FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Day Worker Center of Santa Cruz County

· How do I hire workers?
· How much do I pay the worker?
· Where does my money go?
· Do I have to pick up the worker?
· Why hire from the Day Worker Center?
· What if I need someone who speaks some English?
· What type of work can the workers do for me?
· Who are the workers at the Center?
· Why do workers choose the Day Worker Center?
· Am I liable if a worker is injured while working for me?
· Do I need to report the wages I pay for tax purposes?
· What about worker documentation?
· Where do you get your funding?
· What if I have more questions?
· Help the Day Worker Center improve!
·  When should I pay for travel time?
Where are you located?
We are located on 2261 7th Avenue in Santa Cruz (the Live Oak area) with access to both Highway 1 and the bus line.

How do I hire day workers?
It’s easy. (1) Fill out the Worker Request Form or (2) Email us; or (2) Call the Day Worker Center at 831-475-9675 between 7:00AM – 1:30 PM Tuesday through Saturday to speak to a live person. If you reach a recording during that time, we may be speaking to someone on the other line. Leave a message, and we will call you back.

How much do I pay the worker?
The workers have collectively developed a recommended minimum wage that
starts at $15 per hour, and may be higher, depending on the difficulty and skill required for the job.Workers prefer to be paid by the hour. An agreement prior to the work of $500 or more would require that the worker be a licensed contractor.Tips are always welcome.


Where does my money go?
The workers keep 100% of their pay. The Day Worker Center does not take a commission or receive any money from its workers. Click here if you would like to make a donation to support the programs of the Day Worker Center.

Do I have to pick up the worker?
No, most job matches will take place over the phone or via email and, depending upon the location, the day workers will be responsible to transport themselves to the job site. Most workers utilize public transportation, carpooling or bicycles. Please state your preference when you call or submit your email request to the Center.

Why hire from the Day Worker Center?
Here it is safe, neat and easy. The Center offers a positive alternative to members of the public searching for day workers other than informal hiring sites such as Home Depot on 41st Avenue in Soquel and the Pro-Build on River Street in Santa Cruz where employers randomly pick up workers. Bargaining with workers on the street could be difficult as you have no knowledge of their background, skills, or reliability. We provide a structured, managed program with formal assessments, policies and procedures. All workers are registered at the Center so that when you tell us the job you need, we can identify the worker with the appropriate skill match. Because we are an established organization, we have interpreters to help with any job issues that may arise. We also do follow-up evaluations and this information is used to determine day workers’ future eligibility for use of the Center and job skill matches.

What if I need someone who speaks some English?
Many workers speak Spanish and at least some English. At the Center workers have access to English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction while waiting for work. Please be willing to speak slowly and clearly. If the worker does not speak English, we will translate your instructions/information if the job match at the Center. Otherwise, if you wish to have an English speaking worker, please specify this in your request.

What can the workers do for me?
We have workers of all trades and experiences. Besides construction and manual labor, we can help with moving services, cleaning, handywork, painting, landscaping, etc. They can be hired for a half day (two hour minimum), by the day, by the week or longer.

Who are the workers at the Center?
Primarily, our workers live throughout Santa Cruz County, and are men and women of all ages and trades. Some are immigrants from primarily Spanish speaking countries; some are former farm workers; others are individuals who recently became unemployed.

Why do workers choose the Day Worker Center?
The workers are here because they need work. Out of respect for themselves and others, they prefer to be contacted through an organized center instead of waiting in the streets.  Many volunteered with  planning, site development, as well as current Management of the Center.The Center also offers other benefits such as development of employment knowledge and skills during the time that workers are waiting for job matches in order to help them
achieve their long term goals . Staff and volunteers also provide referrals to health and social services.Also, many believe that together, working within as members of the Day Worker Center, they have a better chance of both finding employment and being treated with respect, as they respect our community and
 employers.


Am I liable if a worker is injured?
California law requires a homeowner’s insurance policy to provide workers’ compensation coverage for injuries incurred by a “residential employee” injured during a course of employment by the homeowner. A “residential employee” is someone who has earned more than $100 during the preceding 90 days. Most homeowner’s policies also include coverage for personal liability and medical payments to others as a result of injuries while on your property. You should, however, contact your homeowner insurance policy provider for more information. Finally, as in all situations when you invite a guest onto your property, make certain that the environment is safe and you are not consciously putting someone in a dangerous position.

Do I need to report the wages I pay for tax purposes?
For one-time, or short-term jobs, reporting wages for tax purposes is not usually necessary. There is no need to report less than $750 paid to an individual per quarter or $1,000 per year. If you have a long-term project, we suggest you speak with an accountant to address any bookkeeping questions. If you have any other questions, feel free to call us at 831 475-WORK. We’d be more than happy to provide additional information or answer questions in more depth.

Could I get in any trouble for using a worker who does not have proper documentation?
Since we are not an employment agency, we do not check documentation for either workers or employers. We consider information about employers and workers private, and our policy is to never share such information.

Where do you get your funding?
Community generosity. Nearly all of our funding is from private sources: grants from foundations, donations from individuals and fund raising events.

What if I have more questions?
Call the Day Worker Center at (831) 475-9675 from 7:00AM – 1:30 PM Tuesday through Saturdays in order to speak to a live person. We will be happy to answer your questions. The Contact Us form and the Hire A Worker form are also good ways to communicate.

Help the Day Worker Center improve!
You will receive an evaluation card and/or a phone survey for each worker you hire. Please take the time to respond both to help us improve and to let us know about the good experience you had. Also, please help the Day Worker Center by recommending the Center to a friend or colleague, by volunteering, or by making a donation. View the volunteer page, donation page or call the Day Worker Center to find out more.

When should I pay for travel time?
Time spent by an employee as part of his or her job requirement should be compensated by the employer. When workers are required to report at a meeting place to receive instructions, the travel from the designated place to the work place is part of the day’s work , and should be counted as hours worked.

DAY WORKER CENTER HOURS: The Day Worker Center of Santa Cruz County
OPEN 7:00 AM – 1:30 PM Tuesday- Saturday
(closed Sunday/Monday)


 

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