There are laws and rules. Certain size jobs in certain city's are required to b union jobs. I couldn't bid on them or take them if I wanted. I'm not hurting my companyThis has been an interesting thread, Im a little torn here as I ran a fully licensed side business during my days as an employee. However I was honest from the beginning with my last employer that I did side work in a different capacity then what my employer was doing, I was also responsible for bringing in a lot of work to that employer during my stay. He was fine with me doing what I needed to do because he was not able to pay me what I was used to making but needed my knowledge and experience so it was a good relationship for us for over 7 years. He also knew that my ultimate goal was to go out on my own.
Now with that said because of all the guys out there doing side work unlicensed- Legitimate companies like mine continue to get rate hikes from the state on Workers Comp because of this. I agree with Riverbound and all his comments on this situation. Currently J-Squared has 42 employees and I can honestly say that none of them want to leave, even when we get slow. I take care of my employees as they are my most valuable asset, without them this business does not survive. All the guys that get up at 3 am to be on a jobsite at 5am in LA or San Diego or wherever we are sending them and then have to sit in traffic and get home at 7pm invest a lot of time in this company and making it work. And for that they are compensated and appreciated. We do many things for our people to make their lives better. As an example we shut our office down for 2 week over the holidays so they could spend some quality time with their families over the holidays, they all received their weekly checks along with a Christmas bonus and Christmas Party. They all understand however that my generosity is not a sign of weakness and if you steal from me or abuse the privileges I give you you will be terminated.
Its easy for guys that think they are so great to say what they are doing is OK, and although your company might do million dollar jobs and you think this doesn't effect them it does. It effects every LEGITIMATE company out there trying to navigate all the day to day Bullshit that we deal with every day. Insurance, Workers Comp, Safety Regulations, Taxes, Overhead etc etc etc. Like Riverbound we are called in a lot to fix blantant defects done by other contractors. And if you really are as good as you say you are...why are you not working for yourself. Sounds to me that its easier to take a check and then take a job from someone who has put all his assets on the line to start his company and take care of his family. When you start bidding work and then loosing it to guys who are cheaper because they are not legit you might have a different feeling about all this.
Taking care of your family is the most important thing however until you are carrying another license in your wallet other then your Drivers License what you are doing hurts the industry that supports your family. If one of my employees wanted to go out on their own I would wish them the best of luck and do what I could to help, I would hope that he or she gained enough experience from here to make them confident enough to think they can, I take that as a compliment to the training I provided them during their tenure here. Everyone needs to carve their own path, but always remember as big as this industry is , its very small and i can say without question of a doubt you will cross paths with the same people at some point.