Hired Help wages

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09/01/2009

Anyone care to share what you pay your cleaning staff if you have any?  I just came from a place that paid the cleaning help $7.00/hour.  I was dumbfounded and felt bad for the staff.  I googled minimum wage and found it to be $7.25 - so is paying someone $7.00/hour even legal?  I have been told by several people to keep my nose out of it, but I am curious -  Is $7 normal?  I have paid up to $20/hour to have my own house cleaned and thought that was "normal".     

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 We pay $15/hr., which is why we only have help when we are NOT there Sad Wish I could afford help!!

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05/30/2008

Depends on the area of the country, probably.  I paid $10/hour to my independent contractor which is well above what the hotels paid housekeeping staff.   I also would give her little bonuses periodically when we got slammed - like gift cards for $10-$15. 

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OnTheShore's picture
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The IRS is also interested in whether someone who works for you is considered an independent contractor rather than an employee, and they have a lot of guidance in their Employer's Tax Guide (publication 15).

In Maine, if you want to treat someone as an independent contractor who is not obviously set up in their own business (e.g. you are going to write your check to them personally), you need to submit a "request for pre-qualification of independent contractor status" to the Worker's Compensation Board before you hire the person.

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Alibi Ike's picture
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Harborfields- just had guests here looking for a summer cottage for next year. I will pass your info along to them!

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10/18/2008

Be careful about thinking that anyone can hire anyone as an independent contractor. In GA for example that person has to be employed (ie W2) by another company or has to be incorporated. IC's may or may not be covered by your insurance if they steal something or have an accident at work.

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10/18/2008

Min Wage depends on state - in GA it is 7.25/hr - I have been paying $8.50 but at one time I was paying as high as $13-15 because this person needed no supervision, did the "extra" tasks without being asked, "saw" and took care of things although they may not have been specifically assigned and cleaned the rooms in about 30% less time than others

Remember that your employee wage deductions add about 30% to what you actually pay them.

Tips? Hardly ever get left any

Remember that every biz is suffering (well I think MOST are) and  whereas you may have paid someone more 4 years ago, you may just be able to find someone out of work that is just as good that will work for less. Is that moral? No. Do I feel good about it? No. Was I the victim of just such a thing? Yes.

Don't judge a business they may have reasons you don't know about, it's THEIR business and NO ONE else's to stay above the law, declare wages and pay at least state minimum.

muirford's picture
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05/22/2008

 When we advertised a year ago for a housekeeper at $11/hour, we had over 100 phone calls and at least 30 people who showed up to be considered.  But - you have still have to find someone who shows up when they say they will, cleans well, and is willing to only work part-time with varying seasonal hours, and that's hard.  

$7 seems low to me, but we don't know the circumstances.  Some places provide housing or some meals or transportation or child care, which may be worth something to the employees.  Or, the owner may just be behind the times in providing a good wage, and the employees won't stay long.  Unless the owner asks for your advice, I wouldn't offer it up.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

I was able to get some yard work done for $10 per hour (always gave a hefty tip since it's such a low wage), but for housekeeping, I can't even find someone to do it for $15 per hour. The housekeepers in this area are used to working for the vacation rentals where they get $35 an hour. I can't/won't pay anybody that!

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02/24/2011

Our minimum wage is $9.65. And it would be a miracle if I could find someone to take that wage.

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Arrowhead Manor's picture
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09/20/2011

 Before we hired live-in help, we used to pay our housekeepers by the room. We would hire them as independent contractors (so essentially they were self-employed, as they had other houses they would clean throughout the week, as well), so we were not responsible for keeping in line with minimum wage, taxes, etc. Our smaller rooms would be $15 for a full clean (meaning the Guest checked out) or $10 for a refresh (just changing towels, making the bed, etc. if the Guest was staying over), and $5 more for the larger suites. This way, if they had a system and were able to clean quickly and efficiently, they would actually end up making more per hour. We would also allow them to do "extras" for more money, like if they wanted to vaccuum the stairs, or clean the main entrance, etc., and we would assign prices to each task. This was a great alternative, I think, to the hourly wages. It keeps them from dawdling and taking forever to clean rooms just to make a few extra bucks.

We also have comment cards that we slip under the doors of the rooms at the end of each Guest's stay. These allowed them to designate tips in addition to letting them vent, if needed, instead of spreading it on the internet later. We did (and unfortunately still do) have an issue with the housekeepers taking whatever cash was left in the room. On the surface, it makes sense that if they left cash, it's for the housekeeper. But there have been many times that the Guest meant for the tip to go to the Caretakers for serving breakfast, or they had broken something and this was their sheepish way of repaying us for it. We instituted a "all tips will go to the house and be redistributed on your paycheck" rule... but as you can imagine, cash is hard to prove it was taken unless you bait them with a fake tip!

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

the mimumum wage here is £5.75 per hour so we pay £6.00 so it saves trying to make change. any tips she gets on top are hers.

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09/06/2011

In many states the minimum wage is lower for tipped employees. For example in Kentucky the minimum wage is $7.25, however if you're a tipped employee you can legally be paid as little as $2.13/hr. Example is servers, bartenders, etc. In Kentucky in order to be "tipped" you must make more than $30/month in tips, and they must claim enough in tips to equal the standard minimum wage (if you pay them $6/hr they must claim at least $1.25/hr. in tips).

So if they're getting paid $7/hr it's very possible it's being done legally depending on the state and how much they make in tips.

You can see each states hourly rates here: http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm

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09/01/2009

 Ok, now I have been told by several more people (you all) to keep my nose out of it...was planning to - just wanted to know if I was crazy for feeling sorry for these people!  I guess I won't be surprised if they are gone the next time I go in November!     

EmptyNest's picture
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05/22/2008

Sorry but as an innsitter, it is not your problem. I would stay out of it.

muirford's picture
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05/22/2008

 Without knowing the details of their business, the local market for wages, the state and municipalities' rules for wages, and what other benefits they may have (like housing, in some markets, is provided) - I wouldn't presume to pass judgment on the situation.  I have to agree with Riki - it's not really any of your business as a short-term innsitter, and stirring the pot or discussing the details will not make you any friends or gain you future employment. 

I would say that for a long-term assignment, if you were going to be managing staff and/or hiring/firing people - as many interim innkeepers do - you would need to be concerned and understand the rationale for the wage structure.  Discussed with the owner first - not the employees.

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06/26/2008

We pay $16+ and it took us 2 years to find somebody at that rate. We have shortage of people wanting to do it. Most want $20 cash- can not afford it.

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

just wondering ... who shared the info with you? 

and why? 

the housekeepers? 

maybe they accept it because of the assumed tipping.  maybe it's under the table.  maybe as someone else said they are illegals themselves.

i had to pay $15 an hour for good housekeeping help or the girls would walk.  i did not want to involve myself with the tipping ...  i left it up to them to declare or not ... but i assume they did not. 

 Edit:  I read some more about the minimum wage http://employeeissues.com/blog/minimum-wage-2011/

and some states can pay as low as $5.15

 

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egoodell's picture
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 Another thought - if you are an innsitter and do anything about this - it may end your innsitting career. I'm not saying paying $7/ hour is correct - just saying that I would not hire someone that caused another B&B problems. Just sayin....it's not your business, not your place to correct.

RIki

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10/07/2008

Were they paying them cash under the table vs going through the proper hiring practice and paying taxes? In other words, undocumented workers?

I don't really think it is anyone's business what anyone else does. I would be careful where you step on this one. Let me ask the group here as a whole, are your housekeepers/chambermaids declaring their tips? If not, that is also illegal.  So just be careful. I don't think an innsitter should be investigating the rest of the business, just my 2 cents on that, it could end badly.

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Alibi Ike's picture
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08/08/2010

As far as tips go...we tell the housekeeper of record that tips are their business and they are required to account for them when they file their taxes. As long as we don't handle the tip money, we don't know about it. Should we ever do tip sharing, we would then be handling the money and we would be required to remit the tax money. So, we stay out of it.

Alibi Ike's picture
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08/08/2010

Paying under minimum wage is illegal. Have to ask...were the cleaners also illegal? (Not that you would know unless you ran a check on them.) We pay $4 over the state minimum wage and about $2 over what the hotels pay.

It various with experience. If the same person comes back each season s/he gets a raise for the new season. If it's someone new, we go back to square one and then give raises as the season progresses.

We can't afford $20/hr!

egoodell's picture
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We pay our innsitters $15/hr whether they clean or just babysit. I would rather pay for quality to ensure the comfort of my guests. I think $7 / hour is terrible.

RIki 

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