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February 3, 2014

SUPREME COURT Rules on Exemption for Protective Wear

In a Jan. 27, decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employer may include in a collective-bargaining agreement an exemption from the requirement that employees be paid for time donning and doffing clothes required by the employer.

The court found the term “clothes” included such items such as flame-retardant jackets, pants, work gloves, hard hats, work boots, snoods, leggings, wristlets and hoods. The term “clothes” did not include ear plugs, protective eyewear or respirators. Unless time spent “donning and doffing” is explicitly not compensable under a collective-bargaining agreement, employees must be paid for time donning and doffing work clothes.

See Sandifer v. US Steel Corp., US Supreme Court case No. 12-417.

Model Looking For Sales Manager

January 30, 2014

If you’re reading this you’re interested in Model, so we’re interested in you.

Model is looking for an experienced sales leader to build and lead a successful sales department of 4+ sales reps.  Now.  We’re looking for someone that:  (1)  can sell (2) can hire, train and manage a successful sales staff (3) can manage our web and social media presence (4) can be part of Model’s senior leadership team.  That’s a lot to ask.  Can you handle this demanding position?  Please contact Jon Subar at cell 616-291-0895 or office 616-241-6491 or email

Small Family Business

December 22, 2013

Model is a Small Family Business.  A few years ago we were recognized as the Small Family Business of the Year in Michigan by the U.S. Small Business Administration Nice honor.  But it’s a constant struggle… it is a constant blessing.   I remember the head of Dan Vos Construction accepting the award for Family Business of the Year from the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce: “The best thing about family business”, he started, “is FAMILY.  The worst thing about family business”, he continued, “is FAMILY”.

Most of our customers are like us– a relatively small, independently owned, family business.  As we look forward to the new year, I found this from the US SBA ( and thought I’d share it.  I’ve edited it because I know you’re busy.

5 Tips for Managing a Successful Family Business

If small business is the backbone of the U.S. economy, then family-owned businesses for the most part make up a large portion of the vertebrae! In fact, family-owned businesses account for 90% of all businesses in the U.S. (large and small) and continue to be a powerful force.  However, the day-to-day job of a family business owner can easily be compromised and complicated by relatives who need to be reconciled to working together.

These challenges are very real – emotions can interfere with sound business decisions; unskilled family-members can soon turn into “hangers-on”, and growth can be compromised by relatives who might be reluctant to further invest in your business or take-over when you move on.

If you run a family business, read on for some tips for managing the particularly unique challenges you face.

    1.    In Business, Business Comes First

First things first, this is business and the success of that business is paramount, regardless of your family politics or ties.  In the workplace, decisions must be objective, not personal; the boss/employee relationship must be accepted by all family members; every job description must be clear and understood; and work life and home life problems should not overlap.

To help you put controls around your business and avoid confusion about roles, be sure to:

  • Develop and communicate a clear business plan and mission – so that everyone on the team is singing off the same hymn sheet.
  • Establish a clear chain of command and lines of authority for decision making. If a family member does not have a role to play in the decision making hierarchy, make sure they are aware of this and give them structure in their role in the business.
  • Communicate clearly and often with family and non-family members. Not only does this help avoid confusion, it also gives you a holistic view across your business and nips any emotion or potential “blame-games” in the bud.

    2.    Consider Hiring a Non-Family Member to Oversee Operations

If you manage a family-business not only do you need to be a strong manager you need to be thick-skinned and tough enough to make decisions and stick to them.  If other family members report to you, be clear about their lines of authority or consider hiring a non-family member to assume a position of authority so that you are free to work on strategy, future plans and growth, while that person guides day-to-day operations.

    3.    Dealing with Family Discord

Whether it’s a difference of opinion or a performance issue, dealing with discord or conflict among family members in a business environment is tough.

Families will always bicker, but the challenge is not to let the bickering from interfering with the business and rub-off on non-family employees who might be tempted to use the same emotional appeal to gain position or get their own way – because they’ve seen your family succeed at it.

Especially challenging is trying to remain objective about the situation. Try not to take sides with any particular family member, and make it known that you won’t let disagreements affect your business. This not only stops disruptive family members from using emotions to politick for status – it also sends a clear message to other employees.

If you find yourself stuck with a difficult family employee with whom you can’t reconcile yourself, consider moving them into a new line of work or encourage them to transfer to another branch.

     4.    Dealing with the Family “Hanger-On”

You know the one – the relative who needs a job badly, but really doesn’t exhibit any true aptitude or useable talent! If you really must hire that person, accept the fact that you will need to cultivate them into a role to avoid them causing problems down the line. Try to provide special training under the mentorship of a non-family member or consider letting that person spend two weeks embedded in different areas of the business so that you can identify skills and interests and see opportunities for where you might permanently place them.

    5.    Preparing the Next Generation

Many family businesses remain so for years if not decades, but how do you ensure that the next generation continues to grow your business and serve your loyal customers when you come to retire or move-on?

The best time to plan for succession is well in advance! As invested family members, consider these questions:

  • What are your family goals for the future?
  • What are the plans of the next generation? Who is interested in staying in business and leading the way? Is there more than one aspiring leader-in-the-works? Who is best equipped to lead? What role will the other members play?
  • And, of course, what if no one is interested in succeeding your business?

Then develop a plan to groom and mentor the future leader(s) of your business. Set a goal for the transition to begin, take it slowly so that you can still have a part-time hand in your business and provide on-the-job mentoring, without being too much of a micro-manager.

You’ll also need to plan the financial and legal steps of transferring business ownership. SBA offers guidance on the steps you’ll need to following in this guide to Exiting a Business.


“Cleanliness is next to G-dliness*”

November 29, 2013

Wishing you a Clean and Safe Holiday Season.  It’s after Thanksgiving dinner.  Wow.  My wife sure did it again!  I am forever grateful.  But…. The house is still a mess.  What does it mean when we say “Cleanliness is next to G-dliness”?  Model is in the Cleanliness business.  Our mission statement includes:  We offer products and services that promote the image, cleanliness, productivity and safety of the workplace. 

……..OK! I did it.  I’m back from helping to clean up.  Now.  I thought I’d share what I found as to where in the bible it makes references to cleanliness.  So here are just a few.  If you’re moved to let me know which good ones I left out……please email me at  Have mercy, though.  I’m no bible scholar….just interested in Cleanliness!

Isaiah 1:16                Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil,

Ezekiel 36:25           I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.

Psalm 51:10             Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Matthew 23:26         You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

Leviticus 19:28        You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.

Matthew 5:8             Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Deuteronomy 23:12-14     “You shall have a place outside the camp, and you shall go out to it. And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement. Because the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy, so that he may not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you.

Proverbs 20:9          Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”?

Leviticus 11              And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, These are the living things that you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. Nevertheless, among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.

24 “And by these you shall become unclean. Whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening, 25 and whoever carries any part of their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. 26 Every animal that parts the hoof but is not cloven-footed or does not chew the cud is unclean to you. Everyone who touches them shall be unclean. 27 And all that walk on their paws, among the animals that go on all fours, are unclean to you. Whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening, 28 and he who carries their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; they are unclean to you.

29 “And these are unclean to you among the swarming things that swarm on the ground: the mole rat, the mouse, the great lizard of any kind, 30 the gecko, the monitor lizard, the lizard, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. 31 These are unclean to you among all that swarm. Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until the evening. 32 And anything on which any of them falls when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is an article of wood or a garment or a skin or a sack, any article that is used for any purpose. It must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; then it shall be clean. 33 And if any of them falls into any earthenware vessel, all that is in it shall be unclean, and you shall break it. 34 Any food in it that could be eaten, on which water comes, shall be unclean. And all drink that could be drunk from every such vessel shall be unclean. 35 And everything on which any part of their carcass falls shall be unclean. Whether oven or stove, it shall be broken in pieces. They are unclean and shall remain unclean for you. 36 Nevertheless, a spring or a cistern holding water shall be clean, but whoever touches a carcass in them shall be unclean. 37 And if any part of their carcass falls upon any seed grain that is to be sown, it is clean, 38 but if water is put on the seed and any part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you.

I hope I haven’t offended anyone with my biblical references.  Either the ones I included or failed to include. 

*P.S. Notice some people don’t write His name incompletely….with a “-“ instead of with an “o”.  It is out of respect to Him that the name isn’t written completely, as any printed version might get thrown out or get ‘dirty’, which wouldn’t be respectful to Him.

“BUYOUT” UNIFORMS– how to get a better value from your embroidered and other special garments

October 13, 2013

So, you want to rent shirts with embroidery, or special-style shirts.  You don’t want the “standard uniform” look.  But your uniform rental provider tells you you have to pay/buy for the shirts if a wearer quits/gets fired/leaves service.  After all, they can’t use those shirts for any other customer (unlike “standard uniforms” that ARE reused with other customers as long as they are in good condition— just the ID label in the collar and the patch emblems/names are changed).  Let’s say you want pink polka-dot shirts— we can get them for you.  But….if any wearer stops the rental service, you would need to pay to buy the shirts.  All uniform rental companies require this.

We know that when our customers agree to this charge before they get their uniforms, they understand the concept.  But when they actually get a bill for $200+….they sure don’t like it.  Therefore, neither do we.

So, Model is offering a new, unique, breakthrough concept to handle the costs of buyout uniforms.  It’s called a Hold Charge.  Simple enough.  Instead of charging all at once as a buyout…..we’ll just charge a small Hold Charge every week that a special garment is not being rented, in service, on an existing employee.  Then, if you hire someone that can use those shirts, we’ll put them back in service on the new person….no more Hold Charge.  You’ll never pay the buyout again.  Simple. We can do this because of our sophisticated bar code garment tracking system and our unique software program– which no one else in our market utilizes.  Want to see if it makes sense for your company?  Email me at

Have a Clean and Safe Day,

Jon Subar

However, Model now has a new, unique way to handle this


October 13, 2013

October is National Fire Prevention Month. Model offers several ways to better protect your business from the devastating affects of fire.

Model First Aid, Safety & Training offers fire prevention safety classes at a very reasonable cost, conveniently provided at your business, at your schedule. MFAST also offers fire extinguishers and fire extinguisher classes. We’ll also do a walk-through of your business to look for potential hazards.

Model Coverall Service offers special uniforms rated as flame-resistant (FR). What does that mean? It means that when the source of ignition (the flame) is removed from the person/clothing…..the flame will self-extinguish. When there’s a flame….clothes will burn! But when the flame is removed (very quickly hopefully), the flame will go out to give your employee the best chance to minimize harm.

There are various categories of FR. For the best source of information go to Then let us know if you’re interested in learning more contact

November Update

November 10, 2012

In response to several inquiries, we wanted to update you on the Model Family.  You have been asking how we’re doing after the passing this year of our wise and strong and compassionate leader, Jerry Subar.  Well, we miss him.  He was always the smartest person in the room.  His questions got to the main issues with piercing speed.  He sure helped prevent the rest of us from making some poorly thought-out ideas!  We miss him.  But we are perservering.  We all feel it is important to honor the memory of “JP” by doing well, by taking care of our customers, and by growing the business that he loved, and to which he dedicated most of his life.  So we will.

One of services that Jerry loved most was Model’s mat service.  Mats serve several functions:  they keep floors dry so they greatly improve safety by minimizing the chance for dangerous and costly slip-and-fall accidents; mats keep floors cleaner by holding dirt at the door instead of being tracked into a building, and employees and customers prefer clean; mats protect floors and therefore reduce expensive maintenance and replacement costs of flooring.  Mats capture 90% of the dirt that would otherwise be tracked into a building, and because removing a pound of dirt from a building costs about $500, mats save money!

Jerry loved helping customers keep their workers and workplaces cleaner, neater and safer.  He taught us how to service customers with dedication and honesty.  We will carry on his vision and the vision of his father, Model’s founder, Max Subar.  Visit to learn more about Model and the Model and Subar Family.



Consumer Reports: Spend at Least Ten Cents per Laundry Load

July 25, 2012

Detergents and Machines! There seem to be tons of options out there.  As usual, when it comes to making a wise choice about which product to use, I consult Consumer Reports.  Did you know they recommend spending at least 10 cents a load? Anything cheaper scored subpar in performance.  Here is some recent information about laundry detergent and washing machines:

Laundry Detergents & Washing Machines

Have a clean and safe day!

Beat the Heat!

June 13, 2012

At age 11, I was in a choir commissioned to sing at a Pennsylvania nursing home in July.  Pennsylvania is already really hot and humid in July and I’m pretty sure there were no significant measures to cool the elevated performance stage.  Mid-chorus, I fainted. The kid next to me fainted. I think over 1/3 of the whole adolescent choir ended up on the floor by the end of the set. They lined us all up in a side room, lying on the carpet with our feet elevated in armchairs, draping our foreheads with baggies of ice, and having us sip iced tea from Styrofoam cups through coffee straws.  The problem?  The HEAT.  Lack of ventilation and hydration resulted in many preventable heat stress complications. 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Ben Franklin

Millions of adults in this country face extremely hot working conditions on a daily basis.  Heat stress, unchecked, can escalate to major health problems—even death.  Take precautions to cool and ventilate the work area as much as possible and implement appropriate work/rest cycles so that workers can slowly acclimate to the heat.  In the interest of preventing heat stress trauma, Model Coverall Service has products and services to help beat the heat:

  1. Electrolyte Tablets and Drink Mix.  Model offers electrolyte packets in individual servings that can be dropped into a water bottle and larger quantities that can make 5 gallon batches.  Hydration during heated working conditions is extremely important. An average person in heated working conditions can lose between 2-3 gallons of fluid per day.  Replace those fluids by drinking about 1 cup of liquid every 15-20 minutes, even if not experiencing a thirst sensation.  While water is great for this, failure to replenish salt lost through perspiration can result in debilitating heat cramps.  The Center for Disease Control recommends electrolyte drinks as a facet of first aid when treating heat illnesses. 
  2. Mira-Cool Bandana.  Stay cool with our specialized bandana that can be moistened and worn around the neck or forehead to cool major areas of blood flow.  The body cools itself through the evaporation of sweat and the circulation of blood to cooler extremities of the body.  A Mira-Cool Bandana keeps moisture against the skin, helping to cool blood pumping through the arteries. 
  3. Heat Stress Training.  Model’s First Aid, Safety and Training Division offers training in many areas of workplace injury prevention. Heat Stress is just one of Model’s many areas of training specialty.  Call about our flexible classes! 

For more information on how to lessen heat stress, check out these helpful links:

National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety article on Heat Stress
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention article on Working in Hot Environments
OSHA Quick Card on Heat Stress

Have a clean and safe day!

2012 Racing Schedule at Berlin Raceway

May 11, 2012
Model Coverall Service Sponsors Modified Division at Berlin Raceway 2012

Model Coverall Service Sponsors Berlin Raceway’s Modified Division

Click here for the 2012 Racing Schedule at Berlin Raceway: Where Speed Belongs!

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