DOL’s views in their entirety.

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One-Way “Bridge to Justice” Now In Place, Handyman Insurance Quotes

Jan. 9th 2011

The U.S. Labor Department/American Bar Association lawyer-referral program we wrote about earlier is underway.  This so-called “Bridge to Justice” is now described on the U.S. Wage and Hour Division’s website.

As details continue to emerge, there is cause for heightened concern about how this will be handled.  First, it appears that the potential remains for referrals to be made under circumstances implicating neither the federal Fair Labor Standards Act nor any other law DOL enforces.

Moreover, program descriptions are replete with references to “violations”, worker exploitation, “back wages owed”, and so on that will serve as a predicate for referring an employee to a lawyer.  But the unfortunate fact is that, at least sometimes, initial DOL determinations of this kind are later shown to be based in whole or in part upon mistaken views of the facts, erroneous legal interpretations, or misapplication of the law to the facts.  In the past, it has usually been possible to work cooperatively with DOL to reach a proper conclusion in these situations.  However, it now seems that employers caught up in some appreciable number of these instances will instead have to devote their already-scarce resources to protracted litigation with unjustifiably emboldened employees and their lawyers.

A referred employee will also “get a form that will allow them or an authorized attorney representative to quickly obtain certain items from the investigation case file.”  This is part of the “special process for complainants and representing attorneys to quickly obtain certain relevant case information and documents when available.”  DOL says that whether some kinds of information will be released will depend upon the scope of disclosures permitted by the Freedom of Information Act and other provisions, but at present this is cold comfort.  It remains to be seen to what extent and in what ways the flow of information and materials to employees’ lawyers will be limited.  While employers must of course abide by their legal obligations in connection with DOL investigations, the existence of this “special process” should cause management to be cautious both in deciding what documents and information will be provided to investigators and in judging how and under what circumstances these things will be disclosed.  For example, employers should be prepared to assert at the very outset the confidential nature of financial and employment-related information.

We have seen no reference to any new “special process” whereby employers can secure case information from DOL’s files.

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Handyman Nature Of DOLs “Right To Know” Remains Largely Unknown

Jan. 8th 2011

The U.S. Labor Department’s most-recent regulatory agenda now targets April 2011 for the release of a proposed rule that DOL says is intended to, among other things, “update [federal Fair Labor Standards Act] recordkeeping requirements to foster more openness and transparency in demonstrating employers’ compliance with applicable requirements to their workers, to better ensure compliance by regulated entities, and to assist in enforcement.”  Elsewhere, DOL has stated that this forthcoming “Right To Know Under The Fair Labor Standards Act” would address “notification of workers’ status as employees or some other status such as independent contractors, and whether that worker is entitled to the protections of the FLSA.”  The proposal would “also explore requiring employers to provide a wage statement each pay period to their employees,” apparently so as to convey to employees “how their pay is computed.”

These current notifications include even fewer specifics than their predecessors, about which we reported in May.  At that time, DOL expressed an intention to require employers to notify workers of their FLSA rights in some unidentified way and to provide unspecified “information” about hours worked and wage computations.

DOL also said earlier that employers would be required to prepare some sort of “classification analysis” for a worker whom the employer will “exclude . . . from the FLSA’s coverage,” to disclose this analysis to the worker, and to provide the analysis to a DOL investigator upon “request.”  Judging from the latest notices, this is still on the table.  It is less than transparent whether such an analysis would be restricted to situations in which a worker is categorized as being or not being an employee for FLSA purposes.  For example, there is concern that it will also extend to an employer’s decisions about which employees it will treat as being exempt from the FLSA’s pay requirements.  At a May “Stakeholder Forum” in Washington, D.C., DOL officials declined to address this question.

We continue to recommend that employers remain on the alert for this proposed rule.  When it is published, employers should evaluate each provision in detail, should carefully consider all potential ramifications, and should be prepared to submit suggestions, comments, and any objections.  In light of the recent “Bridge to Justice” initiative, there is every reason to anticipate that information compiled under the requirements of any final regulation will wind up in the hands of claimants and their lawyers.

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Handyman Insurance: USDOL Targeting H-1B Pay/Benefits Compliance

Jan. 7th 2011

The US Labor Department is aggressively investigating compliance with the wage-rate and benefits commitments employers must make in an H-1B Labor Condition Application (LCA). These investigations are usually triggered when an H-1B employee complains that the employer failed to pay the LCA wage.

The H-1B program allows foreign nationals to work in the US in professional or specialty jobs.  However, the employer must attest, among other things, that it will:

◊   Pay the H-1B employee at least the prevailing wage set by DOL based upon job duties and the employment location, and

◊   Offer the foreign worker benefits comparable to those offered to US workers in the same job classification.

DOL is taking these investigations very seriously and is assessing significant liability.  For example, under a December 2010 consent order, a software consulting company agreed to pay over $638,000 in back wages and interest for LCA violations.  The company and the owner also agreed to pay more than $126,000 in civil money penalties and interest for failing to provide the required LCA notice at each work site and for seeking a penalty from H-1B employees for terminating their employment early.  The company will be debarred for a year from participating in the H-1B program.

During an investigation, DOL reviews information such as:

•   The contents of the LCA itself,

•   A statement of how the wage rate was set,

•   Documentation showing how the prevailing wage was established,

•   The original notices posted advising workers about the LCA filing,

•   A summary of the benefits offered to US workers in the same occupation,

•   Payroll records and dates of employment for the H-1B employee,

•   A copy of the H-1B petition filed with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS),

•   Evidence that the employer notified USCIS if the H-1B employment was terminated prior to the end of the authorized period and that the LCA was withdrawn, and

•   The current or last-known address and contact information for all H-1B employees.

The investigation generally includes interviews with management officials and H-1B employees.

DOL’s main goals are (i) to determine whether the employer paid each H-1B employee the LCA wage for the period the LCA remained in effect (liability for not doing so can continue even after the employee was no longer employed but the LCA was not withdrawn); and (ii) to ensure that H-1B employees’ wages were not docked when they were ready, willing, and able to work but the employer did not permit them to do so.  If the investigator finds that the employer is in violation, DOL normally assesses liability for back-pay, any benefits shortfalls, interest, and civil money penalties.  DOL might also insist upon monitoring and auditing the company’s compliance with H-1B requirements.  In serious cases, DOL might debar the employer from using the H-1B program. Read more about USDOL, USCIS, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement audits in the January 2011 edition of our Labor Letter.

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Kubota launches Dash 4 mini excavator

Jan. 3rd 2011

Kubota (UK) Ltd Construction Equipment has launched the new generation of Dash 4 mini excavators, for plant hire firms, builders, contractors, utilities, local authorities and owner operators.

Caterpillar releases new line of buckets for the 374D and 390D Hydraulic Excavators

Dec. 23rd 2010

Caterpillar Work Tools has announced the introduction of a new line of buckets for the 374D and 390D Hydraulic Excavators. This new line of pin-on and coupler buckets feature improved designs to take full advantage of increased machine performance.

Kier Stoke takes on 80 apprentices

Dec. 22nd 2010

Kier Stoke takes on 80 apprentices: As a recognised National Skills Academy for construction, Kier Stoke, a division of Kier Building Maintenance, is serious about investing in the future of its local community and hopes to have supported 200 apprentices by the end of the project in four years’ time.

Marley Eternit Natura Pro fibre cement cladding visually transforms housing refurbishment in Liverpool

Dec. 21st 2010

A Natura Pro fibre cement overclad solution from Marley Eternit has visually transformed tired looking buildings with a low maintenance decorative rainscreen facade at a housing refurbishment in Rock Grove, Liverpool.

Collapse in public funding will inevitably have a major impact on the construction sector

Dec. 20th 2010

Collapse in public funding will inevitably have a major impact on the construction sector: According to the latest RICS Construction Market survey, the impact of government spending cuts and continued concerns over access to finance saw sentiment in the construction industry turn increasingly negative during the third quarter of 2010.

Posted by Handyman Insurance | in Contractors News | No Comments »

3M lights up largest motorway in Ireland

Dec. 20th 2010

3M is lighting up Ireland’s newest stretch of road. The M3, the largest motorway in Ireland, has recently opened, featuring 30,000 3M 301/290 Marker Series road studs. This follows an earlier project which saw 9,000 of its Marker Series 290 roadstuds chosen for a 24km stretch of highway.

Handyman Care In Drafting Pay Documents Is Essential

Dec. 19th 2010

Handyman Care In Drafting Pay Documents Is Essential: In all her 20 years in human resources, Janice has never seen anything like it.  Bigtime Electronics fired its Production Manager Fred Smith last week, and now his lawyer has sent Janice a letter demanding that Fred be paid more than $20,000 for overtime worked during his employment.  Fred clearly met the requirements for exemption from overtime under federal and state wage-hour laws.

But the attorney refers to a sentence in Fred’s hiring letter saying, “For payroll and withholding purposes, Bigtime Electronics will comply with all federal and state compensation laws and regulations.”  The lawyer says that, even if Fred was otherwise exempt from overtime, this was a contract in which Bigtime nevertheless agreed to abide by those requirements.  Janice picks up the phone to call Bigtime’s employment lawyer so that they can share a good chuckle.  Unfortunately, Fred might have the last laugh; at least one court has ruled that a similar sentence meant an employee was entitled to overtime under state law.

Increasingly, employees and former employees are invoking the words of a hiring letter, a compensation policy, a bonus memo posted on the bulletin board, and so on to make pay claims.  These contentions are often based, not upon minimum-wage or overtime laws, but instead upon things like contract law or state wage-payment statutes requiring employers to pay what they say they will.  For example, some courts have said that an employer’s meal-break policy could be interpreted to mean that employees are contractually entitled to pay for unworked meal periods, even though a wage-hour law would not require this.

Cases like these typically allege that management has failed to do something it said it would do or has done something different from what it committed to do.  Also, employees often try to exploit ambiguities, vagueness, or inconsistencies in compensation plans or policies in making their allegations.  It is not unusual for them to contend after-the-fact that words or phrases meant something different from what the employer believed everyone understood them to mean.

Employers should think carefully about what they are saying in documents that cover compensation matters or that could arguably affect employees’ pay.  Management should be sure that these materials say things as clearly and as accurately as possible, and that they neither say nor imply anything different from what the employer intends.  These documents should be drafted to give the employer maximum control and flexibility, including with respect to the interpretation of the terms used.  This doesn’t mean that pay documents have to be “lawyered-up”; being clear and accurate does not necessarily translate to being longer and more-complicated.

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Handyman Quick Quiz Answer: Bonus Based Upon Company’s Annual Performance

Dec. 18th 2010

The answer to our November 4 Quick Quiz is “Yes”:  Fair Labor Standards Act overtime must indeed be figured on the kind of bonus we described.  In fact, the U.S. Wage and Hour Division’s Office of Enforcement Policy (“OEP”) took this position with respect to such a bonus in a May 2006 opinion letter.

Under the FLSA, overtime for non-exempt employees must be calculated based upon the “regular rate” of pay.  The FLSA says that the regular rate includes “all remuneration for employment paid to, or on behalf of, the employee,” with only limited exceptions.

Bonuses are not excluded from this definition simply because they are earned over an entire calendar year.  See, e.g., Opinion Letter of Deputy Wage-Hour Administrator FLSA2005-47 (November 4, 2005)(“regular rate” included a retention payment designed to encourage employees to remain employed at a facility from June 6, 2002 through September 21, 2004).

Employers need not compute overtime on “discretionary” bonuses within the FLSA’s meaning.  However, this exception applies only if both (a) whether the payments will be made, and (b) the amounts of any such payments:

•   Are within management’s sole discretion;

•   Are decided at or near the end of the period for which the performance of services is being recognized; and

•   Are not made pursuant to any prior contract, agreement, or promise (either expressed or implied) causing the employee to expect such payments regularly.

29 U.S.C.A. 207(e)(3)(a).  OEP concluded that the kind of annual bonus we described did not fall within these parameters, in part because the benchmarks for whether a bonus would be due suggested that the payments were promised “as an incentive for increased or sustained productive efforts.”  OEP also determined that the employer abandoned any discretion as to both whether payments would be made and what the amounts would be by announcing the criteria to employees well in advance, which in OEP’s view appeared to be “a prior promise or agreement” to pay the bonus if those criteria were met.  And although OEP did not clearly say so in explaining its conclusion, the bonus’s requirements relating to longevity and remaining employed at the time of payment also cut against its being viewed as discretionary.

Because the bonus is not excludable from the regular rate, Acme must determine whether any non-exempt employee receiving a bonus payment worked more than 40 hours in any workweek in the bonus period.  For any employee who did so, it must then figure the workweek-equivalent of the bonus and must calculate overtime on that equivalent for every workweek in which the employee worked overtime.

Facebook Adds Expansion to Massive Data Center Under Construction

Nov. 3rd 2010

With the news that Facebook had surpassed 500 million users, the social networking website has decided to more than double the size of its first wholly-owned data center currently under construction in Prineville, Ore.

Handyman, Chicago Officer Sues Over After-Hours PDA Use

Oct. 2nd 2010

A police officer has sued the City of Chicago (on behalf of himself and others) seeking pay for time spent dealing with work-related phone calls, voice-mails, e-mails, text messages, and work orders via BlackBerry® devices and similar “personal digital assistants”.  The officer contends that these activities entitle the group to an award of overtime compensation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

The potential for these claims has been lurking for a while now, and the relevant FLSA principles are not new.  What has changed is this:  The explosion of 24/7 electronic communication has increased the frequency with which, and has expanded the circumstances in which, non-exempt employees perform after-hours and/or off-premises work.  Join this with the strict requirements of a 70-year-old law that was designed in and for a bygone era, and you have the recipe for a lawsuit extravaganza.

The question is not whether these activities are compensable FLSA “hours worked” for a non-exempt employee – they are.  However, conventional wisdom leads some to think that things like writing a text message or listening to a voice-mail involve too little time to worry with.  But the truth is that this so-called “de minimis” concept is perilously vague, ill-defined, and unpredictable under the FLSA.  No particular timeframe is necessarily small enough to be reliably considered de minimis, and in any event the per-occurrence amount of time is not all that the courts take into account.  Other considerations can include such things as:

•   The aggregate amount of an individual’s time spent in these activities;

•   The aggregate amount of time spent by all of the individuals making claims;

•   The regularity of the activities;

•   Whether and to what extent capturing the time creates a substantial administrative burden and practical difficulty; and/or

•   Properly balancing FLSA policy favoring paying employees for even small amounts of time against the increased burden and difficulty of doing this.

Instead of hoping for a de minimis finding, the legally-preferable approach is to require a non-exempt employee to keep an accurate record of the time spent in the work.  This might be done, for example, on a special form designed for this purpose.  The employee then submits this record so that the activities can be counted along with his or her other work in order to compute the employee’s wages.

Alternatively, cases and U.S. Labor Department interpretations dealing with analogous situations might arguably support developing a reasonable estimate of how long these activities take each day.  The employer would then reach an agreement or understanding with employees in advance as to how much time it will add to their hours worked to account for handling these duties.  Even so, it remains to be seen how the courts will react to this approach, and basing pay upon anything other than the actual facts always increases uncertainty for the employer.

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Handyman, Court Might Have Rejected Donning/Doffing “Administrator Interpretation” Without Citing It. A Subtle Dig?

Oct. 1st 2010

We previously posted about the U.S. Labor Department’s Administrator Interpretation saying that unionized employers cannot exclude time spent donning and doffing certain protective equipment from compensable “hours worked,” even if an applicable union contract or practice treats the time as unpaid.  On August 2, 2010, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that unionized workers at a Kraft Foods plant could sue under Wisconsin state law for wages relating to their time spent donning and doffing certain safety gear and other items at work.  They made their claim even though Kraft and the union had earlier agreed that this time would be non-compensable under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s Section 203(o).  Spoerle v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., 16 W.H. Cases2d (BNA) 711 (7th Cir. 2010).

Before reaching that conclusion, the court said that the workers had no FLSA claim in light of the agreement between Kraft and the union.  The workers argued that Section 203(o) did not permit the union/employer agreement, contending that “protective gear is not ‘clothing’ under 203(o).”  The Court of Appeals said that this argument “is a loser for the reasons given in Sepulveda v. Allen Family Foods, Inc., 591 F.3d 209 (4th Cir. 2009).  We agree with Sepulveda and need not repeat its analysis.”

The Court’s August 2 decision does not mention the June 3 Administrator Interpretation (which specifically criticized Sepulveda‘s rationale).  Whether the Seventh Circuit’s decision should be taken as a rejection of the Administrator Interpretation is unclear, but it is tempting to see it that way.  In stating what was to be resolved on appeal, the Court described a limited question:  “[W]hether Section 203(o) preempts state law that lacks an equivalent exception.”  Given that narrow issue, the Court need not have said much (or perhaps anything) about the workers’ separate argument that “protective gear is not ‘clothing’ under 203(o).”  Nevertheless, the Court did mention that argument, emphatically called it “a loser,” and then went even farther by applauding the Sepulveda decision.  Was the Court not-so-subtly calling the Administrator Interpretation on this point “a loser” too?

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best handyman insurance quotes offering low cost monthly rates Find the Best Insurance

Handyman insurance quotes is available on a state by state basis in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Dist of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Find the best Handyman insurance quotes from some of the finest and solid insurance companies who compare liability coverages based upon your own personal choices.
Business insurance quotes Handyman Quotes

Business insurance quotes vary according to the state your business is in so you need to keep this mind when shopping for insurance.
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Your contractors license classification provides the insurance company the amount of risk and claims exposure you may incur as a result of your business.
Online Handyman Quotes

How many years of experience in the licensed classification influences your final business insurance quote.

Handyman Insurance

Insurance might not be the first thing someone thinks about when running a business, but it should be an important consideration.   Handyman insurance is another requirement if you are thinking about starting a handyman business.  This website provides important insurance information on Handyman Insurance Coverage and quotes.

Handyman Insurance Coverage

Handyman insurance includes several types of coverage; each one offers a specific kind of protection for your business.  

(Handyman Insurance ) Commercial Auto: Covers a business's owned, no owned, and hired autos against liability and physical damage losses. 

Handyman Workers Compensation:  If your business as a Handyman employs any staff (including part-time, trainees or sub-contractors), Employers liability insurance cover is a legal requirement.  Employers liability insurance provides protection against your legal liabilities to pay compensation in respect of injury sustained by your employees in the course of your business as a Handyman.  (Handyman Insurance) Workers Compensation: Provides coverage for an employer's responsibility in the event of a work-related injury or illness.   Employers Liability Insurance for handyman work: This type of insurance would cover payment of legal fees and damages in the event that an employee was injured or killed while doing work for you. 

Tradesman Insurance for handymen: This is a package of several different kinds of cover for handymen, making up one policy that meets all your insurance needs.

Public Liability Insurance for handyman work: This type of insurance would cover you if your business activities caused injury or death to a member of the public.

Handyman General Liability - Commercial jobs will require you to have general liability coverage of $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 prior to being hired (not to mention that you protect your assets if something goes wrong on the job).

Products liability insurance for Handymen - Products liability insurance provides protection against your legal liability, compensation costs and expenses following injury or damage by goods that you have sold, supplied, repaired, tested or delivered in connection with your business as a Handyman.  Products Liability insurance for Handymen at 1,000,000 with the option to increase to 2,000,000 up to 5,000,000 or more.  Public Liability insurance cover provides protection against your legal liability for injury to third parties and damage to their property in connection with your business as a Handyman.

Professional Indemnity Insurance for handyman work: This covers you against any mistakes you might make  including bad advice you or your staff might give  that ends up costing your clients money, and leading them to take legal action against you.

(Handyman Insurance ) Umbrella Coverage: A broader form of coverage that extends the limits of liability found in a base policy form. 

Income Protection Insurance - If the essential person should be unable to work for a period of time, this handyman insurance helps to cover the loss of business as a result of the illness or injury.  Having sufficient income protection insurance is also a worth while consideration, if you were to fall off a step ladder or hurt your back and couldnt work, accident, sickness and unemployment insurance could help you to pay for some of your monthly bills in the event of you not being able to work.

The Handyman Insurance Program gives our policyholder comprehensive coverage for their handyman businesses, and the program is designed for Handymen who: Are hired to do a variety of miscellaneous work that would be found in a residential household environment;

Please note that standard home owner's insurance will most likely not cover business assets, and may VOID your home insurance coverage.  If your business is home-based, do you need more liability coverage than your home insurance policy covers. 

The Handyman program gives our policyholder comprehensive coverage for their handyman businesses, and the program is designed for Handymen.

Handyman Insurance Quotes

Find information on insurance companies and agents, rate quotes and comparisons, insurance buying tips, claims filing information and much more. Find the best Handyman insurance quotes liability commercial and small Handyman companies offering affordable monthly payment options for your handyman business and the self-employed.  Find the best Handyman insurance quotes from some of the finest and solid insurance companies who compare liability coverages based upon your own personal choices.  Get online quotes for handyman insurance now.  And it can help you save money on your handyman insurance without compromising on the level of cover you need.  The Handyman tradesman insurance policy has been crafted to cover all your Handyman insurance needs at the most competitive price.


A reminder this is not an attempt to describe the product coverage and its' contents but merely used as a sales tool for the purpose of product illustration. The website and its' owners cannot make recommendations as to whether any illustrated product may meet the users' particular needs. Therefore, the suitability of the product is the final determination of the user of this website. The use of this website is acceptance of the sites' privacy statement. Coverage is not in effect until an application is signed, transmitted, payment received and approved by the underwriting company unless otherwise specifically stated. A physical and/or background inspection may be done to verify the information provided. The quote(s) will be based up on the underwriting information you supplied and the quote(s) is/are subject to change upon inspection and review by the underwriting company. The underwriting company reserves the right to determine the final coverage, premium and acceptability. Commercial use by others is prohibited by law. No portion of any news or information from this website may be photocopied, faxed, mailed, distributed, transmitted, published, broadcasted, duplicated, or re-distributed in any manner for any purpose without prior written authorization of its' owner.