Ask a House Cleaner, Labor Laws, Savvy Cleaner

Labor Laws – House Cleaners Push Back

Labor laws are tough when employees know how to rig the system. House cleaners push back in rebellion knowing which labor laws they can use for a free ride.

But it’s the business owner and customers that suffer when there is an abuse of labor laws. Clients pay for maid service and housekeepers take advantage as rule breakers.

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru suggests setting boundaries with rules, tips, and tutorials. Today we Ask a House Cleaner about Independent contractor status as a solution to firing and unemployment. Be a savvy cleaner and be a savvy boss with new rules for your business.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: Labor Laws – House Cleaners Push Back

Today’s question comes from a business owner who is going crazy.  His employees are lazy and keep skipping out of work. 

They keep calling in sick. They’re breaking all the rules, and they’re taking too many breaks. 

He says that his employees know the labor laws well. They know exactly what minute of the day they can cut out and go home early. They do this without it counting as a call-out or without it counting against as a sick day. 

He’s like, “What do I do?” Okay, well, that’s an excellent question. 

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Answer: Know the Labor Laws

Know the Labor LawsAs a business employer, you need to know the labor laws. 

I don’t know where you live. And I don’t know what the labor laws are in your area. But you need to know them. 

Because the people that you hired know it so well, they will catch you at every possible turn. But what they’re saying to you is this, “We know what the rules are, and we understand boundaries. We are going to push those boundaries right to the minute where we can cut out.” 

Follow Labor Laws, But You Are Still in Charge! 

Labor Laws protect those milking the system

You are the business owner. You are in charge, and you are the one that creates the rules for your business. Only you get to build new boundaries for your business. 

You can say, “Okay, listen, here are the rules. You can cut out at a certain time by the laws of the land.

If you do that, your insurance benefits will cut off at a certain number of hours. If you don’t work a certain number of hours, you do not get health benefits. You do not get bonuses, or days off or whatever it is. “

You can have rules that are in line with the labor laws but apply to your business as well. 

Now, what your employees are saying is, “We like boundaries and structure and rules. And we are going to push to see where the boundaries are.”

Labor Laws Include Independent Contractor ContractRule-Breakers and Labor Laws 

There will always be people that break the rules. They will push you to the extreme just to see what your reaction is.

I like to keep those people at independent contractor status. Then, if this is a person that’s going to cause a lot of problems, I don’t want to be paying health insurance for them. I don’t want to be paying their workman’s comp. I don’t want to go out of the way to pay all these extra things that I provide for employees. 

If these are people that are just rule-breakers, let them be rule-breakers on their own dime. 

Use Rule-Breakers as Floaters

Labor Laws Include teamworkI don’t put these people on the regular schedule. They might be the type of person who calls out halfway through the day a lot because their kids are always sick. I can’t count on them for my regular business. 

What happens is this. They come to work, like, “Oh, hey, I think I’ll come to work today.” 

I say, “Great. You are a floater.” 

There are plenty of things that can go wrong in a business that would make a floater beneficial.  

You can send them with team A today, and they can work with team A on today’s projects. Or if someone else calls in sick, you can put them in as a filler for, let’s say, team C or D. 

Guarantees of Labor Laws

You do not need to give them priority in which they have a job to do every single day. Instead, you are guaranteeing them with X amount of work.   

If they don’t like this, then you cannot guarantee them anything, right? 

Use Labor Laws to Protect You and Your Business

Labor Laws Include a table full of Euros and a gavel

You have customers and clients that are demanding and expecting that house cleaner to show up. If your house cleaner is not willing to show up on time, then they have not proven their reliability.  They cannot have a regular shift.

To protect yourself, set new boundaries for your company. Make sure that your employees understand what those rules are. 

Be a Role Model and Document! 

Labor Laws Include Employee Handbook

Make sure that you follow the rules too. Your employees are watching what you do. Model appropriate behavior and expectations.

You will not be able to fire these people unless you have the rules and regulations documented. You also need to have them in their employee files. 

It Is Your Business!

You want to make sure that you’re following the laws of the land. As I said, I would remove them from being an employee to an independent contractor. 

Even though they represent your business, you are the breadwinner. You are the one that’s providing them their living. 

Labor Laws allow termination of employment if documents are in placeConsequences of Breaking the Rules

If they are not willing to work the hours given, there are consequences. They will not get the same benefits as an employee who is willing to show up and work full-time. They’ve ruined those privileges by being unreliable. Does that make sense? 

At that point, the laws of the land do apply. But now they’re a different set of rules because they’re an independent contractor. They’re not an employee.

Don’t Go Crazy! 

That would be my suggestion to you because guess what? Some people will make you crazy. They are going to break every rule in the book. They might think that by Thursday, they’ve made enough money for the rest of the week. So they call out on Friday, and they have all the tricks of the trade figured out. 

It will make you crazy, and you can’t run a business that way. So change their status, so it changes the rules that they’re allowed to break. 

Gosh, I hope this helps, because I hate the situation that you are in. All right. Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it. 

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Resources For This Episode

Labor Law Posters for each state in the USA –

An Introduction to Labor Law –

Labor Law: A Problem-Based Approach –

Perfect Phrases for Documenting Employee Performance Problems –

Collective Bargaining Agreements –

Fair Labor Standards Act –

Employment Law (Quick Study: Law) –

The Big Book of HR –

101 Sample Write-Ups for Documenting Employee Performance Problems –

Perfect Phrases for Motivating and Rewarding Employees, Second Edition: Hundreds of Ready-to-Use Phrases for Encouraging and Recognizing Employee Excellence –

Perfect Phrases for Managers and Supervisors –

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