internal hiring (was Sixth Principle)
From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 10:27:20 -0800 (PST)
As Rob Sandelin points out, the Sixth Principle
a) refers to a community running a business, I assume as the mainstay of the group's income, as some non-cohousing intentional communities do, especially in rural areas where individual employment is hard to come by b) can, as any Principle, be chosen or not for your particular community and its situation What you are currently asking about, and might find in the archives under "hiring", is about hiring a member for paid work for the community. Some communities have done it with great success. For some it has been a can of worms. We had some can-of-worms problems, from unexpected sources. Member A, a highly-contributing volunteer like the rest of us, was hired for some work he could do with his professional skills. (This was 15 years ago.) He could do it, at a lower rate than an outsider and with all the background info already, but couldn't offer that much additional volunteer time, as he had to support his family. Seemed a win-win. Then, well after the fact, when it came time to pay him for the job done, there was upset from the SPOUSE of Member B. Her husband, member B, was gladly volunteering; she was upset that HE wasn't also being paid. Assume nothing! My advice would be to proceed, with caution. Caution might include the recent suggestion that the group discuss it thoroughly. In Butler's Formal Consensus Process, this would involve a level one sharing of whatever comes up for people, emotionally, around it - hopes, fears, values. A level two discussion of concerns. And eventually a level three discussion of strategies, leading to a decision. As in any situation of doing business among friends, it's best to do it in a very business-like way: detailed written contract, with all the what-ifs. What exactly is the job to be done, and how is the pay calculated, and so forth. And clear agreement by all concerned to follow the contract. You also want to make sure you are in line with legal practice, in terms of your role as an Employer. You are OK, in our state anyway, if the hired person fits the definition of a Contractor. Just be sure, anyway, so you don't get any rude surprises about L&I, IRS, Social Security, etc.
Lynn Nadeau
RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA
40 degrees and sunny

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