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  • 31 Jul 2015 3:13 PM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Image courtesy CNN

    Based on information and belief, the lawsuit said, Kingery was provided with a cup containing the cleaning solution Urnex – a product used for cleaning coffee and espresso machines.

    Kingery ingested the cleaning solution, which caused “burning mouth syndrome,” loss of taste, esophagitis, erosions in her mouth and esophagus, oral nerve ending damage and numbness in her lips and tongue, the lawsuit said.

    Kingery is seeking over $1.5 million in damages for medical expenses, wage loss, household services, prejudgment interest and anticipated future expenses.

    “The safety of our customers is our highest priority. We take this obligation seriously and are investigating Ms. Kingery’s claims,” wrote Laurel Harper, a spokeswoman for Starbucks Corporation, in response to FOX 13’s request for comment.

    More at source: Fox

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  • 30 Jul 2015 2:46 PM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    The Internal Revenue Service is providing a safe harbor for contracts on services that are performed on a regular basis such as janitorial and landscape maintenance and software support.

    Revenue Procedure 2015-39 provides a safe harbor for accrual method taxpayers to treat economic performance as occurring ratably on contracts that provide services on a regular basis. In other words, under the safe harbor, a taxpayer can ratably expense the cost of regular and routine services as the services are provided under the contract.

    Contracts for regular janitorial or landscape maintenance services are typical examples of contractual services that may qualify for the safe harbor, the IRS pointed out. Another example provided is for IT support and maintenance for human resources software.

    A service contract that provides for a single product to be delivered to the taxpayer, such as an environmental impact study, will not satisfy the definition of a Ratable Service Contract because the contract does not provide for services to be provided on a regular basis. The revenue procedure defines a Ratable Service Contract and provides examples of contracts that will and will not satisfy the definition.

    The revenue procedure also includes examples of bundled service contracts, which provide for both regular and one-time services. Whether part of a bundled service contract qualifies as a Ratable Service Contract depends on whether the parties have separately priced the services specified in the contract, the IRS noted.

    More info at Accounting Today 

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  • 29 Jul 2015 2:11 PM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Study Finds Common Cleaning Products Fail Safety Testing

    Before you wash another load of laundry or scrub a pile of dishes, keep reading. Women’s Voices for the Earth launched a new report called “Deep Clean” in which the non-profit organization graded four major cleaning product manufacturers based on several indicators: their commitment to the safety of their products, disclosure of ingredients found in their products, responsiveness to consumer concerns, the company’s toxic chemical screening process, as well as the company’s willingness to remove chemicals of concern from the formulations.

    The report examined the following companies:

    SC Johnson & Son (the manufacturers of Pledge, Shout, Windex, Glade, and Scrubbing Bubbles)

    The Clorox Company (the manufacturers of Clorox, Pine-Sol, S.O.S., Tilex, Liquid-Plumber, Green Works)

    RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser) (the manufacturers of Woolite, Lysol, Finish, AirWick, Old English)

    Procter & Gamble (the manufacturers of Tide, Cascade, Dawn, Mr. Clean, Dreft Laundry, Febreze, Gain, Cheer)

    The study found that not one of the above four companies are completely transparent about the safety standards of ingredients they include in their products. But, perhaps the most critical finding was that Procter & Gamble received a failing grade of “F” for its lack of product disclosure, insufficient toxic chemical screening process, responsiveness to consumer concerns and use of chemicals of concern.

    For me, this finding raises alarm bells about the safety of its laundry detergents: Tide, Gain, Cheer and Dreft Laundry, as well as Febreze air “freshener,” Mr. Clean all-purpose cleaner, Cascade dishwashing detergent and Dawn dish soap.

    The study found that SC Johnson & Son and Procter & Gamble still use synthetic musks in their products. These musks are artificial chemicals known to disrupt hormones. This finding calls into question the potential safety of the above-mentioned Procter & Gamble products as well as SC Johnson & Son’s Pledge, Shout, Windex, Glade and Scrubbing Bubbles.

    More at source: Care 2

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  • 27 Jul 2015 2:40 PM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Window washers "overwhelmingly" ratified a three-year labor contract that would raise wages by up to 16 percent over the life of the agreement, the union said Wednesday.SEIU window washers rally

    "It's a good step but it's not the end," said Tom Balanoff, president of the Service Employees International Union Local 1.

    Balanoff said the agreement, which covers 235 window washers, was reached last week and averted a strike. The union negotiated with Corporate Cleaning Services and seven other companies that bargained together in a coalition.

    The workers, who now make from $11.15 to $17.65 per hour, will earn as much as $20.50 by the end of the contract, Balanoff said. The contract also calls for employers to pay 60 percent of health care insurance premiums, rather than a set amount, meaning companies will share cost increases with workers.

    Despite those wins, a point system workers sought to end was expanded and could be used by all eight companies. Under the system, a worker gets a set amount of points, or hours, to clean a building's windows. If the window washers finish the work early, the company pays them commission. But if they work beyond the time allowed, they don't get any additional pay. Workers felt the system forced them to rush and take shortcuts, often at the expense of safety.

    More at source: Chicago Tribune

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  • 24 Jul 2015 11:49 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    A Winnipeg woman says a local cleaning company discriminated against her on the basis of pregnancy.

    A Winnipeg woman is accusing a local cleaning company of firing her when she was pregnant and needed time off for medical appointments.

    The Manitoba Human Rights Commission argued her case against Cindy Dayman, owner of Take Time Cleaning and Lifestyle Services, before an adjudication hearing Thursday. 

    Andrea Szabo alleged Dayman fired her after she revealed on a company health form that she was pregnant. She complained her medical appointments weren't accommodated. The Commission's legal counsel argued Dayman violated the Human Rights Code. 

    "There's nothing to indicate pregnancy was a factor," Dayman countered. 

    Cleaning complaints

    Three customers complained about her cleaning services and it was a final, serious complaint that led to Szabo's termination, according to Dayman.

    Szabo said it was "outside of her comfort zone" to bring a complaint against Dayman. 

    "It was not an easy decision for me to go ahead with my complaint,"  Szabo told adjudicator Robert Dawson at the hearing. "I was very shocked to lose my job at four months pregnant."  

    Szabo began cleaning for the company in June 2012. She signed a health and availability form at the time and one of the questions asked if she was pregnant or planned to become pregnant. She checked off no.

    Szabo asked for time off to go to medical appointments in the fall of 2012. Dayman said those requests violated a company policy stating cleaners needed have consistent availability. 

    More at source: CBC

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  • 23 Jul 2015 2:26 PM | IJCSA - (Administrator)
    I am pleased to announce the release of our new website, designed with a fresh new look and user-friendly mobile navigation, updated with the latest information about our members products and services. We hope you will enjoy our new site. If you have any questions, comments or suggestion please send them my way.

    Thank You, 

    Matthew Carson | Administrator |  IJCSA

  • 23 Jul 2015 12:05 PM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    The labor protest movement that fast-food workers in New York City began nearly three years ago has led to higher wages for workers all across the country. On Wednesday, it paid off for the people who started it.

    A panel appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recommended on Wednesday that the minimum wage be raised for employees of fast-food chain restaurants throughout the state to $15 an hour over the next few years. Wages would be raised faster in New York City than in the rest of the state to account for the higher cost of living there.

    The panel’s recommendations, which are expected to be put into effect by an order of the state’s acting commissioner of labor, represent a major triumph for the advocates who have rallied burger-flippers and fry cooks to demand pay that covers their basic needs. They argued that taxpayers were subsidizing the workforces of some multinational corporations, like McDonald’s, that were not paying enough to keep their workers from relying on food stamps and other welfare benefits.

    The $15 wage would represent a raise of more than 70 percent for workers earning the state’s current minimum wage of $8.75 an hour. Advocates for low-wage workers said they believed the mandate would quickly spur raises for employees in other industries across the state, and a jubilant Mr. Cuomo predicted that other states would follow his lead.

    More at source: NY Times

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  • 21 Jul 2015 4:10 PM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    I don't wear dentures, but I have worn a retainer, which I cleaned with Efferdent. The experience was valuable not just for keeping my teeth straight, but also for educating me on the wonders of denture cleaner.

    After seeing how well the effervescent tablets cleaned tiny nooks, I started experimenting on other tough-to-clean items; believe it or not, they are great for cleaning the rubber casings on my earbuds. 

    Trust me, these tablets are amazing at cleaning hard-to-reach spots, and they're cheap: 120 tablets of Efferdent costs less than $9, and the generic version is even cheaper. Check out five surprising ways to use denture cleaner around the house.

    1. Clean the toilet. Drop two or three tablets into the bowl, let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then give it a scrub.
    2. Remove burnt food. Get rid of the browned bits on your Pyrex by soaking the dishes in denture cleaner and warm water for half an hour to an hour. Follow with dish soap as usual.
    3. Remove stains on ceramic. Whether it's a coffee-stained cup or a stem-stained vase, fill it with water, drop in a tablet, and let it soak for 15 minutes.
    4. Unclog a drain. Break up a denture tablet (or several) so the pieces fall into the drain trap, then run hot water down the drain.
    5. Clean tea kettles, coffee carafes, and thermoses. Get rid of the stains and mineral deposits on metal-lined carafes by filling one with water, dropping in two tablets, and leaving it overnight. Then clean thoroughly with soap and water.

    Have you tried any of these? Found any other uses for denture-cleaning tablets?

  • 20 Jul 2015 1:23 PM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Scrubbing behind the fridge isn't exactly sexy, but it could be good business for Google.

    The tech giant has hired the engineering team from the soon-to-be defunct Homejoy, a start-up which allowed you to book home cleaners online and is set to close July 31. That has raised speculation that Google will be looking to start providing things like referrals to electricians and plumbers.

    "What Google did here was they apparently hired part of the engineering staff of Homejoy. It was successful. People liked it but they are being forced to shut down partially because of the same issues that plagued Uber in terms of who's an employee, who's a contractor," CNET senior editor Dan Ackerman told CBS News. "So, they saw an opportunity to pick up almost a readymade chunk of services that can add to their site."

    Ackerman said the move makes sense, even as Google has said it is looking to cut costs in the face of strong second quarter earnings on Thursday. The strong results sent Google's stock skyrocketing and its market capitalization, already around $403 billion, rose some $65 billion to finish at $468.3 billion on Friday.

    "I think it's much more of a bread and butter issue than let's say inventing virtual reality glasses to just kind of give people referrals to local contractors in their neighborhood," he said. "If you go on Google Now and you search for restaurants or anything on Google Maps, you can often get a lot of that information pulled right into Google. You don't have to leave the site and it's sort of the same thing."

    Ackerman said the expansion into home services wouldn't be so much about generating revenue as "being sort of a one-stop shop, keeping you from leaving that kind of Googlesphere and going somewhere else."

    They are the latest big tech company, following Amazon, to show an interest in this space.

    "I suppose they could eventually charge for placement of ads or give you a better response if you are one of their signed up contractors," he said. "But I don't think they are looking to make money from this right now."

    It also fits in nicely with what Google does so well.

    "What is Google's mission statement? It's to take the world's information and organize it and present it to you," he said. "This kind of stays within that because you go to Google to search for stuff. They are saying, hey, here is a plumber, electrician right here. You don't have to go to some other website."

    Source: CBS

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  • 17 Jul 2015 2:45 PM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Homejoy — an on-demand home cleaning startup — announced today that it will shut down at the end of the month. Homejoy CEO Adora Cheung said that the company had failed to secure the additional funding it needed to continue operations, and attributed that to recent lawsuits that sought to reclassify its contract workers as employees.

    When it launched three years ago, Homejoy was one of the first on-demand startups to enter the home services space. It operated in 35 cities in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and France, according to its farewell blog post. But it faced touch competition from similar services like Handy and, more recently, from tech giants like Amazon, in addition to a wave of lawsuits over the classification of it`s workers. 

    Closing shop puts an end to rumors that the company was to be acquired. The San Francisco Chronicle reported in late May that the company was up for sale, and had been operating at significant losses. In addition, reports suggested that Handy was interested in buying the company.

    Homejoy will formally cease operations on July 31.

    Source: San Francisco Chronicle 

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