Terminating Jailed Employees: Dealing With The Worst Case Scenario of Having a Staff Member Incarc

jailed

It’s the kind of phone call many managers dread: a staff member for whom they are responsible for is in jail. The most immediate response is normally, “We have to let them go.” But terminating jailed employees isn’t as easy the immediate call-to-action most managers feel. As Chicago-based attorney Margaret Angelucci stated in Privacy and Security Law (The Bureau of National Affairs), “employers have a “particularly high” standard of proof before dismissing an employee for off-duty activity”.

Herein lies the problem: in most states, an employer cannot terminate jailed employees merely because they are incarcerated – unless the charges specifically relate to the job they are performing in the workplace (such as an Account Executive under investigation for company fraud or a retail staff member caught shoplifting while on duty).

Does the employer have any rights in terminating jailed employees? They do, but it really depends on where the company is located geographically. Some states allow for more measures than others, so it’s wise to contact the local government regulatory bodies before moving forward. In most cases, however, there are several things you can do to protect your company’s assets in the meantime.

Keep Excellent Records

First and foremost, start keeping an up-to-the-minute log of the accounts and events that transpire from the moment you received word the employee was jailed. If there is any written documentation to support their incarceration, provide it to your HR department immediately. Where there isn’t, confirm what you are able to on the phone and take note of who you spoke to when, where and why regarding the situation. This way if you do end someone’s employment, you can do so with quantitative evidence backing you up that the terminated jailed employees were unable to perform their job duties.

Terminating Jailed Employees for Absenteeism

Angelucci suggested in the aforementioned article that terminating jailed employees is possible, as long as the focus is on the work missed and not the jail time. This is a creative yet effective method of ensuring that whatever the employees situation is, they are not being discriminated against, since any employee that doesn’t show up for an extended period of time cannot expect to keep their job under any circumstances. Yet not all unions support this methodology. Therefore, check out the legality of terminating jailed employees based on their attendance records before taking action.

Tripplett, M. R. Despite few limits, lawyers tell employers of privacy and off-duty conduct. Privacy and Security Law, 5, No 13, Retrieved from http://subscript.bna.com/SAMPLES/pvl.nsf/4866a14be3b6f56685256ba3004dcb8b/e2de079a6e336da58525713c005765fa?OpenDocument

Open a Church Daycare & Preschool

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Churches provide a large space for community members to open a daycare and preschool. Daycares typically care for children before enrolling in formal school. A preschool focuses on school readiness activities for children during the early years. The demand for childcare workers is expected to increase 11 percent by the year 2018, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Preparing to Open the Daycare

Determine the square footage of the church space the daycare will occupy. Then, contact the state department of licensing to determine how many children can be accommodated in that space. Also, consider the area’s proximity to an outdoor play area for children.

Also, purchase equipment for the daycare and preschool. Arts and crafts supplies, puzzles and a variety of stimulating toys should be offered. Also, purchase a crib for each young toddler or infant. Nap mats are appropriate for preschool age children. Ask the parent of each child to provide their own blankets and pillows and launder the linens weekly.

If your church needs help funding start-up costs, get in contact with the Small Business Administration. They can put you in touch with local lenders who offer small business loans.

Certification and Licensure

Enroll staff in CPR and first aid courses. The American Red Cross offers these courses to childcare professionals. Keep a certification of competition for each employee who completes the course. Some states require this documentation to accompany application materials for licensure.


Safety proof all rooms of the daycare and preschool. This includes covering electrical outlets with protectors and installing safety gates for smaller children. Also, store chemicals and other harmful substances in locked cabinets (out of children’s reach). Most states require an inspection of daycares and preschools. Contact the state ahead of time to request a safety checklist. This will assist with preparation efforts. Purchase fire extinguishers to place throughout the childcare facility.

Church childcares also need to get licensed with their state. After preparing the daycare area, contact the local state department of licensing and request application materials. Expect to fill out a background check for every person employed in the daycare and preschool facility. Some states require a schematic of the childcare facility be submitted (detailing the layout of the childcare space). Some states also require that the owner of the daycare attend a state sponsored course covering local laws and regulations.

Creating an emergency evacuation plan is also important. Some states require this. The plan should cover where children and staff exit the building and meet-up in case of an emergency. Once your daycare and preschool is operating, regular “drills” should be scheduled to practice this plan.

MarketChurch Childcare Services

Market childcare and preschool services to local families. If your church has a newsletter, include information. Some churches also have email lists which could be helpful in advertising the daycare opening. Post flyers at community boards near the center as well. After time, the word will spread about services and less time will be spent on marketing activities.

Selling Your Own Home to Save Real Estate Fee can be Risky

The following is a guest post from Nigerian real estate developer Michael Chudi Ejekam.

Contract

Sellers have to remember that a written contract for the sale of a property is binding. The clauses contained therein can have serious implications. Awareness and knowledge are critical. There are buyers who like to target For Sale by Owners (FSBO) in order to get the best deal possible. These buyers are often more experienced than the seller and can skew the contract to their benefit.

Selling Price

Unless the seller has access to current market information, pricing may be off the mark. If it is too low, there will be a loss and if it is too high there may not be a sale. Nevertheless, the seller selects what he perceives to be a market value price and hopes to make a gain because he doesn’t have to pay out a real estate fee.

Sounds like a good plan. Then a buyer comes along and makes an offer that is lower than the asking price BECAUSE the sale will not incur a real estate fee!

Both parties are trying to save the real estate fee. Often the seller gets short changed.

Advertising

When selling a home, exposure is a must. Advertising is required. This generally consists of a lawn sign, some newspaper ads and, especially, internet exposure. More and more buyers do their initial searches on the internet. Marketing skills and ad writing abilities are a plus. Photos will also be required. All these items have costs attached.

Showings

Availability for calls and appointments are a priority. If employed, showings will be limited to after hours and weekends. People could also knock on the front door without an appointment. This may create a problem if school children get home before the parents.

Pre-Screening & Follow Ups

Pre-screening calls and asking questions about mortgage eligibility is helpful. This could eliminate those who are qualified to buy from those who are not. Similarly, it is ideal if contact information can be obtained for follow-up. This is sometimes difficult for the seller to acquire. Any feedback that is obtained could also be somewhat biased so as not to offend the seller.

Risks

Without pre-screening of any kind, there can be risks in inviting potential buyers to view the home. They are total strangers! Are they serious about buying? Do they have other reasons for wanting to see the home? Should they go through the home without being escorted? If so, are valuables removed for security reasons? Is the medication in a safe place? Or, should the potential buyers be accompanied on their walk through the home? Will they be reluctant to ask questions or make comments because the home is being shown by the owner? Showings are often a dilemma for the seller.

Solution

Hire a real estate agent! In the long run, such a professional can often net the seller the same amount of dollars- and sometimes even more. They know their markets and they have the skills- especially negotiating skills. Peace of mind results from knowing that the real estate agent has the expertise and is looking after the interests of the seller.

Interview two or three experienced agents and select one that is a good fit and in whom there is sufficient confidence.

Example of a Karachi Entrepreneur INTRODUCTION

Hotel

In a Metropolitan city like Karachi good quality and low cost hotels are essential. Keeping this in mind, Mr. Zeeshan Pervaiz struck upon the idea of building Hotel Sky Towers. Hotel Sky Towers is conveniently located in the center of the city that is Saddar. It is twenty minutes distance from the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport. It is a nine story building and has ninety nine rooms which have been categorized as Standard, Deluxe, Super Deluxe and Executive rooms. The rent charged varies from Rs. 700 to Rs. 2000 per night depending on the category of the room. The rent is variable depending upon the relationship with the customer however the minimum charges are Rs. 700 per night. The hotel is a 3-Star hotel according to the owner. He emphasized that in the local hotel management scene it can be classified as a 3-Star hotel. However keeping the international hotel management standards in mind, he further added that the hotel would be given at most, a 2-Star rating. This does not imply that the hotels in Pakistan are not competitive enough on international standards. We have some very good 3 and 4-Star hotels in the country such as the Shalimar hotel in Rawalpindi and the Serena Tourist Hotel chain.

Hotel Sky Tower has one restaurant by the name of Rubas and a coffee shop named Fizza. The construction on the hotel started five years ago on an empty plot in the main Saddar locality but due to the ever deteriorating law and order situation the project was delayed. The hotel was completed and opened in January 1995. The hotel was fully financed by the owners. The hotel currently has ninety rooms for guests, while the remaining are occupied by the management and the staff. The hotel is centrally air-conditioned as well as centrally heated.

OWNER’S PROFILE

Mr. Zeeshan Pervaiz belongs to a business family. He is 24 years old and has a very charming personality(ideal for an entrepreneur). He is polite and balding fastly. His father entered the coal mining business twenty years ago and gradually established himself as an entrepreneur in that industry. After achieving success in the mining industry, his father decided to diversify his business. Mr. Zeeshan, currently doing his Bachelors in Business Administration from Greenwich University, gave the idea of opening a hotel in Karachi. The owners had no previous experience in this competitive field but they wanted to capitalize on the growth potential in the hotel management industry. With his preoccupation in the mining business, his father decided to give him the task of setting up and managing this hotel.

Mr. Zeeshan is currently devoting eight to ten hours daily to his pet project. Mr. Zeeshan started with no previous experience in managing a hotel but the fourteen months he spent as the owner/manager of this hotel have given him valuable knowledge which no books in Greenwich could impart. Mr. Zeeshan believes that practical experience is more important than textbook knowledge. He employs this philosophy in the selection and recruitment of his managers.

MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY

Mr. Zeeshan’s management philosophy is based on the achievement of two objectives; Quality and Profit. He does not believe in increasing his profit through cost minimization. He contends that hotel management is essentially a service industry and if you concentrate on minimizing the cost you would fail in achieving the desired quality standards. Profits cannot be made by sacrificing quality.

Mr. Zeeshan is a “delegating manager”. He believes in decentralization of control and delegation of authority. unlike other entrepreneurs he is of the view that ownership and management are two different spheres of activity. He gave the example of Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza previously known as The Taj Mahal. He said that the hotel was doing better before the takeover of the international chain. The Seth that was given the license did not separate the management from the ownership. He employed his family members as heads of the various departments with no prior experience in hotel management. This led to a downfall in the quality and service standards of the hotel. The managers of the five departments at Hotel Sky Towers are given full authority to make day-to-day decision. Moreover they are consulted whenever an important long term decision is to be made by the owner. Mr. Zeeshan believes in promotions from within and discourages the influence of family members. He believes that ethics have no place in the competitive world of hotel management.

PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

The international standards of hotel management require 1.5 employees per room. Hotel Sky Tower meets these standards with 130 employees for ninety rooms. The hiring and firing is the responsibility of the departmental heads. There are five departments namely House Keeping, Food and Beverages, Sales, Accounts and the Front Office. The managers of these departments have been with the hotel since its inception. These managers were initially hired as consultants while working for other hotels. Later they were offered full time jobs as departmental heads in the hotel. The emphasis on hiring these managers was on experience rather than qualification. The well established contacts of these managers brought a lot of customers from competing hotels. The owner does not believe in giving formal titles to the jobs. The employees personally know their standing and their responsibilities.

The hotel currently employs no MBAs as the owner believes that the pay scale of the industry does not meet the demands of business graduates. The work environment desired by these graduates is not present in the smaller hotels. The pay scale of the lower level employees matches that of the competitors, however it is on the lower side. Their turnover rate is high because of the low pay scale. Moreover they cannot make both the ends meet just by one job. Therefore they work in shifts at the hotel and hold other jobs as well. Presently there is no union to represent the employees at the hotel and the management discourages the formation of one.

COMPETITION

The main competitors of Hotel Sky Towers are Hotel Sarawan and Hotel Mehran. Hotel Sarawan is located just opposite Hotel Sky Towers in the Saddar area. Mr. Zeeshan Pervaiz said that he does not include other 3-Star hotels like Hotel Faran and Embassy Hotel in the competition because their services are inferior to that of Hotel Sky Towers. Moreover he disclosed a startling revelation regarding Best Western Hotel Plaza. He said that it is common knowledge in the hotel management industry that they do not have an official license from Best Western international chain of hotels.

The main competition of the hotel is Hotel Sarawan. Hotel Sarawan is the oldest hotel among the competition. It has been in service for ten years. By initially hiring people from the well established hotels(Mehran and Sarawan), Hotel Sky Towers was able to make a dent in their clientele. Mr. Zeeshan admitted that Hotel Sarawan is the number one hotel in the 3-Star category. However he added that presently Hotel Sky Towers has left behind Hotel Mehran in the competition. The reason for this was the poor management in Hotel Mehran. The Hotel Sky Towers is fully computerized whereas the competitors still rely on manual paperwork.

CLIENTELE, SERVICE, AND MARKETING STRATEGY

Hotel Sky Towers relies on a varied clientele. This is in contrast to the competitors which have fixed clients and target particular segments of the market. A case in point is Hotel Mehran which is mainly dependent on the Russian clients. The main customers of the Hotel Sky Towers are pharmaceutical companies, banks and some Russian customers. Some Russian flight screws and over-night customers are also regular customers of the hotel. Mr. Adeel Qazalbash, Manager Housekeeping department added that the hotel discourages some Russian customers belonging to Tajikstan and Azerbaijan which are very dirty and messy people. The hotel has had some embarrassing experiences with these customers.

The hotel has allocated two separate floors for the use of the Russian customers and has another floor for executives. This floor has a Conference Room which is equipped with all audio-visual aids. This room is primarily used by pharmaceutical companies which have their annual general body meetings here. There is a separate Meeting room which is ideal for small meetings. This room is converted into a disco every Thursday night for the needs of the Russian clients. Moreover there is a Business Center which has the facilities of telephone, computers, photocopiers, fax and photocopying machines for the busy businessman.

The services that the hotel offers are 24 hours room service, Laundry and valet services, availability of a doctor on call, safe deposit facility and acceptance of Visa and Master Card. The rooms contain a color TV with a choice of 7 channels, a two channel music system, climate control ( they have installed a Siemens Air Conditioning system for the cooling purposes; cost Rs. 50 lacs), Automatic wake up system, direct dialing facility from the rooms and a mini-bar. Good service is the main aim of the hotel and the managers and staff go out of their way to fulfill all valid and invalid demands of the customers.

There is a separate Sales Department for marketing purposes. However Mr. Zeeshan believes that like other competitors they cannot afford to advertise on TV and magazines. He believes in word-of-mouth publicity and Personal Selling. Mr. Ishtiaque Ahmed is the head of the Sales Department. He is a very talented and experienced individual and since his joining the hotel, business has boomed dramatically. He employs personnel selling. He has been instrumental in bringing large groups of customers to the hotel. Package promotions as offered by large hotels are not possible in the 3-star category. Mr. Zeeshan emphasizes on business customers as there is no scope for tourism in a city like Karachi.

RECORD KEEPING

The housekeeping department keeps a log book of every complaint made by the customers. The department has three shifts which have varied number of employees. The head of the department is responsible for looking into these complaints. A separate register is maintained for noting the inventory of the rooms daily. This was necessary due to the shabby behavior of the Russian clients. The clients are provided an opinion card to give their opinions about the hotel and its services. Files are maintained for each employee and due care is taken to eliminate inefficient employees.

FINANCIAL STRUCTURE

Mr. Zeeshan admitted that the management lacked in this field of operations. No records were maintained in the beginning but soon they established an Accounts Department for this purpose. All the filing and paperwork is regulated by this department. The hotel maintains its accounts at Muslim Commercial Bank. He refused to disclose the actual amount spent for the construction of the hotel but said that after being fourteen months in operation, they have managed to recover 15-20 percent of the initial investment.

Mr. Zeeshan added that the first year of operations was disastrous for the hotel. Initially they had only 20-30 customers per day. Certain mismanagement on the part of the personnel department caused more employees and less work. The management decided to lay off some of the employees. Then gradually as the customer base started to build up, they hired new staff.

A drawback of the hotel is the lack of maintaining proper financial records. Presently there are no financial ratios available for analysis. However, the owners are now planning to change the hotel from Sole Proprietorship into a Private Limited Company. This requires the establishment of a separate finance department.

GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS AND SUPPLIERS

The hotel has to deal with 15 separate regulatory authorities. This involves a lot of hassles and as the owners are not very ethical in their dealings, they exploit loopholes in the system. In the owner’s view the government, instead of helping the small businesses, has a negative effect on them. This results in malpractice’s on the part of the entrepreneurs.

Initially the hotel was dependent upon suppliers and wholesalers for various services. gradually they have managed to reduce the involvement of these suppliers in the business. An example of this is the Laundry service available to the customers which is managed by the owner. Now the hotel relies on middlemen only for the procurement of food and beverages.

FUTURE PLANS

The owner currently owns Hotel Arsalaan at Tariq Road along with Hotel Sky Towers. However that hotel is a small one and is not the focus of their attention. Mr. Zeeshan seems to be content with his present project. He plans to open a Chinese restaurant in Quetta in the near future. He wants to stay in the hotel management industry and open a chain of fast food joints in Karachi. When asked about acquiring a franchise(McDonalds, Burger King, KFC etc.), he said that it is a hassle to get a franchise in Pakistan and that he lacked the proper experience required to manage them. However, he intends to complete his Masters and then do a Diploma course in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

Successful Leaders Preach About Their Vision: Successful Entrepreneurs Articulate Their Goals And Dreams

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Successful business ventures start with a vision. Someone somewhere has a dream and the willpower to try and make something of that dream. One day that dream becomes reality. A small business somewhere takes its first steps forward. It’s at that point that the dream becomes a vision. And it’s the small business owner, the entrepreneur that has to then become the preacher of that vision.

Becoming a Preacher

A successful entrepreneur has to become a preacher. But to do that they need to fully believe in their sermon. They have to believe in what they are doing before they can convince others how great the vision is. No matter what the product or business is it’s the owner, the entrepreneur who is the leader of the business. It’s their vision and they have to believe. If they don’t believe that what they are trying to achieve is possible how then are they going to convince others? As the leader of the venture, the one with the vision you have to believe.

Can You Get Others to Believe?

If you believe in the vision you have for your company then you’ve managed to achieve your first goal. Now comes the hardest part. Getting others to believe in your vision too. Remember though that you are a preacher. And no matter how much you get tired of preaching the same sermon you need to do it as often as possible. You preach to your employees, your investors, your suppliers, and your customers. You preach about you vision every chance you get.

Your Employees Need Something to Believe In

So why do you preach to your employees? Because they need something to believe in as well. They want to know that the company they work for has a future. They want to know how they can contribute to the success of the vision. They want to see your vision become the company’s vision. It becomes a goal that the whole company can focus on. You want to see them preaching about the company vision too.

Convince Your Investors

You preach to your investors if you have some. Whether they are angel investors, banks, or the relatives that loaned you some money. They need to see how fervent you are about your vision. It assures them that you will work as hard as necessary to make your business venture a success. Showing how committed you are will make them feel that their investment is safe.

Your Suppliers are a Part of the Plan

Share your vision with your suppliers. Show them how much you believe in what you are doing. It will help you to form a strong bond with them. It communicates to them what your relationship can become in the future. The people that represent your suppliers will come away feeling as if they should pay attention to you. That by helping you now their partnership with you will bear more fruit in the future through more business and larger orders.

Let Your Customers Know Your Goals

Finally preach to your customers. Because just as preaching about your vision can help you with your suppliers so too can it help you with your customers. Communicating your vision to your customers lets them know how much you value your relationship. It tells them that the efforts that go into your vision can benefit them as well. With better or more timely service. Maybe better products. Possibly a whole host of new services that might be offered in the future. Communicating with your customers as much as possible is always healthy for a growing relationship.

Communicate the Vision Constantly

Successful business owners have a vision but more importantly they have the ability to communicate what that vision is. Taking the time to share that vision with your employees, investors, suppliers, and customers can help make believers of more people than just yourself. Successful entrepreneurs are preachers.

Why is Renters Property Insurance so Essential?: Renters Contents Insurance is Not the Landlord’s Responsibility

The following is an article by Natural Resources Management president Tracy Suttles, a figurehead in the Houston, Texas real estate development scene.

Renters property insurance is like any other form of coverage, it only seems important when it becomes necessary to make a claim. Whilst paying for a policy cannot be considered an enjoyable activity, it is a lot better than facing the consequences of liability for injury or replacing all personal possessions in the event of theft. For those on a fixed budget, the cost of home renters insurance can be reduced by increasing the deductible so that only the most troublesome financial problems are covered.

Protect Items of Value with Renters Property Insurance

There is a high probability that something bad will eventually happen to someone’s personal property. Renters home insurance typically offers two alternatives: the ‘replacement cost coverage’ or ‘actual cash value’ (ACV). A policy offering the ‘actual cash value’ will only provide a payment equivalent to its current replacement cost. However, ‘replacement cost coverage’ will pay the insured a sum of money that will cover the full cost of it being replaced. Although more expensive, the latter option is more comprehensive.

Renters Home Insurance Provides Liability Protection

If an individual were to sustain any sort of injury whilst in the insured’s apartment, the policy (subject to any limit in-place) would provide a payment equivalent to the cost of damages and medical expenses. Court costs (if applicable) would also be covered. Without this protection in place, a tenant could find himself owing tens of thousands of dollars. It could even bankrupt them. However, insurance for renters can help to manage this risk and provide genuine peace-of-mind for the tenant and his/her guests.

Renters Insurance Coverage and Unlivable Premises

A renters property insurance policy provides assistance when a property can no longer be lived in due to damage, a rebuild or relocation. This means that if the insured has no choice but to move out because it is unlivable, the policy will cover the cost of living in a comparably priced house, condo or apartment. The limit is typically limited to 30-40% the policy value. Thus, someone insured for $150,000 would have an additional living expenses limit of between $45,000 and $60,000. Other providers allow the insured to claim for a maximum of up to 12 months or for a “reasonable length of time.” Each policy document should be checked for the specifics.

The Value of Renters Property Insurance

Life can be very unpredictable, but renters home insurance provides a way of underwriting that risk. Although it isn’t a legal requirement, it is important to appreciate that the landlord is not responsible for a tenant’s possessions or what happens to visitors at that property. Insurance for renters not only covers home contents, it also provides protection should something happen to a visitor. It is essential for anyone who lacks sufficient financial resources to cover such costs or liabilities.

Tracy Suttles can be reached on Twitter at @tracydsuttles.