Maids in America: The Decline of Domestic Help – The Atlantic

September 24th, 2015 by admin

Here’s a nice article from The Atlantic on the history of domestic help. Enjoy.

For centuries, a woman’s social status was clear-cut: either she had a maid or she was one. Servants—often live-ins—who did the bulk of the cooking, laundry, and childcare were an indispensable part of life for virtually everyone who wasn’t a domestic worker him or herself.Live-in maids, though, are now an anachronism—their outfits are more often seen as Halloween costumes or part of sexual roleplays. The fact that servants used to be a fixture of domestic life and are now reserved for the wealthy is one of the key, but little discussed, reasons why contemporary middle-class men and women feel overwhelmed by responsibilities. The receding presence of hired help has been accompanied by tremendous and long overdue boosts in the rights of domestic workers. At the same time, it means that fewer families today can afford the household support that was available to previous generations; paying even a part-time nanny on the books can be a time-consuming and expensive bureaucratic procedure…

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Book Details How Household Labor Unionized, Started Movement | WABE 90.1 FM

August 25th, 2015 by admin

Some amazing history in our industry. Read or listen from the link in the full story.

Atlanta resident, civil rights organizer and household domestic worker Dorothy Bolden died in 2005 at the age of 80, but the work she did during her lifetime lives on.

“Dorothy Bolden was absolutely fearless when it came to speaking up for the common person,” according to her obituary in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.Bolden was born in the historic Vine City neighborhood and started working as a domestic laborer as early as age 9. She was active in the civil rights movement and was even a neighbor of Martin Luther King Jr. In 1968, Bolden founded the National Domestic Workers Union of America.Her impact on the organization of household help and on the labor laws governing these workers remains as significant today as it was when she helped start the movement in the 1950s.Bolden is part of a collective of women who were a driving force in the unionization of domestic workers. Their untold story is detailed in a new book called “Household Workers Unite: The Untold Story of African American Women Who Built a Movement” by Barnard College professor and author Premilla Nadasen.

Source: Book Details How Household Labor Unionized, Started Movement | WABE 90.1 FM

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Modern day slavery – The Nation

July 24th, 2015 by admin

Just read this. Be happy about your working conditions. Expose injustice if you see it.

An estimated, 8.5 million domestic workers are paid a pittance to mollycoddle Pakistan’s elite and upper middle class. Services include, but are not limited to cooking, cleaning, guarding and driving. Working conditions, responsibilities, pay scale, vacations, allowances, health benefits and other potential points of contention – including the recent statewide increment in minimum wage – are fluid in the absence of a contract. Ultimately, when domestic workers outnumber opportunities, the all-powerful employer reigns supreme with millions subjected to a life of thankless servitude.
Recompense that permits survival in exchange for nearly every minute of a person’s life, without any route for upward social mobility, can only be viewed as modern day slavery. Establishing equity, in any workplace cannot be left to the whims of a penny-pinching employer. The design is ripe to exact injustice.
On the other side of the fence, commanding a battery of servants, or just a poor lone soul, indolent employers have every reason to maintain the status quo and will do everything to guard their choice to oppress domestic help and pay below minimum wage.
When domestic help asks for a raise, domestic help is ‘ungrateful’. When they ask for a leave, they are ‘perpetually absent’. When accruing work is assigned to them and they are unable to cope, they are worthy of abuse. In case of theft, domestic help is the first suspect.

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5 Job Search Myths That Are Holding You Back – The Muse

July 16th, 2015 by admin

Good job hunting basics are important. Here are a few ideas to help in your search.

If you want to find a job you love, you have to have high standards. You have to know what you want and what you’re worth, and you can’t be willing to settle for anything lower than that.But that doesn’t mean you can hold the job-hunting process to the same standards. In fact, it’s far too easy for job hunters to go into the job search with unrealistic expectations about how the process will work—expectations that often result in disappointment. To get through the job hunt successfully, you have to stop believing in these myths and instead focus on more effective ways to get the attention of—and ultimately impress—the hiring manager.

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Rapper The Game Ordered To Pay $200K For Instagram Comments About Nanny- Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

June 29th, 2015 by admin

It is good to see that employees can find legal protection from vindictive employers. Whether or not true, the public slandering of ex-staff won’t be tolerated.

LOS ANGELES (CNS/FOX 11) – A Los Angeles judge overseeing what may be the first Instagram-related libel case ordered rapper The Game to pay more than $200,000 to a former nanny for his children who the singer defamed in a rant on social media.Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff issued a $200,627 default judgment against the singer on June 10. Plaintiff Karen Monroe alleged defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She sued the 35-year-old rapper in July 2013 after he allegedly ranted about her on Instagram, accusing her of neglecting his children and describing her as “a very dangerous baby sitter.”The suit alleged The Game falsely stated that he fired Monroe for screaming at his children, having sex with her boyfriend in his children’s room, and that she left Northern California to “escape from her past of inappropriately touching children.”Monroe’s attorney, Manu Elloie, moved for a default judgment after The Game, whose real name is Jayceon Terrell Taylor, did not respond to the suit.Elloie said millions of people saw the posting, prompting death threats against Monroe and causing her to lose her job as a nanny to singer Kelis.In his seven-page ruling, Beckloff said Monroe received many postings amounting to “profane slurs” on her social media accounts in response to The Game’s statements, including “You can rape as many kids as you want and catch diseases” and “Take your passport and go to Africa.”The judge cited a sworn declaration from Monroe in which she said “reputation is everything in the celebrity nanny business” and that it is now unlikely she will be able to work for another famous person because of the bad publicity generated by the rapper’s remarks.

Read more via: Rapper The Game Ordered To Pay $200K For Instagram Comments Abou – Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

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Martha Stewart’s Media Empire Sold for Fraction of Its Former Value

June 23rd, 2015 by admin

One of the iconic brands of home making has just been sold…

At its peak, Martha Stewart’s media empire, built around her carefully curated and fussily decorated lifestyle brand, was worth well over $1 billion.

Yet on Monday, the company agreed to sell itself for a fraction of that.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia said that it would sell itself to the Sequential Brands Group, a conglomerate whose brands include Jessica Simpson and the Franklin Mint, for just $353 million.

It is in some ways a reminder of how far the company has fallen from its heights, when Ms. Stewart’s particular vision of a perfectly decorated lifestyle commanded attention and investor dollars.

The company was dealt a blow in 2004 when Ms. Stewart — a former stockbroker and model who discovered a lucrative knack for decorating and catering — was convicted of obstructing justice and lying about a well-timed stock sale, spending several months in prison in Alderson, W.Va.

Despite working under a temporary ban from holding an officer title at a publicly traded company, she eventually reclaimed the title of chairwoman of the company that bears her name.

But Martha Stewart Living has been battered by the troubles that have afflicted many media companies, as readers shifted to other titles and television shows. Last fall, the company struck a deal to license two of its main magazine titles to the Meredith Corporation, providing content for those publications.

Now, the company itself will become a part of Sequential Brands, whose business revolves around buying brands and then licensing them out for a fee.

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Senate’s message for domestics, ‘You exist, by law’ | The CT Mirror

June 5th, 2015 by admin

As our industry gains more recognition, the focus on employee rights will increase. Hopefully.

As Friday slid toward Saturday, four Brazilian women in identical black T-shirts hugged, giggled and blinked back tears in the otherwise sedate gallery of the Connecticut Senate. Their grinning lobbyist, Bobby Shea, shushed them, without conviction.Sen. Eric Coleman, D-Bloomfield, the co-chair of the Judiciary Committee, looked up from the Senate floor and raised a bottle of water in their direction, a silent toast. Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, laughed and gave them two thumbs up.On a night when nearly everyone else at the State Capitol was focused on the race to craft a budget deal before the adjournment deadline of midnight Wednesday, the Senate delivered the four women a political victory.On a 33 to 3 vote, the Senate passed and sent to the House a bill that would define an estimated 40,000 domestic workers in the state as employees, recognition denied 80 years ago with the passage of New Deal labor laws.The measure was a half-step, falling short of guaranteeing a minimum wage. But the recognition provided the right to complain of discrimination and mistreatment to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.Also ReadSession tally: Energy and environment hits, misses and almostsEnergy and environmental initiatives this legislative session were already heading toward half-a-loaf results before the budget impasse erupted. In the end there were big wins, big losses and everything in between.Op-ed: Domestic workers deserve this bill of rightsIn Bridgeport tomorrow, the Connecticut legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will hear public testimony on an Act establishing a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights for Connecticut. We write today to voice our support for this act.For the four women, that meant a celebration.

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Qatari couple charged in Texas with abusing household staff – Gulf Business

June 2nd, 2015 by admin

Please keep an eye out for any abuses in our Private Service community. The only time it makes sense to get into anyone else’s personal business is to make sure they are safe and protected. This is shameful and hopefully the “slave” mentality of abusive employers will die off in the next generation.

A Qatari military official and his wife were charged by U.S. prosecutors in Texas on Monday with withholding wages from two of their housekeepers from Indonesia and Bangladesh, forcing them to live in squalor and preventing them from leaving.Hassan Salem Al Homoud and his wife, Zainab Al Hosani, were charged with engaging in forced labor and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas said.A lawyer for the couple was not immediately available for comment.Al Homoud, a Qatari military official living in the San Antonio area where he is undergoing training, and his wife brought the housemaid and servant in mid-2014 to Texas to work for their family.“The criminal complaint alleges that the defendants housed the workers in primitive conditions, restricted their ability to move or travel, and provided them with limited amounts of food,” the office said in a statement.

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Why You Shouldn’t Try to Humblebrag in a Job Interview

May 27th, 2015 by admin

Some good thoughts on how to be honest and positive in interviews, even with negative information…

Humblebragging is notoriously obnoxious. But sometimes, it feels necessary. For example, in a job interview, we’re often told to answer the dreaded “what’s your biggest weakness” question with something sly, like, “I’m too much of a perfectionist.” People see through this. It’s better to either be honest about your bragging or be open about your weaknesses.

With some colleagues, Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino conducted research on humblebragging. They instructed a group of subjects to write down how they’d answer the “greatest weakness” question in a job interview. Over three-quarters of subjects answered by trying to reframe a positive statement as a negative one—better known as humblebragging. The researchers hired assistants to evaluate subjects’ answers. Here’s what they found:

Interestingly, this strategy was not effective: The research assistants indicated that they would be much less likely to hire the humblebraggers than those who seemed honest. These findings suggest that in job interviews, showing we are self-aware and working on improving our performance may be a more effective strategy than humblebragging. After all, authentic people who are willing to show vulnerability are likely to be the type of candidates interviewers most want to hire.

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The Queen has ‘started paying her servants the Living Wage’ as unions say it’s a long time coming – People – News – The Independent

May 19th, 2015 by admin

Let’s hope employers around the world follow suit and pay staff as professionals…

The Queen might be slipping down the Sunday Times Rich List, but that doesn’t mean her staff are losing out as the Living Wage has reportedly been introduced for Royal Household staff.Fifteen per cent of the Royal Household and Royal Collection Trust staff are now set to earn £9.15 an hour in London, and £7.85 elsewhere.”Her Majesty wants to make sure all her staff receive decent rates of pay,” a courtier told Daily Mail diarist Sebastian Shakespeare. “She is aware of the example it sets.”Staff who live on the Queen’s properties will be paid differently.While she might have slipped out of the top 300 in the Sunday Times Rich List for the first time ever this year, the Queen is still worth £340 million.Her household staff work on her lavish properties – including Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and the Balmoral Estate – and were set to vote on industrial action over pay.

Read more via: The Queen has ‘started paying her servants the Living Wage’ as unions say it’s a long time coming – People – News – The Independent

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