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Old 04-11-2019, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Proxima Centauri
4,792 posts, read 1,980,636 times
Reputation: 5225

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyArt911 View Post
Good evening,

I own a cleaning company and just hired my first employee that turned out to be awful to say the least. I hired her after a two week vetting and a multi interview process. All communication was done through email, except for one interview that was over the phone. I hired her based on the experience she said she had and because her personality seemed great. I "thought" she would be a good match. However, I quickly realized after two days that she clearly did not have cleaning experience and certainly was not trainable. Several times I showed her how to do something, and at the next property she would fail to do it the proper way or wouldn't do it at all. In an epitome, she blew through rooms faster than I could keep up, and if she was cleaning it was basically dry wiping everything without water and barely any cleaning chemical. Long story short, I contacted the labor board for direction in regards to firing her. I was told to let her go immediately if I thought her performance did not match the experience she stated she had; therefore, I nicely wrote a letter and emailed her this afternoon in regards to the matter. I emailed her so that I would have a record of the conversation since she could "try" to file a claim with unemployment or the labor board but as long as I had a paper trail, her doing so wouldn't matter. Needless to say, she flipped out. Sent me three separate emails, berating me basically. I guess I just want to know if there was a better way to handle this? I wrote the email because I knew it was the only guaranteed way to document the termination and who said what, etc. I also wrote an email because I do not have an office, everything is done from home, and I do not want someone I barely know to have my address. Also, I felt that if I terminated her in person, it would have to be done in a public place because I would not have been able to do so at a clients home for obvious reasons, so I chose email as I wanted it to be kept private away from the public. Please let me know your thoughts and how I should handle this in the future. Thanks so much for your time!

Please note in the email I told her I thought she had a great personality and liked that she was punctual, etc. However, I did tell her nicely that she was not a good fit due to her needing more training than I could offer her based on the fact that in my hiring ad I was looking for a seasoned cleaner and paying double the amount compared to other competitors. I figured that I would pay a lot more to gain a more experienced, seasoned cleaner. I was looking for someone that was experienced and may only need training in terms of minor staging and organizing... all of which she said she had but I quickly realized she couldn't even clean a toilet properly.
Some of you may assume I am running a small cleaning company for being a single person, but I am not I have over 60 clients that I clean rotationally each month and work roughly 7 days a week. It is important to me to keep things running smoothly, as well as, to keep my 5 star rating online. I cannot afford to keep someone as an employee at double the market rate if they are providing sub par work that would most certainly cause me to lose my clients.

I am a liberal and former union shop steward. You did the right thing to keep your business solvent. You followed Georgia guidelines regarding the termination process. It even sounds like you feel a little guilty for dismissing her. It takes a lot of moxie to have your own successful business. Good luck.


PS. Hard drives are notorious for failing at the worst moment. Keep a paper copy of the paper trail.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:59 AM
 
3,900 posts, read 2,742,272 times
Reputation: 7177
Let her have her paycheck now, don't hold it.

Absolutely you need in person interviews - you want the person you hire to be a good representative of your company! And yes, start them all off as independent contractors, not employees.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,155 posts, read 11,761,610 times
Reputation: 32132
Quote:
Originally Posted by PriscillaVanilla View Post
If you put this in writing she will be able to apply for UI benefits and will likely get them, since it looks like you couldn't give her the training she needed.
Why? She applied for a job and claimed she was experienced and knew what she was doing, when she wasn't. OP is under no obligation to hire someone without experience and train them for a job seeking an experienced person. Plus it sounds like it wasn't even just training as much as willingness to do the actual job.

ETA: OP, sounds like you do a great job and I'd hire you if you were local, so I can see why you needed to fire her to keep your excellent reputation. Hopefully once she gets her check, she will move on and that will be the end of it.
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:57 AM
 
817 posts, read 1,430,677 times
Reputation: 1476
It seems like you followed the correct steps, especially getting a legal consult before doing so, which is a must. The hiring and firing all done through e-mails is somewhat strange for me. I guess it's a different industry, but I would still think sitting down with someone, even for a short time, would be crucial in seeing if this person is competent. Your workers will make or break your reputation as a company, so they are representing you whether you like it or not.

Whenever I fired someone, I would write out a statement for the record and have both of us sign in. If I'm going to let someone go, I think you give them the courtesy of telling them face to face and answering any questions they might have.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,753 posts, read 1,013,777 times
Reputation: 3013
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXRunner View Post
It seems like you followed the correct steps, especially getting a legal consult before doing so, which is a must. The hiring and firing all done through e-mails is somewhat strange for me. I guess it's a different industry, but I would still think sitting down with someone, even for a short time, would be crucial in seeing if this person is competent. Your workers will make or break your reputation as a company, so they are representing you whether you like it or not.

Whenever I fired someone, I would write out a statement for the record and have both of us sign in. If I'm going to let someone go, I think you give them the courtesy of telling them face to face and answering any questions they might have.
I agree with TXRunner that terminating in person is the best method however I can understand in OP's circumstances why it was done via email.



If the employee does file for UI and for some reason is approved very little, if any of the burden will be on OP given the minimal time she had worked.
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Savannah
11 posts, read 3,898 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraG View Post
Let her have her paycheck now, don't hold it.

Absolutely you need in person interviews - you want the person you hire to be a good representative of your company! And yes, start them all off as independent contractors, not employees.
Thank you for the advice. I will look into what that entails. I was told that when hiring a private contractor I have no control over HOW the job gets done, just that it gets done. Additionally, if I specify my methods for cleanliness, I can potentially get in trouble with the IRS because they will technically be classified as an "employee."

Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
Why? She applied for a job and claimed she was experienced and knew what she was doing, when she wasn't. OP is under no obligation to hire someone without experience and train them for a job seeking an experienced person. Plus it sounds like it wasn't even just training as much as willingness to do the actual job.

ETA: OP, sounds like you do a great job and I'd hire you if you were local, so I can see why you needed to fire her to keep your excellent reputation. Hopefully once she gets her check, she will move on and that will be the end of it.
It was definitely a little bit of both, she certainly did not want to be given direction. However, it was very clear she didn't have the experience she claimed. For example, an experience cleaner would not leave remnants of fecal matter/urine or hair on a toilet that is clearly visible or soap splattered on a shower wall. An experienced cleaner would know how to detail a toilet, which is one of the basics of all cleaning. Thank you! Yes, I hope so too. I sent her check in the mail, priority certified with a signature required to CMA due to her not wanting to pick it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXRunner View Post
It seems like you followed the correct steps, especially getting a legal consult before doing so, which is a must. The hiring and firing all done through e-mails is somewhat strange for me. I guess it's a different industry, but I would still think sitting down with someone, even for a short time, would be crucial in seeing if this person is competent. Your workers will make or break your reputation as a company, so they are representing you whether you like it or not.

Whenever I fired someone, I would write out a statement for the record and have both of us sign in. If I'm going to let someone go, I think you give them the courtesy of telling them face to face and answering any questions they might have.
I did speak with unemployment as well as the department of labor. Unemployment said that if anything, she would only be able to receive it through her previous job, due to only working two days. The department of labor said that because we are in an "at will" state, that we can fire her for any reason at any time as long as no discrimination took place. However, she could still file a claim with no guarantee it would be approved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sockeye66 View Post
I agree with TXRunner that terminating in person is the best method however I can understand in OP's circumstances why it was done via email.

If the employee does file for UI and for some reason is approved very little, if any of the burden will be on OP given the minimal time she had worked.
An additional reason for using email was to ensure that I was clear and concise with my reasoning and that I would be able to finish without being interrupted or causing a scene. I am glad I chose that route because she emailed me more than once with some very choice words and also texted me throughout the night. I did not respond to her emails or text other than to let her know I would mail the check per her request.
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,753 posts, read 1,013,777 times
Reputation: 3013
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyArt911 View Post

An additional reason for using email was to ensure that I was clear and concise with my reasoning and that I would be able to finish without being interrupted or causing a scene. I am glad I chose that route because she emailed me more than once with some very choice words and also texted me throughout the night. I did not respond to her emails or text other than to let her know I would mail the check per her request.
You did well! Good on you for not responding to her emails and texts other than check info.

As for when to issue the check some states do require it be done in a timed matter (CA same day, AK 3 days) most are simply the scheduled pay date. You are responding in a timely manner.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:47 PM
 
792 posts, read 210,796 times
Reputation: 1322
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyArt911 View Post
Thank you for the advice. I will look into what that entails. I was told that when hiring a private contractor I have no control over HOW the job gets done, just that it gets done. Additionally, if I specify my methods for cleanliness, I can potentially get in trouble with the IRS because they will technically be classified as an "employee."



It was definitely a little bit of both, she certainly did not want to be given direction. However, it was very clear she didn't have the experience she claimed. For example, an experience cleaner would not leave remnants of fecal matter/urine or hair on a toilet that is clearly visible or soap splattered on a shower wall. An experienced cleaner would know how to detail a toilet, which is one of the basics of all cleaning. Thank you! Yes, I hope so too. I sent her check in the mail, priority certified with a signature required to CMA due to her not wanting to pick it up.



I did speak with unemployment as well as the department of labor. Unemployment said that if anything, she would only be able to receive it through her previous job, due to only working two days. The department of labor said that because we are in an "at will" state, that we can fire her for any reason at any time as long as no discrimination took place. However, she could still file a claim with no guarantee it would be approved.



An additional reason for using email was to ensure that I was clear and concise with my reasoning and that I would be able to finish without being interrupted or causing a scene. I am glad I chose that route because she emailed me more than once with some very choice words and also texted me throughout the night. I did not respond to her emails or text other than to let her know I would mail the check per her request.
You are correct in your interpretation of the rules for 1099 contractors. They must be independent as defined by the regulations or they can be deemed employees by the IRS. Contractors should also be able to offer their services to other companies. It seems to me you handled this appropriately. I was curious whether you require employment applications. It's generally advisable so applicants attest to the truthfulness and accuracy of their job experience, skills, education, etc.

Last edited by Maddie104; 04-11-2019 at 05:56 PM..
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
1,168 posts, read 576,143 times
Reputation: 2947
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyArt911 View Post
I own a cleaning company and just hired my first employee that turned out to be awful to say the least. I hired her after a two week vetting and a multi interview process. All communication was done through email, except for one interview that was over the phone. I hired her based on the experience she said she had and because her personality seemed great. I "thought" she would be a good match. However, I quickly realized after two days that she clearly did not have cleaning experience and certainly was not trainable.
Sorry you had a bad experience. But the only thing a good interview shows is good interviewing skills. And it doesn't sound like you verified her previous employment or called any of her clients.
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Old 04-12-2019, 05:38 AM
 
Location: S.W. Florida
2,206 posts, read 929,655 times
Reputation: 6218
Hopefully you have learned that email is a very poor substitute for direct, face to face communication. I would have terminated her employment after the first day or two based upon her poor performance and obvious deception in stating her experience.
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