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Tom Loughridge
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Tom Loughridge
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Don't Get Taken to the Cleaners by Your House Cleaner

July 22, 2015 1:18 am

The home cleaning industry is rife with companies that outsource work to contract laborers in an effort to control expenses and maximize shareholder earnings. This type of business model puts the homeowner at risk. Why?

Home cleaning companies using contract labor do not have to provide workers compensation. While it assumed the contractor maintains his or her own policies, many gamble 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,” says Maid Brigade President Bart Puett.

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 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.

Though the risk of finding a surprise tax bill in the mailbox is slim for most homeowners who hire cleaning help, it is best not to take chances.

When hiring a cleaning company, do your homework. “Homeowners should do their due diligence before hiring a house cleaner or professional cleaning service,” says Ernie Hartong, CEO of the Association for Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI). “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. A professional company should gladly provide these to any consumer who asks."

Source: Maid Brigade

Published with permission from RISMedia.