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Cross manufacturer for non-UL installation question / Subcontractor status
May 9, 2019
Cross manufacturer for non-UL installation question
    Do you or anyone know?  For non-UL installations: Are there any restrictions; legal/liability added-exposure; or any other good reason(s) why not to install a Qolsys wireless smoke detector which conforms to UL 217, with an Interlogix alarm panel such as Simon or Concord? (Technically they are compatible.)
    The new Interlogix wireless smokes SDX-135Z produced so many false alarms a Recall was issued for manufacturer dates older than 1/25/19. But we have at least one more fire false alarm from a newer device. Would be nice not to rely on Interlogix smokes. 
    Thank you for your and other forum's participants' help
Kind regards, 
Lior Rubin
    Anyone have response for this? It's above my pay grade
Subcontractor status 
    Question about gig economy companies
    The Labor Department has exempted an unnamed organization from enforcing pay standards that are applied to employees, according to the NY Times. 
In other words “employees” of that firm can be treated as independent contractors. The term “gig economy” applies to people who get “gigs” or temporary short term jobs such as a subcontractor hired to work on a specific installation. 
    What does this mean for alarm companies that use a variety of workers on short term or temporary projects, even if they are the same people? According to the article, it seems the labor department is shifting its policy and starting to allow subcontractors to be treated as such. I think this is a good thing for security firms who use subcontractors, regarding pay, particularly taxes.
    This doesn’t mean that a firm should stop using insurance to cover their employees and subs. However It does appear to me that it’s a good shift in policy for this industry.
    Your thoughts?
Mitch Cohen
Bric Security
    Why the fuss over subcontractors? They are either subcontractor or employee. Any owner knows the difference.     For employees there are payroll deductions, benefits and all the issues that arise with employment law. Subcontractors on the other hand only get a check and they are gone. No other responsibility. Of course it's not that easy.
    Government has no problem with you engaging subcontractors, as long as they are really subcontractors. The criteria for subcontractor v employee is somewhat different throughout the states and IRS, but generally subcontractor status requires real independence. 
    Subcontractors should have insurance coverage, including workers comp. If they don't then the subcontractor will end up on your workers comp bill. The subcontractor should have its own license and its employees need to be licensed, certified or otherwise in compliance with licensing laws, just like you and your employees have to be. 
    If the subcontractor really doesn't qualify then you run the risk for workers comp and withholding tax, as well as employee benefits you offer your employees. Dealing with a separate corporate entity, with its own licenses and insurance generally safe. Even if the subcontractor gets most of its work from you, it still must retain the ability to accept of reject work, do its own scheduling, work for others or itself and produce its insurance coverage.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301