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California Labor Code Violations Produce Big Damages Through Private Attorney General Act [PAGA]

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A Fictional Account of Labor Code Violations

Disclaimer: This story is completely fictional without reference to any particular person, company or employee. Any resemblance or name approximating a real individual or company is purely coincidental.

A Background Story of Multiple Labor Code Violations Leading to Penalties.

Melinda worked for Busy-Body Industries to clean homes. Busy-Body had a written employment agreement with Melinda and 2,000 other home cleaning persons in California. The agreement provided that all the Busy-Body employees were confirm their appointments the previous day by calling customers on a schedule delivered to the employee at the beginning of the week. The employees were also to call in just before and after each cleaning. Busy-Body required its employees to have mobile phones, and to subscribe to unlimited minutes through the wireless provider of their choice. Busy-Body paid a standard $2.00 per day to each employee for what Busy-Body designated as Mobile Phone Expenses.

Melinda and all other housecleaners used their mobile phones at least six times per day for Busy-Body related business. Melinda’s monthly unlimited mobile phone service cost $130.00 per month. Using her phone for company calls did not increase her bill.

Busy-Body also required its employees to purchase their cleaning supplies, and paid them a standard 40.00 per month as a set reimbursement based on a 12 month historical average for its 2000 employees. However, some employees worked in areas where the square footage of a luxury home required more cleaning agents than persons cleaning middle class neighborhoods.

Busy-Body collected the cleaning person’s tip as part of the pre-paid pricing and charged the employee a $5.00 per transaction fee for collecting the tips. Employees were not permitted to receive tips directly from customers. Busy-Body used this method to track tips in order to make individual tax withholdings and contributions for each employee.

Busy-Body also required each of its employees to launder and press their uniforms Employees not maintaining dress codes. As proof that uniforms were properly clean and pressed, Busy-Body required employees to scan and deliver a separate cleaning bill each week, but did not reimburse for these expenses. An employee not submitting an expense voucher for cleaning was fined a $15.00 “failed inspection” fee.

Also, Busy-Body employees are required to pay for their own vacuum cleaners and replacement bags. They are allowed to use the vacuum cleaners for personal use. Busy-Body considers the vacuum cleaner a tool of the trade, similar to tools owned and used by a carpenter.

A cleaning person when dispatched left his or her home to go directly to her first appointment of the day. There was no Busy-Body “home office” that cleaning people drove to or from when making their appointed calls. The Busy-Body corporate office is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with no office locations elsewhere in the country. Once a month, employees were required to attend a tele-conference which provided training, company news updates, and company feedback on customer demands, expectations, and satisfaction levels. Employees were expected to attend these conferences after their regular work hours while at their home computers, usually after 6:00 p.m. They were not compensated for this time, or the phone and internet expense incurred as part of these monthly meetings.

When Melinda questioned the Company practice of being fined for the “failed inspection” fee when she cleaned and pressed her uniforms at home on her own time, her manager said to her, and all on the conference, that the dry cleaning service was the only way the company could track that the company “brand” was being presented by each employee.

“Then we should be paid for the expense of the dry-cleaning,” Melinda said.

“You paid for the uniforms, and can wear them for personal use. It is not a company expense,” her manager had told her during the phone conference.

“Melinda was upset with this answer, and didn’t back down: But you picked the clothing, and it has our company logo on the shirts.”

“The logo is very attractive,” her boss told them. You should be proud to wear it for personal use.

Within a week after her comment, Melinda’s employer called her to say her services were no longer needed, and tor return her company documents and uniform. Melinda pressed for an answer why she was being terminated.

“I’ve never been written up. My customers all love me. This isn’t fair.”

“You’re an at-will employee,” the H.R. Director told her during the phone conference. “We don’t have to have a reason.”

STORY ANALYSIS TO IDENTIFY THE CALIFORNIA LABOR CODE VIOLATIONS and “PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ACT” [“PAGA”] IMPLICATIONS:

California Labor Code Violation: Personal Cell Phone Use for Business on An Unlimited Plan

This issue has been resolved in California by the Cochran decision. The employer cannot defend itself by the argument that it cost no more for the employee to use the phone. The court shifted focus to the benefit received by the employer, and required a factual inquiry into the average likely ratio of personal to employer use of the airtime. The employer owed the employees a percentage reimbursement of personal expenses incurred for the employer’s business.

Then the question is whether $2.00 per day for every employee is a fair and reasonable calculation of the likely personal to business use ratio. An employer is allowed in California to use an optional method of estimating costs instead of paying the exact dollar amount based on individual expense reports but there must be a close approximation based on evidence of real costs. An employer may want to follow this optional approach because of the difficulty and time associated with individual reporting.

In this instance, if the unlimited plan costs $80.00 per month, and the employees use their personal plans between 30% to 50% of the time for business, and a random check of business calls on the phone records support that range, then 40% could be a reasonable and fair reimbursement, as any one employee in any one month could use the phone more or less than the midpoint.

Melinda’s typical use is six times per day business use at 10 minutes each or 60 minutes per day. She uses the phone for personal reasons about 10 times per day at 20 minutes each or 200 minutes. The ratio of business to personal is 60:200 or 30%. At $130.00 flat fee, she should be getting $39.00 per month reimbursement. $2.00 per month is clearly inadequate.

California Labor Code Violation: Cleaning Supplies and Equipment.

Busy-Body pays a standard reimbursement rate $40.00 per month for cleaning supplies based on a 12-month historical average for its 2000 employees. Is this formula supportable by evidence showing that individual employees are being adequately compensated?

The cleaning cost appears reasonable based on the depth of the data over 12 months, but Busy-Body may need to sub-classify its employees into the “big home” neighborhood group and the “moderate home” group, as each set of homes will have its own “cost of supplies.” The more refined and specific the formula, the more likely it will be upheld as a legally sufficient approximation of actual costs.

The vacuum cleaners are tools owned by the employees who retain them in their personnel possession and are free to use them for personal purposes as well. They likely are not reimbursable expenses. But what about replacement bags and belts related to wear and tear for employer benefit? Those costs are arguably reimbursable because the volume of bag use for business is so much greater than for personal use. Busy-Body employees, for example, routinely use and dispose of at least one bag per home cleaning. Each employee cleans between 1 or 2 homes per day five days per week. Busy-Body could be left holding the bag for unreimbursed expenses owed to 2000 employees, including penalties, and attorney’s fees.

California Labor Code Violation: Imposing Costs for Collecting Tip Income

Passing this cost onto the employee would be illegal. In California, tips belong exclusively to the employee. Businesses routinely collect and distribute these tips. Most customers add the tip not as a separate payment to the employee, but as a component of the overall authorized card charge. Tip collection and administration is a cost of business to be absorbed without offset to the employee. Moreover, Busy-Body is required by law to treat the tip income as regular wages and subject to UI, ETT, SDI, and PIT withholdings. Busy-Body must therefore include the deductions in its paystub itemization. This itemization would include a category of “tip income,” or like wording. Failure to report, distribute and withhold all have tax and California Labor Code penalties for non-compliance.

California Labor Code Violation: Work Clothing Laundry Expenses

California employers who require their California employees to wear apparel unique to the employer’s brand by such features as color, style, design, or logo are must pay the costs to obtain and maintain the work related clothing. If the employee advances the cost, the cost must be promptly reimbursed.

In California, uniform cleaning and maintenance other than simple home laundry must be reimbursed to the employee. If the employee is required to spend time at home to meet specific care requirements of the employer, such as ironing, the “reasonable value of the time” used can be paid as an extra pay “allowance.” If the employee is required to incur outside laundry and pressing services, as might be the case with a dry cleaner, the actual employee expense must be reimbursed.

Busy-Body employees are required to wear clothing having the company logo, and are required to pay a “fine” if the clothing is verified as clean and pressed by a drycleaner. Busy-Body is required to reimburse these costs. Further, imposing a “fine” for non-compliance is an improper deduction from wages unrelated to an employee’s willful or grossly negligent damaging of company property. The fine operates as a “charge back” against earned wages in violation of Labor Code Sec. 221.

California Labor Code Violation: Travel and Commuting Expenses

Busy-Body employees have no “home-base,” that is, no place they predictably report to work, such as a staging area or corporate office. Instead, their schedule takes them from their private homes to a scheduled customer location often different each work day. The usual rule is that commuting expenses are not reimbursable travel expenses, but Busy-Body employees have no “commute” from home to first work location. All their work related driving expenses are therefore reimbursable. To reinforce this conclusion, the Busy-Body corporate office is out of state with no satellite offices.

There are 2000 Busy-Body employees across the country, each with a different set of distances actually traveled. Busy-Body must reimburse actual individual travel expenses, portal to portal, for each employee based on expense vouchers submitted. California case law recently allowed employers the option to pay a standard travel expense payment without regard to specific recorded expenses but only if the formula has a rational and proximate relation to actual expenses. Most companies use the prevailing IRS mileage reimbursement rate as an acceptable rate to cover gas, insurance, and maintenance. This rate, coupled with data showing the average travel range in various regions of the country (requiring Busy-Body to sub-classify its employees) could satisfy California law and reduce employer administrative costs.

Melinda’s Case for Wrongful Termination — Retaliation

Melinda is an employee “at-will” but that status is irrelevant to the likely reason for her firing in this case. She had a good work record. Her first friction with Busy-Body was when she questioned the propriety of laundering Busy-Body required uniforms. She was fired a week later with no explanation. The firing was illegal because Melinda protested an issue covered as a “fundamental right” in California: payment of wages and expenses. California allows this “cause of action” to be heard by a jury if Melinda reasonably believed the violation of law occurred, and in some manner complained to the employer about the illegal practice. The short time between between complaint and firing, coupled with her good work record, is strong circumstantial evidence that Busy-Body’s motive was to punish or silence Melinda.

Strength in Numbers: California’s Private Attorney General Act [PAGA].

California has a unique law that appoints private attorneys to prosecute cases on behalf of the State of California, Department of Industrial Relations, Labor and Workforce Development Agency. This Act is labeled California’s Private Attorney General Act [PAGA].

PAGA is so powerful because it gives an enforcement energy that was almost completely lacking given limited agency resources. This lack of resources, and the widespread scope of abuses, led the California legislature to basically allow private attorneys to be “Attorneys General” for the good of the public. A powerful incentive of the law is that these private attorneys can recover penalties from employers, and recover attorney’s fees incurred in prosecuting the case. The recovered penalties are divided between the State and the employees.

But one aspect of the case unlike a state action is that an employee brings the suit on behalf of multiple other employees who are invited to join the lawsuit. The corpus of money recovered is then held to be claimed by the employees after the State gets its share. Many PAGA cases will settle before trial, and the State is often willing to compromise its share of the total recovery to less than the statutory 75% in order to facilitate the settlement.

The Private Attorney General must notify the Labor and Workforce Development Agency [“LWDA”] in detail concerning the nature of the proposed civil action, and the employer must be notified before suit with the opportunity to correct the alleged violations. If the LWDA declines to sue on the matter, and the employer does not present timely “cure” of the violations or conditions, then the individual employee represented by private counsel may proceed on behalf of the State of California and the employees to collect the penalties. Labor Code Section 2699 defines a hefty penalty: for most employers the fine is $200.00 for each aggrieved employee for each pay period in which a violation occurred. There is a one-year statute of limitations from the date of the last violation in a series to collect penalties. 26 pay-periods times $200 = $5,000 per year per employee X 2000 employees =$10,400,000.00.

The Technical Issues Related to a PAGA Case.

Multiple questions have been raised by defendant Employers and the Courts concerning the interpretation and future of PAGA. Some of the more pressing ones:

  1. Does PAGA have to meet class certification requirements applicable to the standard Class Action case.
  2. Can Courts require a PAGA employee named in the action to go to arbitration to determine the merits of his individual action to determine if he is a typical representative of the issues to be addressed in the PAGA case. [Undecided by a Court of Appeal, but Trial Courts are in fact “managing” PAGA cases this way.]
  3. How much discovery is required at what stage of a PAGA case for a court to determine the scope of the PAGA claims? [It appears that the Courts are following the trend begun in class action certification motions to include evidence obtained in an individual arbitration proceeding to determine the probable merits of the claims, but there has been no appellate decision published on this question as yet.] Discovery will be accelerated on the individual claim to meet the burden of proving that claim in Arbitration.
  4. What is the effect of the 2015 California Supreme Court decision [Valencia] on the future of PAGA cases? If the Federal Arbitration Act applies to require an individual to arbitrate his individual claim and to waive class action participation, does that same pre-emption by federal law apply to a PAGA case? Employees argue not: that it is the State of California, and not the employee, who is represented by the “Private Attorney General.”
  5. What is the standard of proof for PAGA damages when each employee may have been damaged somewhat differently, but within a probable range of minimum to maximum loss? The answer has been given in the “Duran” case. Statistical evidence is admissible to arrive at an acceptable probable amount of damages despite individual employee variations if the probable number is arrived at an expert following generally accepted statistical methods with adequate sampling. Whatever the method adopted by the Court, it must allow the Defendant fair opportunity to attack the methods used or the sampling relied upon by the employees.

Conclusion

Busy Body will have a busy time in Court. The list of its employee rights violations is long: unpaid mobile phone expenses; wrongful assessment of employee penalties to reduce wage payments, failure to reimburse uniform laundry expenses, unpaid expenses for supplies needed to do the work; unpaid travel expenses, failure to deduct and itemize tips and taxes withheld; unpaid work hours for mandatory training. Each of these violations carries penalties set by statute, and if fully assessed against Busy-Body, will result in tens of millions of dollars in damages if the Court allows the case to proceed as a PAGA case, or if the case qualifies as a class action unrestricted by an arbitration agreement. The freedom to proceed with a PAGA case is under attack by the employer community. To the extent the courts are inclined to impose class action case management tools in a PAGA case, the freedom to proceed subject only to the PAGA notification requirements seems at risk currently. Still, Melinda and Busy-Body may well have a complex and costly battle that will end with millions paid or lost. Melinda herself will proceed on her own case for wrongful termination because of retaliation when she opposed some of these illegal practices.

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oDesk Outsourcing

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There are many things I don’t like doing in a general work week and they normally entail processing of some kind, whether that be emails, reports or papers generated by meetings. Then there are the things that I’m not as good at (hard to believe huh?) which sometimes slide off the radar or are not done as regularly as they should be. Not having done any of the above, it hopefully gives me maximum time to concentrate on the important tasks, which are, you get the gist.

The long lost typing pool along with secretaries and Girl Fridays have long since gone to that great wood paneled office in the sky. Today’s executives answer their own mail, email, put together presentations and reports and spend time processing their life away. Instead of thinking, innovating and running companies, management executives spend inordinate amounts online processing documents, answering everyone’s emails and generally being distracted.

So do we bring back the typing pool? As tantalising as that may sound, it would be easier to start outsourcing some processing and services to get us back to concentrating on the big picture.

Micro outsourcing or liquid labour exchanges allow users to tender online for services from software engineering to plumbing. From the smallest job at the local business level to large corporations, outsourcing is seeing a new revival. Far from the jeered at call centres of India we are now able to source services and innovations from a global village where the local blacksmith has been replaced by the IT technologist from Uzbekistan.

oDesk (should I be asking for money?) which was founded by Odysseus Tsatalos in 2006 links more than 600 service providers in an online marketplace aimed at software and technology. They ask the simple questions of how to get more done with less, how to find talent and how to pay a remote team, while aiming their site at technology people looking for help with their work and also looking for technology people who want work. Other sites such as Freelancer.com.au which is the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace for small business has the facility to help you with technology, software, writing, computing, design, business, HR and many other services that could make your day a breeze.

Providing work for the most rapidly expanding technology countries keeps costs to a minimum and if you have access to the internet, then you have access to an unlimited workforce globally.

So I’m waiting on the first travel company to outsource its non revenue processes. How long did it take to put together that 20 stop round the world itinerary with cruise and coach for Mr. Smith? You have to ask yourself the question, when am I selling and when am I processing, because you only make money when selling. What about a travel auction site where customers can put together their trip ideas and then send it out to be serviced by the best price or most innovative response?

The sourcing of services and people is nothing new but the internet opens up the world for you to work with. With only one third of the world’s population online, think of the demand to come as billions more look for services provided or provide them. Think about it, maybe you already have a service to offer but need a larger market to make it viable. Think about joining sites like Servicedesk.com or Freelancer.com.au to find a whole new world of clients or better still, get that report written and tabulated for $12.50 and go for a surf.

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The Major Reasons For Outsourcing

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According to a poll taken worldwide, the IT companies come in the first position defeating every other type of business in outsourcing. Also many reports in the Computer weekly magazine state that outsourcing increases at the rate of 5.9 percent per annum in IT companies and is still increasing. This is the scenario in each and every IT company and not just in some definite one. This has left many youngsters who are thinking of pursuing a career in this field wondering what exactly the reasons behind outsourcing are and also that does it happen frequently. Hence this article gives all kinds of information necessary for everyone to understand the true nature of outsourcing that goes on in big and famous IT companies as well as small-time IT companies.

1) The expenditure: On the basis of a survey study on IT companies, it is a fact that an average IT manager earns around fifty thousand dollars per year. However it cannot be guaranteed that all of this huge amount of money will be paid to the managers. There are innumerable factors to be considered while deciding on the salary of the manager or for the same reason, any other post. The recruitment expanding trade, additional advantages of the company and other updates require a lot of money and this money is deduced from the staff member’s salary. Many IT companies go into loss as they fall short of funds and are unable to recover them back even by outsourcing majority of their staff.

2) Lack of training experts: The IT managers who recruit new people for their company do so; on the basis of their graduation marks and other extra factors. However all of the new recruits need to be trained efficiently in the tricks and trade of the Information technology business. It is definitely not an easy job as the pay is quite high. The small-time IT companies do not get adequate jobs and as a result the profit received is very less. That is why staff members are no paid their bonuses or sometimes even salary on time. After some time they are fired from their jobs as the company needs to save money in order to run smoothly.

3) Improper usage of IT companies: If a company does not seek help from an IT company, it may save some amount of money on a yearly basis but lose much more on the other hand. IT Companies help the companies by preparing different programs and systems which in turn makes it easier for the financial section of the company to run their faculty without too many complications. This was not noticed by many big and global companies until a few handfuls of years ago. That is why though the IT sector was blooming in full force, only the big IT sectors flourished and the rest of them went into losses which ultimately resulted into outsourcing.

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Fixed Cost Outsourcing

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In today’s globalized business environment, outsourcing is the order of the day. It is very difficult to think of a business that outsources its end to end requirements. One of the most respected and used model is ‘fixed cost outsourcing’. In this model, the project is executed within a fixed timeframe and within a pre-negotiated price. Both the parties carry out a detailed project study before the budget and the deadline are set. Both the clients and service providers prefer this model due to the transparency involved. There is very little room for renegotiation in this model.

Once you plan to outsource your project to an offshore development center, you will be offered a quote along with a project completion date. This will take into account the amount of work your project requires, its complexity and your urgency regarding delivery. You can sign the document once happy with the cost and delivery of your custom development project. It is always good to ask quotes from multiple firms before zeroing in on one as you are likely to get the best deal.

India has emerged as the global hub for outsourcing. No matter whether it is software, websites or mobile apps you can get it all developed in India cost effectively. Most Indian outsourcing firms offer you great packages under the fixed cost outsourcing model. These packages are carefully made to suit each and every requirement and each and every budget. This model is very helpful if you are thinking of a project right from scratch.

Advantages of Fixed Cost Outsourcing Model

  • It offers huge cost advantage to the clients especially in case of large scale projects. You will have the services of dedicated designers and developers unlike part-time hiring where your resource deals with multiple clients at a time.
  • It limits the risk to the client. As the budget of the project is pre-negotiated there are no questions like cost escalation. This is beneficial for most small and medium businesses as even a marginal cost escalation can have serious impact on their financial health.
  • Since this model is based on detailed project study, you will get quality as per the desired standards. You can interview the developers for your project and get the best that a firm can offer.
  • You will be able to focus on the core area of your business and not have to continuously negotiate with the offshore development firms. You will be supplied with a weekly status reports by the firm though.
  • One of the most attractive elements in this model of outsourcing is on-time delivery. In many cases, penalties are attached for the offshore development firm in case they miss out on the deadline, so events of delay don’t occur.

To get your own project delivered on Fixed Cost Outsourcing Model, visit http://www.evontech.com/what-we-do.html.

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The Disadvantages and Trade Offs of Outsourcing

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In this second part of a three part series, Analysts will address the disadvantages and trade offs to outsourcing to answer often asked question: “What are the pros and cons of outsourcing and shared services?”

In part one of the series, it was stressed that the company needs to assess the reasons for a new sourcing strategy and take a “one size fits one” approach to meet their unique needs.

Considerations should include:

  • Scope
  • Functions
  • Provider/model preference
  • Financial drivers

Three delivery models to consider:

  • Outsourcing
  • Captive shared services
  • Build, operate & transfer (BOT) shared services

Advantages of outsourcing cited in part one:

  • Process
    1. Greater standardization
    2. High degree of process maturity
    3. Ease and speed of ramp-up and/or ramp-down
    4. More efficient staffing
  • Performance
    1. Greater accountability
    2. Service performance
    3. Performance measurements
    4. Leverage experience
    5. Access to world-class innovation
    6. Cross functional integration
  • Cost
    1. Accelerates savings
    2. Cost structure transformation
    3. Supporting technology
    4. Benefits realization – now and later

Outsourcing can make for a strong business case for many companies. The unique attributes of the organization and business objectives may point to a different strategic approach as “one size fits one”.

The Disadvantages and Trade Offs of Outsourcing:

Area: Process

Con: Control What Does Outsourcing Bring: Less direct control of the day-to-day process

Con: Need for new management skills What Does Outsourcing Bring: Management attention shifts from managing the process to managing the relationship via a new Governance structure. This is usually a ‘hick-up’ spot, and consumes much more time than anticipated to manage the relationship on all levels and ensure smooth communication between the layers from operational through tactical to strategic and back.

Con: Need for new management skills What Does Outsourcing Bring: The skills required to manage an outsourcing provider are very different than managing an internal resource. Many organizations underestimate the resources needed to successfully manage an outsource relationship, and do not seek external advise in developing.

Con: Long-term commitment What Does Outsourcing Bring: The long-term nature of outsourcing contracts means you are locked in for a long time, precluding unforeseen “better” solutions later on. . The requirements for “change” in the business and future delivery process improvements need to be clarified, negotiated and agreed upfront with the provider.

Con: Hard to exit What Does Outsourcing Bring: Outsourcing contracts can be difficult to exit (penalties, etc.), and transitioning at the end of contract to in-sourcing or another service provider may not be easy.

Area: Performance

Con: Impediments to change What Does Outsourcing Bring: Time to fix poor performance may take weeks or months instead of hours or days as provider typically has a set “time to cure” performance issues which may be beyond the patience of the end user.

Con: Decrease in internal talent pool What Does Outsourcing Bring: The ability to foster and grow leadership talent from within decreases as leadership roles in certain functions are outsourced.

Con: Loss of intellectual property What Does Outsourcing Bring: Risk of losing all internal capability and “tribal knowledge” in the process. Provider’s uunderstanding of institutional knowledge, internal relationships, and the business culture can take time.

Con: Loss of connection between departments What Does Outsourcing Bring: Raised perception of “loss of control” as multiple functions exit the organization, and handoffs between departments get “fumbled.”

Area: Cost

Con: “Cost Creep” What Does Outsourcing Bring: Risk for unforeseen add-on costs for ad-hoc projects and activities, if contract does not have a clear definition of what services are in scope, and how “new” services would be managed/priced.

Con: Penalties for volume changes What Does Outsourcing Bring: Higher cost/transaction (e.g., F&A) for decreasing transactional volumes – again during contracting volume change bands need to be agreed, and client needs to understand the minimum volume profitability threshold for the provider

Con: Redundancy costs What Does Outsourcing Bring: Redundancy of technology costs can sometimes exist between the company and service provider, potentially raising the overall technology support costs.

Con: Inflated retained organization What Does Outsourcing Bring: The retained organization needs to change to realize the benefits. Requires re-skilling (as above) and monitoring to ensure the new way of operating is implemented and lived by.

Utilizing the “one size fits one” approach based on a proven sourcing methodology will lead the company to a well-constructed business case. The goal is to facilitate a true partnership model based upon equality with both parties understanding the requirements, responsibilities and benefits to be gained for both organizations throughout the engagement.

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Understanding Rodan & Fields: Can You Really Make Money With Rodan & Fields?

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Rodan & Fields were founded by Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields in 2002. They focus their company and products around dermatology-based products and bringing quality skincare options to the world. In 2010, they were named Rising Star by the Direct Selling Association (DSA) for their business opportunity along with their skincare products.

The Thing:

As mentioned before, Rodan & Fields offers skincare products to fight the loss of skin firmness, reverse the effects of dullness and discoloration, to fight acne and post-acne marks, to soothe the skin with lotion type products, make-up related products to enhance the skin and beauty of individuals, and anti-aging products to give persons a younger-look. Their products redefine, reverse, unblemish, soothe, promote, and enhance the skin.

  1. Soothe Regimen – They offer 4 full size cream wash products for $160.00 designed to soothe dry, irritated, sensitive skin providing a healthy-looking skin complexion.
  2. Redefine Regimen – This product also is offered as 4 full size restorative cream washes. You can get this for yourself for $193.00 and it is designed to help your skin become firmer and smoother while fighting the aging process.
  3. Unblemish Regimen – Once again, 4 full size treatment washes selling for $171.00. This package is designed to combat the entire acne cycle, unclog pores, clear acne blemishes, and clear your face of blackheads.

The Opportunity:

In addition to the skincare products, Rodan & Fields offers a business or income opportunity for those that have an interest in marketing their company or products. The big question remains, can you really make money with their business opportunity? In order to discover the answer to that question we must look into the company’s compensation plan! Rodan & Fields offers 5 total ways in which you could possibly make an income stream marketing their products or company.

  1. Retail Profit – As a Consultant for Rodan & Fields you are able to generated income from the products in which you personal sell. You can purchase the product yourself for a discounted price and then you sell the product for the retail price. After the sell, you keep the remainder as profit. If the retail price is $193.00, you will be able to purchase the product for $145.00. After making the sale, you keep $48.00.
  2. Consultant Commissions – In order to achieve this payout, you have to be an active Consultant. You must have a minimum of 100 Sales Volume (SV) each Commission Period to become and remain active. You are able to earn 10% commission from your Level 1 consultants in which you have personally sponsored.
  3. Personal Team Commissions – In order to receive this payout you must have a minimum of 600 Personally Sponsored Qualifying Volume (PSQV) each Commission Period. After you have achieved the required amount of PSQV you are then able to earn 5% of all Commissionable Volume generated by the Consultants and Customers in your Personal Team.
  4. Generation Commissions – Once you have achieved all payouts mentioned before, you are able to help an individual that you have personally sponsored move up as well to their third payouts type (Personal Team Commissions). Once you have done this, the Consultant you personally sponsored and helped has his/her personal team moved to what is called your “Generation 1”. You are then able to earn 5% commission on all your Generation 1 personal volumes. This payout continues as you grow more Generations.
  5. Performance Bonuses – This payout is only eligible to those living in the United States of America. You will be able to have the chance to earn rewards or bonuses from high performance such as residual income or the possibility of earning a paid-for vehicle. This payout is somewhat like a performance lottery.

To Conclude, Yes, You Can Make Money With Rodan & Fields Business Opportunity!

The Cost:

By becoming involved or affiliated with Rodan & Fields business opportunity, you must understand that you are opening a business for yourself. All businesses require some type of capital to begin. The good thing about opening a business like this in comparison to a traditional business is they are generally cheaper and you are working for yourself usually at home, hence Home-Based Business. So, what is the cost to get affiliated with Rodan & Fields and begin making an income stream from their business opportunity? There are 4 total ways in which you can get started with Rodan & Fields business opportunity.

  1. Express Business Kit – $995.00. This kit comes with all 4 Regimens overall valued to around $1,800.00 in addition to a business portfolio, anti-age before and after posters, product catalogs, and many other things to help you get started and making money immediately.
  2. Big Business Launch Kit – $695.00. Containing all 4 Regimens overall valued to $1,300.00 in addition to the same things offered in the Express kit, but much less.
  3. Personal Results Kit – $395.00. All 4 Regimens valued at $500.00. The same things are included in this kit as the Express and Big Business Launch kit, but once again, much less!
  4. Business Portfolio – $45.00. You are able to get the Business Portfolio included with all the previous 3 Kits mentioned before in addition to products, catalogs, worksheets, and many more. However, this is the lowest costing option available to get started with Rodan & Fields opportunity. All this kit basically contains is in-depth information about the company itself. It is then your decision to progress further and purchase products provided you enjoyed the information and think that it is for you.

Final Thoughts:

The prices for the products are pretty expensive and they don’t offer many that combat wrinkles, but they do combat the aging process which is nice but not the same thing. They also offer a business or income opportunity for those that would like to market their products or company and make money. Yes, you definitely can make money by becoming involved or affiliated with Rodan & Fields and they include 5 different types of payouts. However, in order to actually achieve these payouts you have to do quite a bit of work and achieve a certain Volume in addition to a certain rank. If you do not achieve these ranks, you will not make money. Plus, there isn’t a lot of detail into what the products do exactly, you kind of have to search around to figure out what they do and when you find out, it still remains pretty broad.

*Dustin Hale is NOT affiliated with Rodan & Fields or their business/income opportunity

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Advantages of Outsourcing Photoshop Image Editing

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Photo Editing and enhancement is one of the most important parts of any post processing unit. How and why they are necessary is a question that rises on multiple occasions? The answer to the question is quite simple! Any photographer regardless of his ability in the field of photography will need a backup as situations of various kinds may befall him. In some cases they go beyond board and photographer cannot get a proper shot of the object in contention. A large volume of people who click photos on a daily basis will want to display them without any enhancement but another small volume of people will enhance their images using Photoshop to add or remove elements, change color or make any other difference. Albeit it being too difficult to work on Photoshop as it is, people have eased themselves to the thought of getting the perfect images after post processing.

Although most of Photoshop might look pretty straight forward, it is quite difficult to learn all the tricks that is implemented using the tools available in it. Numerous tools are available on Photoshop, each of which is available for a particular job. For example, the pen tool is used to clip around an object to remove it from its original background and use it in a different one. Photoshop’s Lasso Tool is probably the easiest of the selection tools to use, allowing us to draw freehand selections around objects in a photo as if we were outlining them on paper with a pen or pencil. Image Post processing includes Clipping Path, Image Masking, Image retouching and enhancement and more. Photoshop also provides tools to carry out Image stitching which in-turn helps in making Panorama Images, it provides tools to convert Black and White images to color, image restoration, etc.

Wedding Photo enhancement, Wildlife photo enhancement and Real Estate Photo Enhancement are some of the major purposes of Photoshop. These fields need implementation of all the basic post processing techniques and also need special tools to bring out a reputation in terms of what the photographers expect. In concern with these 3 fields, the flow of images is pretty high and throughout the year and therefore requires a team of experts to work on these images. Speaking about experts being in one place and working 24/7, several firms are setup across the globe for such purposes. These firms hire professional editors who pay handsomely for their hard work and dedication. The task is to find a firm that can not only give image outcomes with literally 100% accuracy and at affordable rates.

Photoshop is widely used by firms to work on images as editors find it easy to work around any images and get the desired outcome. It is quite hard to master Photoshop and so it would be easier for professional photographers to just outsource the images to a firm. By doing so, he not only lifts pressure off his shoulders but also has more time to improve his core business and to spend more time with his family and friends.

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How to Make Money Online by Creating and Selling Short Reports

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How to Make Money Online With Short Reports

Writing short reports and selling them for a low price is one of the most powerful ways of making money online fast. In this post we will see how to write a short report and set it on autopilot so that it makes money 24×7.

What to Write About?

Look around you. What inspires you the most? What are your passions, how do you spend most of your time, is it reading? fishing? cooking?

Are you an expert in anything? Do people ask you for suggestions about something? There are literally thousands of ways to find inspiration, if you want to!

A great way to write a report that sells is by concentrating on something that focuses on relieving pain or solving a problem, that kind of stuff.

But before you get all excited and start creating a report, just make sure that the topic you are going to write about is in demand. One way to do that is by using a keyword tool. There is a free keyword tool out there which is more than enough for this purpose. The tool is Google Keyword Planner. Using this tool you can easily estimate the number of people searching for a particular topic and keyword each month. If you want more professional insight and want to find highly profitable keyword ideas go for paid tools like LongTailPro or Market Samurai. LongTailPro is a professional keyword tool which gives you keyword ideas and its profitability scores. You can also use this tool for getting blog post ideas, research a profitable niche for your next site and much more.

How to Write the Report

You can easily create a report using free tools like OpenOffice suite or a paid one like Microsoft Office. Create a document in word format and then export it in PDF format when saving the document. That’s it. Your report is ready. Don’t forget to add pictures and media where necessary in your report.

How Many Pages?

When you are just beginning try to keep it short. Anything between 20-30 pages should do. Remember it’s about the quality, not quantity.

How to Price Your Report

For a 25-30 page report you can price anything between $5-10, considering you are an amateur and nobody in the industry knows your name. Once you become popular you can even charge $100 for a short report provided it is a high voltage content.

How to Sell Your Short Report

You can opt for a cheap web hosting account and register a domain name. Once you are done with that you can hire a designer to create a sales page for you (which is going to cost you heavily) or buy Optimizepress ($97 for 3 domains).

Optimizepress gives you flexibility and you can create as many landing pages and squeeze pages as you want. It is easy to design. Another option is Leadpages which costs $37/month.

Once your landing page is ready subscribe for e-junkie which costs you only $5/month for one item. It is a digital product delivery system which delivers your report to the customer’s email once the payment has been processed. Remember, e-junkie doesn’t process payments. For accepting payments use the PayPal business account which can be easily connected to e-junkie and which is free to get started. This is only a one time setup. Set it up and it will earn you money on autopilot. PayPal does take a commission for each transaction carried out, but it is definitely worth it.

Once you start making enough money with your first report you can make several similar type of reports in different niches. By this way you have got a decent online business for you which earns on autopilot and supplies you with a continuous stream of passive income.

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Outsourcing Digital Marketing Solutions

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A brand always looks for an end-to-end, holistic marketing approach that can help in its overall growth and expansion. With more and more creative agencies coming up in the market, entrepreneurs look forward to target mass audience and engage them with their brand. However, this involves a lot of business cost. This is why web service providers are offering new and improved, fully-integrated IT (Information Technology) and BPO (Business Process outsourcing) solutions to reduce the overall business cost and develop effective campaigns as per the needs of a client.

Service providers offer a range of innovative Internet marketing solutions as mentioned below:

• Social media marketing & monitoring

• Pay per click and campaign management

• Search engine optimization & auditing

• Email marketing management

• Website design & development

• Online reputation management

• Content creation & marketing

• Blog consultation

• Link building

These solutions are strategically integrated in an enterprise platform which is accessible by both parties- the brand and the third-party service provider. This can redefine the digital marketing approach of organizations. Other than this, virtual assistance, cloud computing and remote infrastructure management services are also available with a reputed service provider which empowers a brand to manage the business processes, more efficiently and proactively.

A professional service partner helps an organization to bring its marketing process on track. Entrepreneurs outsource some or most of their marketing functions to a vendor. These vendors take care of everything, ranging from, developing effective strategies, exploring latest trends, applying technology advancements, evaluating business results and so on. By helping in executing an effective marketing strategy, service vendors empower entrepreneurs to bring business continuity, speed and effectiveness. By leveraging the cutting-edge technologies and online platforms, enterprises expand their reach to engage more and more customers.

Channels of marketing and engagement

Social: Brands having an active profile on various social media platforms incur a lot of popularity among targeted customers. Having a strong social media presence is considered a business differentiator by entrepreneurs. By being active on social platforms, an entrepreneur can reach out to a mass audience at low cost (without spending much of the marketing budget).

Cloud: Service providers assist organizations to take full advantage of cloud-based services and technologies as well as integrated applications as and when required, to increase business agility.

Mobility: To improve the overall business process, entrepreneurs must integrate effective and innovative mobility solutions. Incorporating on-the-go solutions and utilizing multiple customer-centric devices adds value to a business.

Analytics: By developing and deploying measurable and sustainable methods, service providers improve the planning and execution of a process.

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Make Money Online From Home With Google AdSense

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Google AdSense is one of the coolest ways to make money online from home. The fact is, there are so many people who want to advertise their products and services online. They will most likely use paid advertising methods to promote these products. This is good news for you because you can take advantage of this by signing up with the AdSense program.

Google AdSense allows you to make money every time someone clicks on one of the ads located on your website. You can even earn several dollars per click. There are many tactics you can use to ensure maximum earnings with AdSense. Here are just a few:

Place the ads just below the title of your page. A great way to increase your CTR (click-through-rate) is to place your AdSense ads right below the title. This will ensure that people see the ads right when they arrive on your website. If they are looking for something related to the ads being displayed, they will click on the ads.

Use text ads only. I have found that the best performing ads blocks are text. Image ads are too distracting. Keeping it simple is the best way to make the most money with AdSense. A good CTR to shoot for would be around 25%. This means that 25 people out of 100 will click on the ads.

Color combination is also very important. I find that using blue links and gray text is the best combination. This means that the titles of your ads should be blue, and the description of the ads should be light grey. My CTR has been as high as 80% using this color combination. Feel free to play around a bit. There is no secret to earning with Google AdSense. Follow a simple strategy and use Google friendly methods to get traffic.

Here’s how I do it:

Build a website around a product or service. Amazon is a great place to research different products to build your website around. For example, I have a website loaded with great articles about the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus. This is a milk frother. I get about $0.67 per click. This website took me an afternoon to create. It makes me anywhere between $45 and $70 per month. And the traffic I get comes from Google. So it’s free! What’s my secret? Well, I created great content for websites. Then, I started building back-links to websites to get it ranked high in the search engines. Then, I placed my AdSense ads on websites.

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IT Outsourcing Services Companies In Eastern Europe

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Worldwide IT Outsourcing: Looking For New Places

The world IT outsourcing services market includes a number of countries and regions which due to their specific conditions are attractive for starting such a business. In fact a certain geographic division of labor can be observed in this field. Throughout the history the division of labor was driving the universal economy ahead, do no wonder that outsourcing is so popular in the software development industry. Some countries are best in producing ideas and concepts, while others provide better conditions to do the technical part of the job.

IT outsourcing services companies are mostly located in less economically developed countries which nevertheless have prominent level of technical science and engineering resources. China and India were monopolists in this market for a long time utilizing the big gap between local prices and prices in Western Europe and USA. Today we certainly can speak about another great opportunity: European outsourcing.

Eastern European Countries Join The Game

Eastern European region contains a number of countries which are different from each other and from their Western neighbors by economy level and by industrial development. Most of them were under the influence of the USSR for some period of time and had economic hardships after its collapse. Though many have joined the EU by this time, they still have much lower prices and salaries.

Industrial downfall in Eastern European countries urged people to look for new markets where they could gain better positions. Software development turned out to be a real alternative. Being purely intellectual branch (a number of brains – that’s all you need to start), programming does not require big expenditures for starting a new project. The only thing one has to invest in is good education.

IT Outsourcing To Ukraine – A Nice Alternative?

Among other members of the Eastern European region, Ukraine is one of the most attractive for Western IT companies. At the moment it possesses about the biggest quantity of software and web professionals, while salary levels here are among the lowest in Europe. As for education, it is one of the Ukraine’s strong qualities – there a multiple big technical universities in major cities of the state. Hundreds of IT students are graduated each year creating rich substrate for national software development businesses. On the other hand, Ukrainian IT companies are strongly oriented at collaboration with Western European and American businesses and therefore IT outsourcing is very popular here.

In the beginning of 2012 there were nearly 6 thousand IT outsourcing services companies performing in Ukraine. They are working with clients from various places. Major countries outsourcing to Ukraine are Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Italy, USA, ANZ. Geographic location of the country is rather encouraging: it takes only about couple of hours to get here by plane from any of Western Europe’s cities. This is a great advantage as a project owner who has outsourced his project to a Ukrainian team of developers can easily pay visits to his collaborators’ location from time to time in case he needs to interact with them personally.

So Ukraine is an emerging regional leader of IT outsourcing in Eastern Europe. As the demand for IT outsourcing services is growing faster and faster worldwide, it is possible that increasingly more software development companies will consider using the services of Ukrainian IT outsourcing vendors. Well, what about joining this promising trend?

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