The Potential Risks when Hiring “Trunk Slammers” or Cleaning Lady.
There’s a tremendous difference in hiring a Professional Cleaning Service vs. employing “trunk slammers” or individual cleaners. Do you know the differences? Here at Handmaid Cleaning we feel that it’s important to equip everyone with this knowledge, so more people are educated and able to protect themselves and their families from these kind of situations happening to them.
An individual who is hired under the table (even if they tell you they have a real business) is often a serious risk if they or one of their “employees” and business are not properly licensed,insured, & paying all appropriate taxes. If they are not properly covered under Labor and Industries, and they are injured, there is a real possibility that they could sue YOU for lost wages, damages, and for medical costs. Also, you, your home, and/or business are at risk as well for any damages or theft that may occur. Your homeowners insurance will make every attempt to cut themselves loose from any responsibility of a claim, and will not cover things they can prove are not valid to the coverage provided and/or due to illegal activities that you are ultimately responsible for. This means YOU will be left to contend with the damages on your own!
Here is an Example: Sarah has used the same ‘cleaning lady’ in her home for 12 years. She’s done a great job for the most part- and the family can really trust her. she’s become ‘part of the family’! One afternoon, while walking down the stairs, she slips and is seriously injured. She finds herself unable to get up and 911 is activated. She has fractured her hip and will require extensive surgeries and rehabilitation. The hospital appropriately records this traumatic injury as an “on the job injury” and alerts the state. Sarah’s cleaning lady is not licensed as doing “business” in her state of residence, let alone with the federal government. She does not pay into state workers compensation, unemployment insurance, or any taxes- for that matter. Sarah and her family receive notice that they are responsible for all medical costs and her cleaning lady’s inability to work for many months during rehab. In a panic, Sarah and her husband turn to their home owners insurance, hoping they can file a claim for the incident- but their homeowners insurance will not cover this because they have not been following state labor laws and illegally hiring an employee. To make things even worse, after so many years of paying for service and building what they thought was a good relationship with their cleaner, Sarah’s family is now facing a lawsuit as well as the government coming after them for the 12 years of back pay on taxes, unemployment, and workers compensation. This will end up amounting to thousands of dollars in back pay and monthly garnishments.
This is a REAL scenario that unfortunately happens all too often – simply because people are not aware of the local and state laws that pertain to having anyone do work for them in or about their house, property and/or business. Sometimes we do know that it’s wrong to hire an individual and not a service but justify it by thinking, “They need the work and I’d rather pay as little as possible.” This is an irresponsible thought process and wrong that we would not consider the protection and safety of the individual we’re ‘hiring’ and even our own safety and legal/financial loss. We all need to educate ourselves and make sure that we’re following all state laws and regulations whenever hiring ANYONE to work for us in or around our home or business! If you hire an individual and they are not following state laws and are not properly licensed and insured, YOU, as the legal employer can be held liable for the taxes due to the IRS, both to the state and federally. We have personally seen this add up to thousands of dollars over a short amount of time. The issue may not come up for YEARS but when it does- you could have a HUGE debt to pay to the government. Hiring a professional cleaning service like Handmaid Cleaning- that pays all employment taxes and carries Labor and Industries insurance coverage protects you in all situations!
The Real Weasels are the “Trunk Slammers”!
Have you ever heard of “Trunk Slammers”? These are the real weasels of the service industry. They are pseudo-“businesses” that have a business name, even a website, facebook page, and/or that really seem on the “up and up”. They may even have “employees”. Yet the individuals they call “employees” are not registered with the company and state as employees in order that the “company” can skip out on the thousands they would have to pay each year to the government and insurance for coverage of the “employees”.. In turn this puts you and your family or business at considerable risk, for your home belongings, and possible injuries on your property.
There is an easy link to follow on the WA STATE website where you can check into a company and their status with LNI and the DOR in Washington State. Always make sure that they’re active and their worker’s comp policy is current and paid for the amount of “employees” they have. Make a point to ask about their business, don’t be shy to ask them for their EIN and UBI numbers. This is not only your right, but will be considered your responsibility when something occurs that may cause you to retain liability.
Can check on anyone you consider for hire here:
The Department of Revenue and Department of Labor and Industries in the State of Washington.
If you receive multiple bids and the quotes are substantially different- this should certainly raise a red flag. Any legitimate and professional cleaning services rates should be at least $32/hour and many likely to be $40+/hr. The cost to run an above board and sound business- and pay your employees well, is steep. A much lower bid for service could be a sign the “company” bidding may be performing outside of state regulations and could impose serious risk for you, your family and/or business.
The protection you have when you open the door of your home or office to a professional cleaning service is that we are qualified to serve you, our quality of the cleaning job, the guarantee, and who is ultimately responsible for any liability or risk when the day is done, is well worth any additional research needed to ensure that who you are hiring is legitimate. Handmaid Cleaning’s professional cleaning technicians are trusted, background checked, pre-screened and insured for your protection. And yes, they are OFFICIAL EMPLOYEES of Handmaid Cleaning. If we would not trust a technician in our home, we will not send them to yours. Our professional house cleaning services are TRUSTED, reliable, and 100% guaranteed.
Here at Handmaid Cleaning we know that TRUST is paramount to establishing an excellent relationship with our clients. Thank you for voting us Walla Walla’s Best-of-the-Best Cleaning & Janitorial Service Provider! All of us here at Handmaid Cleaning are grateful to serve our community in this way. When you hire Handmaid Cleaning- you know that you can Trust that we’re above board in every way. The quality of our work is unparalleled and we’re grateful to be known as your local trusted and premier cleaning service provider! We look forward to visiting with you in your home for a free walk-through consultation. In this way- together, we can determine your exact cleaning needs and develop a cleaning and maid service plan for you and your home!