What to know about Maryland labor laws around labor agreements and contractor services!
Private Service Professionals and Principals should consider Maryland labor laws around labor agreements and contractor services. Precise Home Management has compiled a list of pertinent questions and asked a Maryland attorney for his take on the issue. As these topics do not relate to a specific case, “The views expressed herein are solely mine (Harrison Greene) and not intended to be legal advice.”
Previously, the Maryland legislature followed the federal government’s lead regarding harassment. However, they have taken steps to put more responsibility on the employer. Greene adds, “Now, the conduct need not be severe or pervasive if it falls into one of the three categories below:
· Submission to the conduct is made a term or condition of an individual’s employment, whether explicitly or implicitly;
· Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or
· Based on the totality of the circumstances, the conduct unreasonably creates a working environment that a reasonable person would perceive to be abusive or hostile.”
Principals and Private Service Professionals can find this new law at Ann. Code Md, State Gov’t § 20-601(k)
Other new features include accommodations for employees and applicants with disabilities. Writes Greene, “… a new law requires potential employers to accommodate not just an employee’s disability, but now an applicant’s as per Ann. Code Md, State Gov’t § 20-603.”
What’s Your Legal Relationship?
According to Greene, “The biggest issue I see for many corporate clients (which will affect those in the service industry) is classifying an employee or subcontractor. It can be advantageous to classify someone as a subcontractor as the requirements for benefits, withholdings, etc., do not generally apply. The law, however, will look into each factual scenario to determine what the legal relationship actually is. Those factors include but are not listed to as follows:
1. The extent to which the services rendered are an integral part of the principal’s business.
2. the permanency of the relationship
3. The amount of the alleged contractor’s investment in facilities
4. The nature and degree of control by the principal
5. The alleged contractor’s opportunities for profit and loss
6. The degree of independent business organization and operation
7. The amount of judgment in open market competition with others required for the success of claimed independent contractor.
It should be noted that these factors will be weighed in court even if a contractual agreement labels a person as an independent contractor. Thus, it is very important, considering the penalties for mistakes, to analyze each situation and work with a company like PHM and private counsel to decide which way to proceed.”
Greene continues, “Lawyers are often the target of jokes, and many times, people would rather visit their dentist than an attorney. An attorney’s skill and medium are essentially words. I cannot stress enough that every person who enters into a contractual agreement should first, READ it very carefully in its ENTIRETY. Take your time. If someone is rushing your signature on any document, get up and walk away because there is likely something wrong. Second, DO NOT BE afraid to ask questions. If you do not understand something or there is a part of the agreement not included in the contract, ask to have it included. If it is not, ask why. LASTLY, hire an attorney. Oftentimes, the cost to have an attorney review a contract is nothing compared to potential litigation costs. An attorney can advise sometimes what the reality of the document is, default provisions, and explain them more thoroughly, particularly as it relates to penalties. I strongly believe in plain language. I think you should say what you mean and mean what you say. For an employer, describes as best you can the duties and expectations. Do not say occasional Saturdays if you really mean every. For employees, if you are not able to do something, be upfront.”
Additionally, Harrison highlights, “For PHM principals, I think they should be aware of their contract’s confidentiality provision. Service workers are exposed to a lot of very personal matters and that needs to be protected. For employees, I think any provision restricting work (non-compete) is important to consider and evaluate.”
Although it may seem there are enough hurdles to overcome landing your dream position, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So don’t feel reading a contract thoroughly is in poor taste, and if you need additional help, ask for it. Smoothing out the details at a relationship’s beginning can mean smooth sailing for Private Service Professionals and Principals alike.
The Enemy Has Leveled-Up and So Should You
With the Internet entering late middle age, it’s doing better than some. However, like many experiencing middle age, certain habits that were frowned upon have now become concerns. Like going for those middle-aged checkups that doctors order, the Internet has plenty of deadly issues lurking just below the surface. Cybercrime is at an all-time high, with every browser and security update spawning a new generation of cyber criminals better equipped than their predecessors. If any of your passwords contain even a fragment of personal information from birthdays to first pet names, you may be worse off than you know.
High Net Worth Targets
Managing cybersecurity can be especially challenging in private service, handling technology for a high net worth individual and their household. Texting and emailing vendors, opening and working with countless accounts to keep the household running, and traveling with the family is only a fraction of the possible entry points for hackers. Cybercriminals are looking to steal directly and sell the keys to unlocking your Principal’s financial information.
Harder Than it Looks
In the good old days, you could have the same password for multiple accounts, write them down, and keep them on your desk. Now even bastions of cyber security are becoming victims, including password encryption services, crypto exchanges, and banking institutions. Worst, the attacks are constant, 24/7. No one is expected to make such a heroic effort, but in private service, it can be difficult to discuss who you turn to for help with cybersecurity.
Cyber Team Six Cybercrime Prevention
CT6 can help. With multiple cybercrime experts and capabilities, they can quickly determine your level of vulnerability and start making corrections. In the event of a breach, they can work hard to minimize the damage and prevent an attack. Best of all, they have a holistic approach that focuses on personal technology and adopting a cybercrime prevention mindset the entire household can benefit from. Other HNWs trust them with their cyber security, and so should you.
Thieves, Miscreants and State Actors
If you manage multiple accounts for your Principal, it pays to know who you are up against. Today you are facing threats that range from the digital equivalent of the stick-up man to foreign state actors or their proxies. The goal of such breaches could be direct theft, blackmail, or leveraging any information vulnerability for various nefarious causes. Worst of all, without cybersecurity firm protection, whoever in the household handles the accounts are often blamed and punished for such breaches. Therefore, you must ask yourself, how extensive was your cybersecurity training when you learned to manage a household?
Protecting your Principal from avoidable harm is the number one rule. So why not spend your due diligence researching and contacting Precise Home Management? When thinking about cybersecurity, your time is better spent planning a solution than worrying about what darkness awaits your Principal’s critical personal and financial information. Contact PHM today!
Finding the right placement as a Private Service Professional begins with working with the right placement agency. But there is more to simply showing interest and waiting for the offers to roll in. Tiffany Kolosick, a Placement Specialist at Precise Home Management, shares her professional opinion on how to succeed in your next placement.
Tiffany, you often hear how solicitations for private service professionals are unlike those applying for other jobs. Are there any behind the scene details a placement agency has to consider that are outside the published job description?
It’s important to remember that we see the resumes the clients respond to, so whenever we ask a candidate to add something to their resume, there’s always a good reason behind it. We are also watching how they deal with our process to see how they would deal with the client. We are looking for great character first and foremost, timely responses from the candidate, a high level of professionalism (not complaining when we ask them to update their resume or fill out online application), how they present themselves (are they dressed professionally for the video interviews), resourcefulness, ability to format a simple resume correctly. Our process is basic. If they cannot get through it, we know they will never be successful in any position we would place them in. We want our candidates to succeed. It’s in our best interest that they do.
Are what clients ask for typically the same during the hiring process, or are the requests as different as the clients?
Every client is different, and what they ask for from our candidates can be very different from one to the other. The clients drive the hiring process more so than the agency. Different dynamics are going on where they want a certain type of person or personality, not just someone who is qualified. Personality match is key. You are in their private home (not in the office where people can hide) you must get along with the client and their other staff. Many of our clients have family offices with policies that can be very different from others. Policies can also change based on situations a family experiences with other staff.
Being a good fit is just as important. The people who do best in private service are the go-with-the-flow kind. Things are always changing in these positions as you are living life with people. The needs change over time. The really smart people see the new demands coming and learn those skills. If they don’t, they will eventually be replaced by someone who can meet their evolving needs.
Do PSPs still have to prepare a resume, or is it all done by referral, or who you know?
Yes, a resume is important. If you have an updated resume, you can move to the front of the line if it includes things like;
· An easy-to-read format
· A chronological order of positions with your most current position listed first
· A professional headshot on the resume itself
· No mysterious blanks on your resume – if dates are unaccounted for, explain what you were doing during that time
· A clearly explained reason as to why you left each job.
The candidates willing to work on this in a meaningful way tend to have better results. If they listen to our input, they will have a higher level of success. We know what the client is looking for, which resumes they pick out of a stack, and what they look like. So it would also be wise for the candidate to take our input meaningfully.
Being a PSP can be very demanding but very rewarding. So how does a prospect set themselves up for success to get what they want from a career as a PSP?
People come into this world in very different ways. Some start as housekeepers who cross-train into other positions. No degree is necessary, and often a person who works their way up, pays attention, takes the initiative, and goes with the flow (you are going to work some holidays, and vacations are moveable) can make 6-figures fairly soon after starting (within years).
What’s the best way to stay top of mind with an agency?
Although there’s no secret formula, there is a kind of “how things get done” regarding placement. Here it pays to know the right balance of responding on time without becoming a nuisance. There’s also the grace expressed when you don’t get a position when it’s not a perfect fit.
Of course, completing the online application and attaching all pertinent documents to the online application is key. Leaving anything out can cause delays in getting your information to the client. In these situations, if I have another candidate with a completed application, I consider them first. Applicants can also participate in our referral program. It will keep their name at the top of our minds and keep us in more contact than usual. Also, make sure we have an updated resume for you on file at all times. Finally, sign up for our newsletter and participate on our social media.
Is there an etiquette to the placement process that makes things go smoothly for the candidate, client, and placement agency?
Every PSP should watch the Anthony Hopkins movie, The Remains of the Day, for a master class in private service professionalism. For example, when asked his opinion on the war, Hopkin’s character demurs, replying simply, “I am unable to assist in these matters. May I offer you a refreshment?” For the entire movie, they try to get Hopkin’s character t break his professional demeanor. But by not breaking it, he demonstrates what it truly means to be a professional. Being a professional at all times is the name of the game.
When dealing with an agency, it always helps to discuss what you have to offer the client before asking about salaries and benefits. We see better results when the client has a chance to fall in love with what the PSP can offer. That’s when you have a better chance of getting everything you’re asking for. For example, I showed up in full Mary Poppins style when interviewing for a nanny position. I brought a homemade dinner and my craft bag so I could do crafts with the children and a positive attitude. I had lots of competition, but it was an easy choice for the client because I was the only one who went the extra mile. I also got more than what they were initially offering for compensation.
When it comes to dealing with a client, being friendly but not familiar is key. Getting too close to the client can make them really nervous. Finally, make sure ALWAYS to write a thank you note for any interview you have. It’s old-fashioned, but everyone loves it and shows professionalism that impresses people.
Demonstrating professionalism early in the placement process, taking your skills seriously, and realizing that private service is a calling that can be a career are only some key ingredients for success. Combining these with taking well-intentioned advice on how to succeed as a Private Service Professional from experienced agencies like Precise Home Management makes all the difference.
It’s easy to get lost in the daily maelstrom of the “me-first” movement that has existed since time immemorial. Modern trends like “quiet-quitting,” and “ghosting” are common fixtures in the workplace and not necessarily owned by a specific generation. Who can blame them? Employers of all sizes aren’t winning humanitarian awards for compensation, parental leave, paid time off, or understanding the life part of the work/life balance. But before you start another online shopping marathon or decide to print all of your emails for posterity on the company dime, consider this. It’s possible to have a fulfilling career and personal life when you focus on your duty.
What is Duty?
According to dictionary.com, duty means; “Something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation. The binding or obligatory force of something that is morally or legally right; a moral or legal obligation. An action or task required by a person’s position or occupation.” An easy rebuttal could be, “Sure, but what does it pay?” Or, “Even people in uniform get loose with their duty.” All understandable. But the best example of duty can be found in the recently passed Queen Elizabeth II, a modern pillar of duty in every sense.
The Late Queen Elizabeth II
As described in a recent article from City Journal, “When she was 21, she swore that she would devote her life to doing her duty, the duty thrust upon her by accident of birth, and no one could say, three-quarters of a century later, that she had not kept her vow. She was still performing her duty a few days before her death at 96. There must surely be very few examples of such single-minded dutifulness in contemporary history. That is why she maintained her popularity from the moment she ascended the throne to the day of her death. Her conduct was as modest as her position was exalted. She never made the mistake of thinking that she was an interesting or remarkable person in herself and thereby became remarkable.” Elizabeth’s personal life was writ large across British tabloids as expected in public life. But despite this scrutiny, her duty kept her working for the monarchy, a position she knew was larger than her daily life. Here, her duty was both moral and legal. There were rich rewards, but few could argue it was a cakewalk.
When working in service as a private service professional, the first choice you make in a new job is how to face it. Is this new position another gig, or is it a privileged duty? Those who decide their work is a moral duty to themselves and the family they serve last longest as private service professionals. Working with a sense of duty is often misconstrued as indentured servitude, where what you think doesn’t matter. It is absolutely the opposite. Working with a sense of personal duty demonstrates your dedication as a professional, reflected in the quality and consistency of your work.
Some of us will be lucky to experience someone dedicated to duty. Maybe your first experience was with a teacher who wouldn’t give up or a colleague who went above and beyond and ensured you were okay. Perhaps it was a parent or grandparent who elevated the needs of others. You’d never regard them as indentured servants but as people who had a sense of commitment to their roles for those around them. Now picture working with a small army of similarly dedicated people. What would your work week be like if, at every turn, the things you needed to do your job were in place? Enjoying your work with a sense of duty elevates your fulfillment and the quality of service to your employer. Of course, this type of dedication has rewards that a quiet-quitting or ghosting mindset can never realize.
Who Will You Be?
When you work with a sense of duty, you open yourself to a feeling of fulfillment that no amount of money can deliver. But when you work in service, you can enjoy the honor of your duty and financial rewards regular jobs don’t offer. So why not explore how performing at your best can provide you with a lifestyle others only wish they had? It all begins with a sense of duty—a duty to yourself as a professional and a duty to the family you serve. Be a part of something bigger.
Precise Home Management provides staff to HNW families and individuals and offers professional guidance to private service professionals. Contact us today to discover a life unlike any other in private service.
Every career has points of entry and a lifestyle all its own. In this installment of Ask Andrew, we explore what to expect as a Private Service Professional and how to enter this spectacular career.
What can I expect working as a Private Service Professional?
“Success begins with a passion for service and freeing your mind from traditional work experiences. So, it’s safe to say that being a PSP isn’t your typical 9-to-5, Monday through Friday job. However, being a PSP means working at all hours in surroundings you could only dream of before. There is a world of luxury even glamourous Hollywood cannot imagine, and you can consider this your daily office.”
“There are no downsides per se, only a wide departure from what most people imagine when they think of a full-time job. More than anywhere else, if you love what you’re doing, you will never work a day in your life. Although you can be in-service around the clock, your deep service attitude immunizes you from feelings of enduring a ‘daily grind’ so many in the regular workforce face. There is also no comparison in the work-a-day world for where PSPs work. Luxury estates, high-end luxury international travel, yachts – your ‘office’ can change based on your principal’s needs at any moment. But, again, it all revolves around service. Yes, you will make sacrifices for your principal, but they will also employ you in a world few ever see.”.
The long days can stretch into weeks without a day off, time away from, family and friends, holidays missed with loved ones. This career path is not for everyone and few people outside this world will truly understand the demands of being a PSP
Do I have what it takes to be a PSP?
“Although there is no tried and true test, successful PSPs do have many traits in common. Most are service oriented, with early examples of being ‘mommy’s little helper’ at every opportunity. It’s likely no coincidence that service-minded people find work in the service industry which is a natural precursor to being a PSP. If you are curious about working as a Private Service Professional, reach out to others in the industry and inquire about open positions. Working for five years and moving from $40,000 to $120k annually isn’t rare when you have the right mentorship. So if you are service-minded, enjoy the adventure of an ever-changing environment, and want to experience what most can only dream of, you should consider becoming a Private Service Professional.”
When you think about service careers, it’s easy to picture law enforcement, EMS, or even teaching. But did you know there’s a service with an exclusive culture, language, and richness? Whether celebrities, business magnates, or wealthy families, high net-worth (HNWs) individuals and families need an army of Private Service Professionals (PSPs) to keep their lifestyles running smoothly. If you’ve felt that inner drive to be helpful, it’s time to ask, “Have you considered entering private service?” Our experts at Precise Home Management can curate your rewarding career as a Private Service Professional and help you develop gifts you never knew you had.
CALLED TO SERVICE
The world is full of helpers. From holding a door open to allowing someone to merge in traffic, these are more than common courtesies. We call them characteristics of a call to service, and you shouldn’t ignore these clues. For example, did you help your mother with household chores or help your dad with yardwork or in the garage? Natural helpfulness can be nurtured into a career as a PSP. Transforming genuine helpfulness into a Private Service skillset requires discipline, but we are here to help you.
Think about everything you do at home to keep your life running. Cooking, shopping, cleaning, errands, laundry, paying bills, organizing home repair, yard work – the list is almost endless. Now picture yourself specializing in one task and being paid well for it. As a PSP, you can specialize in a field you love and work as part of a team for a high-net-worth individual. Best of all, the potential for advancement is limitless. It’s not unheard of for someone who begins as a house cleaner to advance to estate management within a few years with diligent professional development. Best of all, we can guide you through your career and help you develop the skills and relationships you need to succeed.
Life in private service pays well beyond your salary. You get to work with a team focused on the same goal of taking care of your Principal, the HNW that needs the support of staff to make their household run smoothly. In addition, PSPs have a deep sense of community and endless networking opportunities. Some PSPs travel with their Principals. It’s not uncommon for PSPs to experience private luxury travel and shopping as part of their duties. So, although service is your focus, bring along your sense of adventure.
Transform your natural helpfulness into a rewarding career as a Private Service Professional. Our experts at Precise Home Management are here to guide you every step in your development. We love to help too, and we would love to serve you. Also, you can receive upwards of $500 in referral fees for someone, which results in a successful placement.
I tasked Andrew Lowrey, owner of Precise Home Management, to find a domestic couple for my family and home last year.
I had a very specific list of demands that included qualifications, personality and expectations that my family needed from the positions.
This was my first experience I had used Andrew, or any other type of recruiting services for that matter, so I was bit skeptical before I met with him if my demands would be met or even listened to when searching for candidates. However, from my first meeting with Andrew it was apparent to me that he had my family’s best interest at heart. He was excellent with his communication and follow-up and really listened to all the qualities I wanted in someone that would be working in my house on a day-to-day basis.
Andrew was able to present me with several qualified candidate couples to choose from and I knew each one had been vetted and background cleared by him. Andrew walked my family through the whole process of finding to hiring and even helped me with interviewing of prospective candidates. I cannot stress how pleased I was with his professionalism and his manner throughout the process.
Even before we had selected and hired our new couple, Andrew actually watched my house for a weekend while my family was out of town and we were in transition to a new team. I think this truly showed his dedication to my family and how much he places clients needs above all else. The couple we hired from Andrew’s service are still with us a year later and we could not be more pleased! Andrew still checks in on a monthly basis to make sure my family’s needs are being met.
I would recommend his service to anyone in need of an employee that will be working in your home. Before I consulted with him I felt as though finding and hiring someone that would meet the needs of my family would be impossible. He made the process less intimidating and catered to all my trepidations and wants. Without him we may have still be searching!
I live in the Sherwood Mansion of Sherwood Gardens in the Guilford area of Baltimore a 23-room monument to 19th century architecture. I have a family of 6 and entertain extensively. Also included on the grounds are a large pool, pool house and several acres requiring very precise maintenance and grooming because of extensive and various growth.
My family and I have enjoyed living here for the past 15 vears, however it is only until recently that we have thoroughly enjoyed occupying this beautiful home. Precise Home Management has been totally responsible for this transformation consisting of re-staffing, replacing various vendors, such as housekeeping, landscape architectures, maintenance and cost effective practices to make the house more efficient while saving money. They were successful in locating and hiring my chauffeur and valet. My wife is very involved with running the family while I am involved in several large businesses. In spite of that, we are able to find time to run the household now that PHM has provided their services to us.
Andrew has allowed us to divert our attention to more enjoyable things. In addition to being very effective, his attitude has been very positive as he very much enjoys his work. He is anxious to build his business and are fortunate enough to have the resources. He has also been very helpful in planning and staffing parties and other functions that we have hosted. Certainly we have given PHM many occasions to demonstrate their talents and they have unfailingly completed the task to which they were assigned.
I commend PHM’s services and recommend your consideration to utilize their services for your home as well.
Louis Nicholas, CEO
We hope that everyone is keeping safe and well, and adjusting to the challenging new way of life we now find ourselves in.
We wanted to assure our clients and candidates that we remain open for business, with appropriate adjustments to our working practices, to ensure that we’re able to deliver the same high level of service to our clients and candidates.
We are currently representing some superb new candidates who are looking for their next opportunity. Given the current ‘new norm’ where safety is paramount, we are now carrying out all interviews and meetings via video calls, and are undertaking COVID-19 due diligence before our candidates start new roles, for a little extra peace of mind.
For all roles, it’s important that they are followed to ensure everyone’s safety. We have candidates who are able to self-isolate prior to starting new roles, if required (including within clients’ households for live-in roles, or in separate accommodation on their premises).
We take our role in the support of good practice seriously for our employees, clients and candidates.
We continue to monitor the current situation closely, and will provide updates should the official guidelines change.
In the meantime, stay safe wherever you are.