Just one day after the US Department of Labor published updates to federal classifications clarifying its definitions of employees versus independent contractors, one key player in the new “gig economy” bows out. HomeJoy, a click-to-consume app-driven company that pairs house cleaning providers with consumers in need, conceded its bid to revolutionize the home services industry in a press release issued July 17th, saying the outfit will shutter operations effective July 31. The quick exit is seen by cleaning industry insiders as a harbinger of more backlash against companies that outsource home services to contract laborers. These companies sub-contract their work, usually to individuals, in an effort to control expenses and maximize shareholder earnings. The problem is, this model thrives at the expense of the worker and the consumer. A new infographic sponsored by national housecleaning service Maid Brigade illustrates the 5 biggest pitfalls a consumer faces when hiring a house cleaning company that sends independent contractors to do the work.
When Injury Occurs
HomeJoy and other companies using contract labor are able to avoid many large expenses required of companies with true employees on the payroll, most notably worker’s comp insurance. It is assumed that the contractor maintains his or her own policies however in reality many contract workers forego such a major expense, instead gambling against the odds of injury on the job. “In the unfortunate event that injury does occur, contract cleaning workers may seek (and get) medical reimbursement from the owners of the home they were cleaning when the injury took place,” warns Bart Puett, president of Maid Brigade.
Homeowners may also be liable for Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes and penalties for the contract workers who do not make accurate and timely payments to the IRS each quarter themselves. Since the contract worker is not employed by the housecleaning company that dispatched them, the IRS may deem that the homeowner is the employer of that cleaner and therefore responsible for these taxes. The risk of finding a surprise tax bill in the mailbox is slim for most consumers who have cleaning help but the fees and penalties can be costly, not to mention the professional and social stigma that accompanies real or perceived tax evasion.
Don’t Get Taken to the Cleaners
Ernie Hartong, CEO of the Association for Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI), advises homeowners seeking help with house cleaning to do their homework. “Homeowners should do their due diligence before hiring a house cleaner or professional cleaning service. To avoid the pitfalls that can occur when someone is working in your home, ask to see a copy of the company’s business license and insurance policy before hiring,” cautions Hartong. “A professional company should gladly provide these to any consumer who asks.”
Maid Brigade is the only house cleaning service that is Green Clean Certified® with more than 400 franchise service areas in the United States and Canada. A leader in house cleaning since 1985, Maid Brigade is the green cleaning industry leader and has a longstanding legacy of providing quality customer service and consistent and thorough cleaning using the most advanced techniques and equipment. The company has also implemented a consumer advocacy program in response to reports from the Environmental Protection Agency linking chemicals in traditional cleaning products to a wide range of health risks. All Maid Brigade cleaning professionals are employees of the company not independent contractors. Maid Brigade is member of ARCSI.
JJ Flizanes is an Empowerment Strategist. She is the Director of Invisible Fitness, an Amazon best-selling author of Fit 2 Love: How to Get Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually Fit to Attract the Love of Your Life, and author of Knack Absolute Abs: Routines for a Fit and Firm Core. She was named Best Personal Trainer in Los Angeles for 2007 by Elite Traveler Magazine.
JJ vividly reminds us that the word ‘fitness’ is not just about the state of one’s physical body, but also the factors which determine a person’s overall wellbeing.
And, for JJ, the key components in all these areas are ‘invisible’ — balanced support structures of nutrition, emotional centeredness and health. A favorite of journalists and the media for her depth of knowledge and vibrant personality, JJ, a contributing expert for Get Active Magazine, has also been featured in many national magazines, including Shape, Fitness, Muscle and Fitness HERS, Elegant Bride, and Women’s Health as well as appeared on NBC, CBS, Fox 11 and KTLA.
J.J.'s book, Fit 2 Love is an intriguing combination of fitness expertise with matters of the heart from acclaimed celebrity fitness trainer JJ Flizanes. Through her own personal quest for love and case studies of other men and women who have successfully implemented her fitness for love program, the author supports her position that one must love and care for themselves before they can attract a reciprocating love. Fit 2 Love also includes a four-week plan that is an easy exercise, nutrition, and self-care process that will guide readers to transform the relationship they have with themselves, their body, and others.
J.J. is offering our listeners a free copy of her ebook. Just go to this link:
Honey. Drizzled over a slice of fresh bread… or eaten directly from the spoon… is one of life’s great pleasures. And with beehives springing up on urban rooftops, in next door’s back garden – even schemes for adopting bees or renting hives – becoming a honey producer seems… possible. So how easy is it and what’s involved?
By sharing the journey of 18-year-old beekeeper Orren Fox – who clearly remembers what it’s like to be a rookie – you’ll discover that keeping your own honeybees is easier than you think. Find out:
With delicious honey-based recipes shared by talented and resourceful chefs and cooks, including Honey & Co., you’ll learn all about bees and their inspiring world of work and honey production. And may even be tempted to buy your first bee suit.
Links in this show:
Call our 800 with your questions: 1-800-232-5089
Many Thanks to our Sponsors:
It may seem counter-intuitive, but to keep many annuals and perennials blooming all summer long, you have to cut off the blooms as they are waning or spent. It’s called dead-heading but it doesn’t require tie-dye T-shirts, illicit drugs or trippy music. Many summer bloomers flourish with this technique so it’s something you should practice regularly.
Dead-heading is the act of removing spent blooms (and a portion of the supporting stem) periodically during the summer season. We do it to trick the plant into producing more blooms.
WHY IT WORKS: Like all life forms, a plant’s main objective in life is to procreate – to perpetuate the species. Flower blooms precede seed maturation and dissemination. If a bloom is removed before the seed is ready to be released from the plant, the flower will believe it has not achieved its main objective and it will produce another bloom.
HOW IT WORKS: Dead-heading is best done while weeding, this way you can be more time efficient in the garden. As you are working through your garden pulling weeds, take a few extra moments to remove spent or waning blooms. Simply removing the bloom will create that “Morticia Adams” effect, where the remaining flower stem seems beheaded. Instead, grab the bloom between your thumb and index finger, slide these fingers down the stem until you come to a junction where the larger stem branches off. Snap, break or cut the stem just above this junction. In just a few days the plant will have produced a new shoot in that spot, or another bloom somewhere on the plant. Regular dead-heading promotes more profuse blooming, without added water or fertilizer.
Some summer flowering plants that benefit from dead-heading are petunias, canna lilies, roses (but use gloves and don’t slide your fingers down the stem), coreopsis, Shasta daisies, African daisies, Gerber daisies, Echinacea, geraniums and yes, even scarlet begonias.
For more information and to see the companion article go to www.cleangreenlivingmagazine.com
Back To School – Air Quality And Your Child’s Health
David Frome, Physical Therapist, Advanced Rolfer and Five Element Acupuncturist is the owner of The Frome Center For Physical Therapy, a holistic health center and The Air Cleaner Store. He is a recognized leader in the field of environmental health in the tri-state region.
David has made a career of helping people to recover from chronic and difficult environmental illness including multiple chemical sensitivities, ADHD, allergies and asthma.
It’s that time of year! Children return to the home and spend more time indoors. Parents take their kids shopping for clothes and school supplies. As summer closes, our children return to school. How does this transition affect your child’s health?
Many children are unaffected, but for some, allergies and environmental sensitivities kick up. That can mean an increase in respiratory problems including allergies and asthma. It can also lead to emotional and learning problems, all due to poor indoor air quality.
Does your child have environmental illness? Do the problems stem from the home, the stores or the classroom? How can you figure out what allergen or chemical is causing your child to be sick? What can you do to improve the air quality and improve your child’s health?
We move indoors into our homes as temperatures drop.
Does your child have an environmental health challenge? What are the signs and symptoms?
The culprits at home, the mall and the classroom.
Cleaning products, formaldehyde in clothing, construction materials, new carpeting and mold. Pollen, pet dander, dust mites.
What you can do about it.
What makes a good air cleaner?
Are ionic and ozone generating machines safe?
Why do you only offer Austin Air cleaners?
To Learn More:
Webinar Saturday, September 12 at noon
It’s that time of year! As your children head back to school, it’s important be keep an eye on their health. Does your child respond well to the indoor air quality at school? Environmental illness is a growing concern. Cleaning products, construction adhesives, paints, carpeting and molds can create a host of problems including allergies, asthma, behavioral problems, ADHD and depression. How do you know if your child has environmental illness? How can you learn what’s causing the problem? What can you do to improve the school environment and help your child thrive?
Webinar Link: https://zoom.us/j/
The hot weather has arrived and BBQ’s are grilling great smelling foods all over, from beaches to ballparks to backyards. I have to admit, I am one of those people that love to grill. As soon as the weather gets warm, the grill gets fired up and our outdoor cooking season begins. Cooking on the grill is a “win-win” situation for us. Our kitchens stays clean and our food tastes great.
But have you ever wondered while enjoying your scrumptious food under the blazing sun, that there might be some dangers of eating food from the BBQ and whether or not the grills are being cleaned safely.
“Is there a connection between foods cooked on the grill and cancer?” Yes. When foods are cooked at a high temperature, or foods come in contact with the flames of the grill, certain carcinogenic compounds can form. The compounds, called Heterocyclic Amines and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, are formed when food falls into the flame and causes smoke, or when fats are heated to high temperatures. That is why it is important to choose lean meat, fish, and poultry and low fat vegetables when grilling. Remember to trim off the excess fat before cooking.
When it comes to marinating foods before grilling, there are certain ingredients used for marinating that may affect carcinogens.
Studies have shown in the past that using lemon juice and olive oil to marinate foods lessens the formation of cancer causing compounds by 99 percent while cooking. Lemon juice and olive oil based marinates keep foods flavorful, tenderized, and moist. Herbs like sage, thyme, oregano, mint rosemary and thyme work wonders in reducing Heterocyclic Amines.
As far as cooking vegetables on the BBQ, avoid overcooking them. Overcooking breaks down the vitamins in the veggies. Refrain from eating the burned veggies.
Another major factor in reducing carcinogens on the “barbi” is by making sure your grill is cleaned before and after cooking. Not only does food taste better when it is cooked on a clean grill, but the burnt food parts that sometimes stick to the grill plates can cause free radical formation, which has been shown to cause tissue damage and premature aging.
Using a mixture of baking soda and warm, soapy water can clean the grill plates.
Grill cleanings only need to be done once or twice a month, unless you use your grill daily.