To hire or not to hire non-resident caregiver?

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Briefly, I have limited funds to hire a 24-hour caregiver for my father. Currently I split the duty with an agency. I learned this agency is taking advantage of its help. One caregiver had to leave us because he was cheated out of hours. The agency also misrepresented tax information. He has been in the US 15 years and is still not a citizen. My situation is that we cannot afford to retain the caregiver agency and time is running out. I am considering hiring this ex-employee. I could pay him what the agency was paying and save a lot of money. I trust him and am not concerned about the bonding/insurance risk of employing him without the umbrella of an agency handling such things. The contract states we cannot hire their people directly. Under the circumstances I have doubts that the agency would pursue it if we hired someone they screwed. I'd like to hear what people have to say, one way or another. It will help me consider everything. Thank you in advance.


The best thing would be for him to look at his contract. Employee contracts often have that he cannot work for an employee for a certain amount of time. If it says that, he would be violating the agreement he signed with his former employee and they MAY pursue a claim against him. Companies can be pretty jealous of their customers.

They may not pursue violation charges against you, but could encourage you to agree with your contract. I don't know how they would respond if you didn't. I would say that before you do this to read about what the legal implications may be. It may not be worth the risk for either of you.
I meant the employee could work for one of the company's clients for a certain period of time. You probably knew what I meant. My brain is turning into mush.
"The contract states we cannot hire their people directly. Under the circumstances I have doubts that the agency would pursue it if we hired someone they screwed. " (It's easier at this time of night to just quote than paraphrase).

I think your doubts would be misplaced. Hiring an employee directly if the contract provides otherwise is a breach of contract. You would be putting yourself in danger of being sued based on that. Better read the contract and see what the penalties are for a breach. I suspect there might be terms that allow the agency to collect from you what you would have paid for the employee had you hired him/her through that agency.

The employee has probably signed a contract with a similar provision. If the agency sues the employee, he/she would be hard pressed to afford to hire an attorney for defense.

This is not a good idea.

I agree that the safest thing would be to stay clear of the possible complications. But the opportunity of a more affordable caregiver situation is tempting. I read the papers from the agency that showed how their hours of work did not match what I knew he had done for me. They have not responded to his attempts at contacting them. He told the agency he could not work for them when they were not paying him appropriately and they replaced him as my father's caregiver. My own experience of the agency is that they are disorganized, make a lot of mistakes and in the very beginning they seemed to be pressuring me to move forward on the process when it was entirely up to me to contact them when I was ready. They sort of reversed the roles making it sound like I had put them on the spot. The owner also seemed too interested in meddling in our family politics. They happened to be the lowest rate in town and recommended by my father's health insurance so I went with them. They may have too much to lose opening themselves up to scrutiny.
Michael, it might be better to see if the ex-employee is hired on by another agency, then you could request that employee.

I know the Agency that I use for my Dad's caregivers, it states that if that employee leaves and I hire her as an "independent contractor" then I would owe the agency $15k "finders fee".

This isn't usual, as a life time ago I worked as a Kelly Girl Temp during college vacation [yes, this goes way back] and the contract also had a finders fee if a client hired me full-time.
Can't you end the contract with agency and hire this person directly?.
The contract forbids you from hiring one of their employees inside 6 months after you terminate your contract with the agency. They would charge you $10000 as a consequence. I think the ex-employee will have trouble finding more work because it is his word against a business's regarding what happened. I, at least, had time to work with him and gain a sense of his honesty and I also have had time to see evidence that this agency is poorly managed. Whether one would outweigh the other in the eyes of a judge is a toss up. A good judge would take everything on its own and not consider bad justifying bad business. So I guess this potential boon is not to be.

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