Monday, October 23, 2017

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners -- Standing, Walking; Full-Time; and Public

A staple of the vocational expert corps -- housekeeping cleaners and hospital cleaners as light unskilled work with simple repetitive tasks or one- and two step instructions and little public contact. 

323.687-010 CLEANER, HOSPITAL (medical ser.) alternate titles: housekeeper, hospital
    Cleans hospital patient rooms, baths, laboratories, offices, halls, and other areas: Washes beds and mattresses, and remakes beds after dismissal of patients. Keeps utility and storage rooms in clean and orderly condition. Distributes laundered articles and linens. Replaces soiled drapes and cubicle curtains. Performs other duties as described under CLEANER (any industry) I Master Title. May disinfect and sterilize equipment and supplies, using germicides and sterilizing equipment.
GOE: 05.12.18 STRENGTH: M GED: R2 M1 L2 SVP: 2 DLU: 87
323.687-014 CLEANER, HOUSEKEEPING (any industry) alternate titles: maid
    Cleans rooms and halls in commercial establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, clubs, beauty parlors, and dormitories, performing any combination of following duties: Sorts, counts, folds, marks, or carries linens. Makes beds. Replenishes supplies, such as drinking glasses and writing supplies. Checks wraps and renders personal assistance to patrons. Moves furniture, hangs drapes, and rolls carpets. Performs other duties as described under CLEANER (any industry) I Master Title. May be designated according to type of establishment cleaned as Beauty Parlor Cleaner (personal ser.); Motel Cleaner (hotel & rest.); or according to area cleaned as Sleeping Room Cleaner (hotel & rest.).
GOE: 05.12.18 STRENGTH: L GED: R1 M1 L1 SVP: 2 DLU: 86
 The O*NET OnLine informs as that this is a huge occupational base with 10 DOT codes covering 1,458,000 jobs.  The first line of attack focuses on standing and walking and the need to sit for two hours per day in most light work findings.  The work context report states that these jobs require standing continually or almost continually in 80% of jobs.  Walking or running are required continually or almost continually in 70% of jobs.  Sitting never happens in 91% of jobs.  A tenth of 1.4 million jobs is still a lot of jobs.  We need more reasons to erode this occupation as not a realistic option for the disabled beyond standing and walking six of eight hours as precluding this kind of work. 

Does the occupation represent substantial gainful activity as it is performed in the national economy?  The O*NET OnLine suggests, "no." 

Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
4     More than 40 hours
35     40 hours
60     Less than 40 hours
 Most of the jobs are not full-time.  The occupation has median hourly wages of $10.48 per hour per the O*NET OnLine wages and employment trends report.  SGA for 2018 is $1,080 per month.  A worker needs 23.3 hours per week, every week, 52 weeks a years to get over that threshold.  Do the less than full-times maids and housekeepers work in excess of half-time and how does the vocational expert know that data? 

A third line to pursue in cross-examination focuses on the occasional public contact.  The  work context report states that these jobs involve contact with the public addresses the question on frequency and on the importance of contact with the public. 

Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
59     Constant contact with others
35     Contact with others most of the time
2     Contact with others about half the time
3     Occasional contact with others
2     No contact with others
Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
8     Extremely important
21     Very important
6     Important
34     Fairly important
31     Not important at all
Maids and housekeeping cleaners have more than occasional contact with others in 96% of jobs.  The contact with the public is at least fairly important in 69% of jobs. 

Putting the three moving parts together:  most maids and housekeepers require standing and walking to the exclusion of any sitting in over 90% of jobs; 60% of those jobs are not full-time; 96% of those jobs require frequent contact with others; and the contact with the public constitutes an important job function in 69% of jobs.  With limited standing and walking to six hours; simple repetitive tasks; and occasional contact with others -- there isn't much of anything left. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Changing the Dialogue from Off-Task to Consequence of Error

A lot of representatives ask the generally worthless question: assuming the person is off task 20% of that day, can that person work?  I can't really blame them, a lot of ALJ's ask the same throw away question as a placebo to the claimant.  The question is rarely quantified or supported in the record in any meaningful manner.  But what we want to do is ask a question where we can get some data.

Data is the bane of the vocational expert's existence.  Data robs vocational experts of discretion.  Data strips out the ability of the wayward vocational expert from making stuff up.  We have data from the O*NET OnLine that addresses Consequence of Error.

First, develop the record about mistakes.  This could come in the form of serial 7's or 3's, inability to recall items, or other items from a mental status examination.  Developing the record from the claimant or a third party about mistakes made in activities of daily living will assist the quest.  And then start in on the vocational expert in cross-examination.
How important is accuracy in the occupations identified?
Does there exist any data about the consequences of error in the occupations identified? 
There are data and we have a mission.
 If we assume that the person identified in ALJ hypothetical question #1 made mistakes in the work functions 10% of the workday, would that person be subject to progressive discipline and eventually fired?  
I prefer a minimalist approach so I ratchet that question down.
Assume that person made one mistake per day, every day, that the employer could not remedy immediately.  Would that person be subject to progressive discipline and eventually fired?  Once per week, every week, week in and week out.  Same question.  
What does the data show?  One of larger groups of occupations is helpers, production workers, SOC 51-9198.  The Occupational Outlook Handbook, in data for occupations not covered in detail, describes the work:

  • 2014 employment: 419,200
  • May 2016 median annual wage: $24,830
  • Projected employment change, 2014–24:
    • Number of new jobs: -16,100
    • Growth rate: -4 percent (Decline)
  • Education and training:
    • Typical entry-level education: No formal educational credential
    • Work experience in a related occupation: None
    • Typical on-the-job training: Short-term on-the-job training
  • O*NET:
  •  Note the link to the O*NET OnLine.  We go there.  Running a custom report for work context and scrolling down (CTRL-F error - faster!), we find:

    Consequence of Error — How serious would the result usually be if the worker made a mistake that was not readily correctable?
    18     Extremely serious
    24     Very serious
    27     Serious
    15     Fairly serious
    16     Not serious at all
    It looks like 84% of jobs have at least fairly serious consequences for the first mistake.  Most of occupations (69%) have a greater degree of consequence of error rating (serious to extremely serious).
    Assuming that the Employment Training Administration and the Department of Labor have published reliable governmental data, could the person that isn't just off task but makes mistakes that cannot be readily corrected on a chronic basis, just once a week, keep this kind of job?
    The answer is, "No."   Drop the off-task mantra and focus on consequence of error.