Weinstein’s Aussie gatekeeper stays quiet – via SBS

October 13th, 2017 by admin

My favorite article of the week – A Personal Assistant who will not reveal anything to the press and maintains her professionalism. If she must give information under oath, I’m sure she will comply, but otherwise her knowledge on all employer matters is not for sale!

A former Sydney woman employed as Harvey Weinstein’s “gatekeeper” has declined to reveal if she witnessed the influential Hollywood producer sexually harass or abuse anyone.

Tracey Miller described herself on business social networking service LinkedIn as the “right arm to extremely successful” Weinstein, after taking up the personal assistant position in June last year.

“She will not be commenting,” Weinstein’s spokesperson Sallie Hofmeister told AAP on Thursday.

Miller, who did not reply to phone and email queries, recently deleted from LinkedIn any references to her role as “Personal Assistant/Head of Office to Harvey Weinstein”.

The previously-listed job description included “arranging complex first class travel including private jets, greeters and 5-star accommodation”, “traveling [sic] with boss and his family including packing and unpacking” and “interfacing with top level film/television industry contacts and acted as gatekeeper”.

Read more at sbs.com.au

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UAE law targets sexual harassment, forced labor

September 28th, 2017 by admin

It seems like international awareness and pressure can make changes to the service industry in major cities around the world. Stay informed, and push for change where there is obvious injustice.

DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates, criticized globally for its treatment of migrant workers, issued a law on Tuesday to combat abuse of domestic staff, state news agency WAM said.

It includes prohibitions on sexual harassment, forced labor, and the employment of domestic workers under 18.

It also stipulates that workers are entitled to one paid day off each week, 30 days of paid vacation per year and up to 30 days of sick leave.

President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan approved the law, which was praised by human rights organizations when its draft was passed by the country’s legislative body in May.

The UAE relies heavily on migrant labor with an estimated 8 million workers making up more than 80 percent of its population, according to the International Labour Organization.

Source: UAE law targets sexual harassment, forced labor

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Wacky Craigslist ad shows what’s legal in seeking household help – via San Fransisco Chronicle

August 16th, 2017 by admin

This is a very funny but also important article highlighting the confusing rules of private employment. If you ever have legal questions hiring for a family, please call Bob King the cited attorney in the article. He is the best resource for all things legal in household staffing for California.

“There are some things in there that would be problematic if they are covered by civil rights laws,” said attorney Chaya Mandelbaum, a partner with Rudy Exelrod Zieff & Lowe who represents employees. […] California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and job applicants based on a long list of protected categories, applies to employers with five or more employees.

The ad was posted by an unidentified couple who describe themselves as fortysomething biotech workers who don’t have time to cook, do laundry or dishes, put away groceries, keep cut flowers alive, schedule appointments, return merchandise, wait on hold for customer service, teach the dog tricks, hem pants, haul stuff to Goodwill, hang pictures, reorganize the closet, polish fingernails or research investment opportunities. Bonus points are given if the person has “long hair” and knows how to gently untangle knots, “can make one-of-a-kind wood furniture pieces,” can “swim well in the ocean” and is “physically strong.”

The California labor code prohibits employers of any size from taking adverse employment action against employees for lawful nonwork activities, said Bob King, founder of Legally Nanny, a household-employment law firm in Irvine. Because smoking and drinking alcohol is lawful, prohibiting those activities outside of work would violate the code, he said. Under the state labor code, employers cannot consider or ask job applicants about certain offenses, including…

Read more: Wacky Craigslist ad shows what’s legal in seeking household help

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The Assistant Economy | Dissent Magazine

August 1st, 2017 by admin

This one is from a few years ago, but it just came up in a current article about becoming a high profile personal assistant. I thought it was worth another review.

Nearly every exclusive field runs on assistants. The actor James Franco, like Buddha before him, had an assistant keep track of his meals and school assignments. The critic and writer Daphne Merkin has employed a steady stream of Ivy-educated elves. They’re tasked with everything from editing to returning dead houseplants. Bestselling novelist John Irving (The Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany) has an assistant who types up his roughly twenty-five pages of handwritten manuscript a day. He recruits exclusively from liberal arts schools in cold climates like Middlebury and Vassar, to ensure his hires can survive the winter at his home in Dorset, Vermont. During the 2008 presidential season, recent Harvard grad Eric Lesser impressed senior advisor to the president, David Axelrod, with his color-coded system for tracking Obama’s campaign luggage. Lesser was taken on as Axelrod’s “special assistant,” assuming responsibility for everything from supervising his boss’s diet to organizing the first-ever presidential Seder.

Welcome to the main artery into creative or elite work—highly pressurized, poorly recompensed, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes menial secretarial assistance. From the confluence of two grand movements in American history—the continued flight of women out of the home and into the workplace, and the growing population of arts and politically oriented college graduates struggling to survive in urban epicenters that are increasingly ceded to bankers and consultants—the personal assistant is born.

Full Article at: The Assistant Economy | Dissent Magazine

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Rent The Most Aristocratic Villa On The Amalfi Coast for $19,500 A Night

June 30th, 2017 by admin

Here’s a great villa to consider for your employer’s next getaway…

It’s easy to think that you’re in a wing of New York’s Metropolitan Museum when you walk into Villa Astor, the clifftop mansion on Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. The 19th century villa, now carrying the name of the diplomat who bought it in 1905, William Waldorf Astor, then one of the richest men in the world, is filled with the Greek and Roman antiquities that he collected. The statues and columns surround you in the hallway and the sitting rooms; the smaller artifacts discovered on the grounds of the estate get their own display case in a separate room (And all are protected by Italy’s Ministry of Culture.) . But as exalted a tone as they set, these priceless items are meant to be lived with. After an extensive renovation by the French designer Jacques Garcia commissioned by the current Russian owner, the 12,000 square foot six bedroom villa is now available to rent…

Source: Rent The Most Aristocratic Villa On The Amalfi Coast for $19,500 A Night

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Trump family hires familiar face as chief usher – cnn.com

June 26th, 2017 by admin

One of the largest operations for household staff is now headed by a Trump Hotel employee. The high level hotel is one of the few environments that translates well into the large private household.

First lady Melania Trump announced Friday the hiring of Timothy Harleth for the role of chief usher, a key position in the executive residence. The search for the new chief usher didn’t stray far from the White House; Harleth was until recently the director of rooms at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

“I am pleased that Timothy will be joining our team,” the first lady said in a statement. “I selected him because of his impressive work history and management skills. My husband and I know he will be successful in this vital role within the White House.”
While hiring from a Trump property for a key role at the White House is likely to raise eyebrows in terms of questionable favorability and fairness, that Harleth comes from a background in the hospitality industry isn’t unusual. Prior to his time at Trump’s DC hotel, he worked in management at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington and at the Mandarin Oriental in New York.
Read more at http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/23/politics/trump-timothy-harleth-chief-usher/index.html.

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Kate Winslet refuses to employ domestic help – TV3 Xposé

June 14th, 2017 by admin

 

88th Annual Academy Awards

This is a nice short article with an alternate perspective on household staff. I like it.

The Oscar winning actress, 41, has two teenage children and one young son, but says that although she can afford to pay for domestic staff to help her with her motherly duties, she insists on carrying them out herself.

“I don’t have staff,” Kate tells Harper’s Bazaar magazine. “I don’t have a chef or a driver or things like that. I would be so unhappy if I had those things and I wouldn’t feel like I was being a real person anymore. Just because I am in a position where I can have those things, it doesn’t mean that I have to.”

The Titanic star explains that both she and her children Mia Honey, 16, Joe Alfie, 13, and Bear Blaze, 3, would be unhappy if she were too busy to help them, as parenthood helps motivate her in life…

 

Source: Kate Winslet refuses to employ domestic help – TV3 Xposé

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Draft UAE law protecting domestic workers rights hailed by embassies

June 2nd, 2017 by admin

If you think service workers have it rough in the USA, check out the scene overseas. Basic legal protections are just beginning, like getting paid on time and retaining your own passport!

DUBAI // Diplomats described a draft law on domestic staff rights passed by the Federal National Council as “pro-worker” and recommended firm implementation to ensure their interests are protected.

The bill, stipulating a weekly day off, 30 days’ paid holidays, at least 12 hours of rest a day including eight consecutive hours off and the right to retain passports and identity cards, was passed by the FNC on Wednesday.

Officials in embassies and consulates across the UAE welcomed the move and said enforcement would reduce common complaints about pressure to work long hours, non-payment and late payment of wages.

The diplomats wanted to know more about proposals to monitor the punctuality of salary payments.

“It is a positive development because the benefits of rest are clearly stated and passport custody will be given to workers,” said Ophelia Almenario, labour attache at the Philippine embassy in Abu Dhabi.

“One issue we have raised is non-payment of salaries on time and a mechanism to monitor wages, like in the case of labourers where they have wage protection implemented and salaries must be deposited in the bank.

As of now, we don’t know if there is a provision to this effect in the new law.”

According to the draft, wages must be paid by the 10th of the following month with a receipt signed by the worker. Tighter regulations on wage protection are expected to follow.

The draft must be approved by the President Sheikh Khalifa.

Source: Draft UAE law protecting domestic workers rights hailed by embassies

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White House fires its chief usher — the first woman in that job – The Washington Post

May 5th, 2017 by admin

Household staff in the news – Maybe the title of Chief Usher will start to gain popularity in private homes?

The White House has fired its chief usher, Angella Reid, the first woman and second African American to hold the position.

When the White House residence staff arrived at work Friday morning, they were told that Reid was no longer employed, according to someone with knowledge of the dismissal. A White House official confirmed that Reid is no longer working at the White House.

“We are very grateful for her service and wish her the very best,” the official said.

Reached by phone, Reid declined to comment, saying only, “I think it’s best if the White House explains.”

During Friday’s daily briefing with reporters, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, said that the deputy usher will serve as the acting usher.

“She is no longer employed here at the White House,” Sander said when asked about Reid’s departure. “We left on very good terms and wish her the very best and certainly hope for great things for her in the future. However, it’s not uncommon you might have a transition of staff when a new administration comes in. It’s nothing more than that.”

The job is one that typically involves a long tenure — there have been just nine since the beginning of the 20th century. The White House declined to provide any specifics for the reasons behind Reid’s departure.

Continue reading: White House fires its chief usher — the first woman in that job – The Washington Post

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Qualities of a Housekeeper that Separate Good from Great via Poloandtweed.com

April 20th, 2017 by admin

This article was forwarded to us as a suggested post. I agreed completely! There are few professional sites focused on one of the most important roles in the household: A PROFESSIONAL Housekeeper. This is a true art and should be seen as skilled profession, because it is. Thanks for the tip F.N.

Critical details that separate the good from the great…

There is a common misconception that to be a housekeeper is an innate ability.  That one is born with the knowledge of how to remove stains from marble or how to get coffee out of a carpet, but the truth of the matter is that to be a good housekeeper one must have the aptitude and approach to the art form that housekeeping is.

There is a colossal difference between a cleaner and a housekeeper. And although to mere mortals it may seem that they are the same thing, I can assure you they most certainly are not.  So how can you determine the qualities that make a good housekeeper and what sets them aside from a house cleaner?  Let me share these little nuggets of gold that I’ve learnt over the years…

Click through to the article: Qualities of a Housekeeper that Separate Good from Great via poloandtweed.com.

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