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More thoughts and questions on cs operators working remotely
May 1, 2024
More thoughts and questions on cs operators working remotely
          The link below is an ADP article that outlines some remote worker payroll issue landmines.  Maybe Mitch Reitman will opine on the tax compliance exposure.  I posit if employment taxes are an issue, state licensing laws certainly are as well.  
          What if the remote worker is working from a state that requires a license to monitor alarms, but the central station is based in a state that doesn’t.  What if the monitoring center is in a state that requires licensure and the remote worker is located in a state that doesn’t.  I doubt whether any two licensing boards will be in cadence, no less several of them.  This is a hot mess.
          Speaking of hot messes, now that the barn door is swinging in the breeze, allowing remote monitoring, what’s next?  The Philippines?  India?  Better yet, why even have a monitoring center at all?  Just revert to the modern equivalent of the tape dialer circa 1972.  The technology currently exists to electronically dispatch without any human intervention.
          The central station’s role is to add a brain and pairs of eyes and ears to a monitored event.  To add value.  To ensure authorities and contacts are reached, armed with critical situational awareness and comprehend the urgency of emergent signals.  That is the sizzle when you sell the steak.  If you sell “we send the fire department or the cops when we get an alarm” you are selling yourself out of business and may as well be wearing a billboard that says “cancel non DIY security.”
          Standards and certifications are essential to keep this industry relevant.  When we as a profession lower minimum standards, it obviates our very existence.  It’s a good thing your practice is so diversified, Ken.  If dealers keep their heads buried in the sand, your alarm clients will soon be an endangered species. 

Peter Goldring SET, CFE, CAT-1
          I wonder what money the central stations engaging in remote operator monitoring are saving.  Some may claim that they can’t even find a workforce if they require in-person operators.  As an employer I face that often with attorneys and support staff who want to work from home.  Unfortunately for them I interpret that as not wanting to really work at all, most of time.  I suppose a remote operator couldn’t get away with that for long, at least I hope not for the sake of the customer and dealer.
          If the NRTL approve of remote operator monitoring maybe Peter is on right track that foreign central stations will also be approved.  That will solve the issue in the US because no US central stations will survive.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301