There are a number of options available when it comes to choosing a company to clean your home. You might be wondering which to choose and what the differences are.
While your choices will range in price, you may be unaware of how your choice can affect your home and your pocketbook. But as we’ll explain below, it’s about more than the price that you pay – some options are cheaper, but come with risks that you should be aware of.
Independent Contractors vs. Maid Service Companies
While using a company who pays employees as contractors may save you money in the short term, you may ultimately be putting your finances at risk. Often, people hired simply as contractors aren’t covered by the same safety nets as people hired as employees.
Maid service companies who hire workers classified as employees are required to provide workers compensation and maintain insurance policies that will protect their employees and their customers in the event of an accident, which may ultimately increase their hourly rates.
Workers hired as contractors, however, are not guaranteed to be covered by any kind of workers compensation or insurance. If a contractor is hurt in your home in any kind of accident, there are no safety measures to defend you from liability. Your homeowners insurance may shield you, but many policies exclude hired domestic help and, if you’re a renter, you’re less likely to have this kind of coverage as part of any available policy.
A similar situation has recently been in the news in California regarding Uber, the now-famous “car pool” company that connects “riders to drivers.” Uber has not paid insurance costs for any of its drivers (which, by law, must obviously be insured to drive) and does not provide any additional coverage to protect its drivers from accidents that might occur during an Uber trip.
Since its inception, Uber has chosen to classify its workers as independent contractors to avoid expenses related to insurance and “job-related expenses,” like fuel or toll costs. The California Labor Commission ruled last week that Uber must classify its workers as “employees” and not as independent contractors. As Uber is involved in every part of the operation with drivers, from recruiting to connecting with riders, the court argues that the company is a full-blown employer, not just a contracting company.
In short, Uber has not done a stellar job protecting its drivers or riders by not providing adequate insurance coverage or funds to compensate drivers for their expenses. In the same way, cleaning agencies who contract their workers don’t provide protection for their workers or you, their customer.
How to Make an Informed Choice
So how do you protect yourself from risks of liability? How do you distinguish between an agency that hires employees versus contractors? The tricky side to this is that you can’t know by simply looking. Without directly asking, most companies will not disclose how they classify their workers or what compensation they provide. In order to protect yourself and your home, you simply need to know the right questions to ask.
As you interview different agencies to keep your home looking its best, be sure to ask if the company hires its employees as contractors and if it provides workers compensation or insurance for them. Also ask if you would be liable should an accident occur in your home.
Green Girl is a Smart Choice
At Green Girl, our employees are covered by workers compensation and are provided with materials to do their work effectively without putting our customers at risk.
Call us today at (949) 325-5405, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a consultation. We care about you and your home and want to provide the best cleaning solution for your family.
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