The Falling Sky and the NLRB Ruling on Co-Employment

Falling Sky NLRB

On August 27, 2015 the NLRB majority broadening the standard by which an organization may be found in a joint-employment relationship with their contractor. In short, previous recent rulings by the board required the reputed joint-employer to exercise the authority and such control needs to be exercised “directly and immediately.” Now the new ruling considers indirect control:

“If otherwise sufficient, control exercised indirectly—such as through an intermediary—may establish joint-employer status.”

The dissenting opinion argues that the majority goes to far:

NLRB Opinion Documents
“Our fundamental disagreement with the majority’s test is not just that they view indicia of indirect, and even potential, control to be probative of employer status, they hold such indicia can be dispositive without any evidence of direct control.”

But what does this “If otherwise sufficient” test mean to you and what factors of “indirect control” will tip the scale to establish a joint-employer status?Read More.

The Dirty Dozen and Your Image

The Dirty Dozen Harmful Hot-Spots

A number of studies have drawn a clear relationship between cleanliness (sanitizing) and occupant health, absenteeism and productivity. Much of the findings prioritize “touch points”, meaning surfaces touched by your hands. The findings carry the message that the primary spread of contamination is by hand contact with building surfaces. This applies to rooms and more specifically, those pouch point surfaces found in those rooms.

It goes without saying that our restrooms are a natural top priority when thinking about controlling the spread of germs. We give special attention to these areas, using special cloths, separate water, mops and often different equipment. We have a sharp focus on any restroom fixture or surface we might touch. But, are we really controlling the spread of germs because of our myopic attention to restroom cleaning?

Many are suggesting the focus on restrooms is much too narrow a view. The issue is not simply about sanitized restroom fixtures and surfaces; what about all the other building items and surfaces that we touch? A study of bacteria levels on ships (link to this study?), for example, shows that handrails exhibited the highest level of contamination of any other surface on a cruise ship. It turns out that we also have handrails in our buildings exhibiting correspondingly high contamination levels. Indeed there are the “Dirty Dozen” areas that represent the highest levels of touch point contaminationRead More.

Ethics and Dirty Toilets

FIFA’s Toilets

Are the toilets in FIFA’s headquarters to blame?

By now you probably have heard that executives of the most powerful sports body in the world, FIFA, have been indicted for fraud spanning over 24 four years. If you have not read the indictment you can read a summary at this link to the Justice Department details.

If you prefer a more comedic take on the situation we recommend John Oliver’s Commentary below:

OK, But Why Blame the Toilets

While we can never know for sure dirty toilets played a part (perhaps someone should check), recent studies have shown that dirty toilets can cause a person’s moral compass to enter the Bermuda triangle. Read More

What We Saw – NFMT 2015

Products of Interest

NFMT-2015 was a great show. While we enjoyed talking about our new applications we also got a chance to look around as at some interesting products offered by others. Read More

Don’t Be A Guinea Pig

Hiring The Right Cleaning Contractor For The Job


If you’ve ever chosen to end or not renew a custodial contract due to performance failure, you probably went to great lengths to ensure that your next contract was a better fit. A careful pre-qualification process is necessary to prevent cleaning contract failure. But how do you know that the contractor that looks the best on paper is actually the best one for the job?

Often, it’s not a matter of how much experience the company has, but the type of experience that makes the difference. There are five types of experience to take into consideration that can make all the difference when choosing a service provider. Read More

Protect Your Company From Outsourcing Villains


Protect Yourself From Outsourcing Villians

When the facility managers of DARK CITY needed protect their citizens from outsourcing villains, they turn to the defect crusader “Q-MAN, Vince “Q” Elliott (The “Q” is for Quality).

Before the arrival of Q-MAN the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) took a poll of facilities managers’ opinions on outsourcing, they found that many lived in fear of the outsourcing villains and the risks involved in outsourcing janitorial services. Read More

Defining Clean: The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects of Cleaning Conditions

The Scene of the Crime

Elliott Affiliates, Ltd. was asked to audit the cleaning program for a hospital receiving complaints about the cleaning quality of the facility. We conducted a survey of its users, and found that many had complaints about the hospital’s cleanliness, but most complaints were based on subjective opinions rather than provable data.

We realized in order to help this hospital improve, we would first need to examine any clues about what it means to be “clean” in a way that wasbased on measurable attributes. Elliott Affiliates CEO Vince Elliott said, “In short, we learned that in order to improve quality, you must manage it; in order to manage it, you must measure it; and in order to measure it, you must define it.”

4,600 Witnesses

In developing a valid definition for “cleanliness,” the Elliott team conducted a survey of over 4,600 witnesses (users), representing hundreds of buildings. We asked users to name those buildings’ most common cleaning issues. Read More

What We Saw – NFMT 2014

March 19, 2014

Vince Elliott

What We Saw at NFMT Baltimore 2014

Vegas Baby

We had a great time at the NFMT show this year and delighted that it was held in our own backyard. While there were many (too many?) exhibits and great things to learn, we thought we would share with you some of the companies/exhibits we thought were cool/interesting. You can find a short description and their website linked below:

Unger Global

Unger Global

Unger Global offers a lot of cleaning tools for the industry however, for Ray Orwig, Elliott Affiliates inspector, it was the water-fed pole cleaning system that stood out at the show. "I was interested in the company for my client who has issue cleaning high glass in big lobby areas. They contract the job Read More

Spec Optimizer – Customize Specifications

February 25, 2014

No author

Customized Spec Software Lets Building Managers Design Better RFPs, Achieve Better Results

Spec Optimizer

Baltimore, Maryland (February 12, 2013) — Elliott Affiliates Ltd., the industry leader in advanced solutions for developing and managing custom cleaning programs and contracts, is pleased to announce the launch of Spec Optimizer, a new software suite that will help building managers achieve a higher quality clean at a potentially lower cost. Launched at the National Facilities Management and Technology Conference in Baltimore, Md., the new software suite offers an easy-to-use tool that allows building managers to develop customized specifications for cleaning RFPs.

Launching formally at the NFMT show on March 4, Spec Optimizer is free to use with hundreds of options for users to quickly optimize task and frequency specifications with a simple Read More

Sustainable Cleaning Services

December 1, 2013

Vince Elliott

Operationally Sustainable Cleaning Services: Buying the Best

Performance Image

After over forty years of helping buyers evaluate and hire cleaning contractors, I’ve made a few observations about how purchasing and buyer folks make choices. Sometimes, the way choices are made are “by the book”, exclusively following the purchasing bible word for word; this is called a success by some. And, indeed, it is a success from a buyer perspective. Yet, at what point is operational success integrated into the decision process?

This paper explores how that buying decision impacts on-going operational success. It’s a focus on achieving Operational Sustainability through the art of buying. Let’s start with a goal; would anyone accept “value” over “savings” as a fundamental end for the buying effort? Is there a way to buy that comes with the promise of operational success for appearance, occupant health and environmental improvement —–and reduced cost? Oh, did I forget to call this “savings”? Well, I’d like to offer one perspective for an emerging model which might help guide buying practices in the art finding and hiring the best of the best cleaning service provider. Read More

The Value of Clean

November 1, 2013

Vince Elliott

Investment in “Clean” Pays Off

The ISSA recently published the info-graphic below which does a great job of illustrating the potential rewards for a investing in a cleaner facility. The gist is that the lower the amount of sick days your employees take a year the more productivity and benefit your business or organization receives. The ISSA states that an average of 7.7 sick days per worker per year translates to over $200 billion dollars in lost productivity. For a 100 person office/facility cleaning properly can boost productivity up to Read More

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