While searching for a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter, find out if the company invests in their Employees or quietly hires Independent Contractors. If it's not clear on their website, simply ask them.
In 2013, we made our biggest and most important change in First Class Critter's history; we stopped classifying our sitters as Independent Contractors! This may seem like a no brainer, but in the pet care world, most companies use IC's without their clients even knowing. The absolute only reason a small business, like a pet care business, would use IC's is to save money, lots of money. However, because the business isn't paying out all of the extra costs, they are putting that burden on their pet sitters, the ones caring for your furbabies. Come tax time, they are hit with such a high $ number to pay the tax man, it's a wonder how pet care businesses retain their IC's, or do they even? Because we cover these costs for our employees here at First Class Critters, our sitters love working here and have been working with us for many years!
Before I break down why it's so Important for a pet care business to use Employees and not Independent Contractors, check out our costs, and you will see why the other companies in Boise use IC's and don't treat their sitters as Employees.
These costs are before any of our other many costs that keep us running smoothly:
Idaho and Federal Unemployment: 1%
Workers Compensation: 6%
Pet sitting Insurance: 3%
Because our sitters are Employees and we contributed to unemployment for them all of these years, our hardest hit sitters were able to collect unemployment during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. I truly feel sorry for the sitters of the other Boise pet care companies who didn't contribute to unemployment because they consider their pet sitters IC's. Those sitters were not able to collect even a penny of unemployment. Not being able to collect unemployment when you are almost entirely out of work must've been a real eye opener for those sitters, my heart breaks for them :(
Let me explain to you why it is so important for your pet care provider to use Employees and not Independent Contractors. The following is according to the IRS:
Training: IC's cannot be trained in any shape or form by their employer. The employer can NOT control how or when the visits are performed. Yikes! We at First Class Critters do weeks of training, have an employee manual full of policies, ongoing training, pet care first aid and cpr completion requirements!
Insurance: IC's must carry their own liability insurance and pet sitting insurance. IC's cannot use any of the companies forms of insurance, including workers compensation. Yikes! We carry workers compensation for our sitters through the State Insurance Fund! If they get hurt on the job they are financially covered! We also carry Pet Sitting Insurance that covers our pet sitter's visits in case something happens to a critter or client's home while in our care.
Policies: IC's do not have to adhere to ANY company policies. Yikes! We at First Class Critters have so many policies in place for your comfort, your furbabies health and happiness, and so that we are all on the same page at all times!
Time Period: According to the IRS, IC's are only supposed to work for a set period of time, not ongoing. So the pet care companies that don't have employees, but IC's, are supposed to have a start date and end date for their regular client's dog walkers. Yikes! We here at First Class Critters don't have an end date! Our goal is to keep your critters with the same sitter for as long as YOU need us! Some of our clients have had the same sitter for almost 5 years!
There are so many laws in place for your safety and comfort, and we are proud to say, that we take this very seriously. No matter what goes on in the world, no matter how slow business may get for us, we will ALWAYS invest in our employees and NOT independent contractors, because it's worth every penny! Please feel free to reach out at anytime if you have any questions, comments or concerns with anything on this page or about our company!