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Question DetailsAsked on 9/10/2013

Can homeowners face legal action if they knowingly hire a contractor that employs undocumented workers?

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4 Answers


The Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) warns that homeowners who knowingly hire illegal immigrants could face consequences, although no federal cases have been brought against a homeowner as far as ICE spokesperson Pat Reilly knows. "The same as any employer, if you know you're hiring someone illegally, and you come to the attention of law enforcement, you could be vulnerable," Reilly says.

"Whether or not a homeowner will be targeted for worksite enforcement is another question. We tend to focus on larger building projects." Reilly points out that people who pay cash under the table are also breaking the law, albeit a different one. "That's something that the IRS is going to be very interested in," Reilly says.

Many people hire contractors to do work on their properties, knowing full well the companies may use illegal labor. According to a recent Angie's List poll, 87 percent of homeowners surveyed believe service companies in their area hire illegal immigrants.

For more information on undocumented workers and how to avoid breaking the law, click here:


Answered 7 years ago by KielH


In some states/areas that is in the law. Not to encourage you to use an unlicensed person, as there are many pitfalls, but most areas never take action against the homeowner.

Most areas penalize the unlicensed contractor. Florida even has a law that if you use an unlicensed contractor, they can't collect any monies you owe them.


Answered 7 years ago by BayAreaAC


Both answers given before mine were good advice, the only thing I might add is that if the worker is not a legal he is probably being paid in cast. And as such he will not be covered by Workman's Compensation and could lead to a lawsuit against you if they get hurt while working at your home. I don't think the Feds are much of a problem since you did not hire them the contractor did.

Answered 7 years ago by ContractorDon


There is a joint federal-state task group that exchanges information on illegal immigrants - if one picks up on it, the other arenotified - state unemployment and workers comp boards, ICE, and IRS - so say an undocumented alien gets picked up on a job site or is questioned and tells who his employer is or where he was working it could come back to you. Also, commonly it occurs when a worker tries to claim unemployment or workers comp and turns up undocumented - they might trace that back, and if the employer was not withholding and paying taxes, then both the state and the IRS could come back to you.

Why take the chance of a felony conviction, as well as promoting illegal activity that harms the economy and costs everybody more taxes in the end run. And just imagine if one of those illegals turned out to be on a security threat list - you could spent hundreds of thousands trying to convince the feds you were not involved.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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