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    Had an issue with an employee. Not a big one but I did, and we worked through it. What happened is, he generally gets to the shop before I do in the a.m. Unlocks the door, pulls his truck and trailer out, then stands around waiting for me to arrive. Very good worker, does excellent work and I am always getting good remarks from customers on him. Ex, great attitude, did a great job, better then expected. So here's the issue. He wants paid from the time he unlocks the door, till the time he arrives back at the shop and closes up. Now thats fine but, when I arrive he's just standing around in the shop, or either on his phone. There is always things to do, sweep the floor, organize hand tools, clean the trucks out of the garbage, wash a truck, empty trash cans, clean up a bathroom and so on. So what do you guys do. Do you start paying when he arrives, or when he arrives at the first job of the day? Then at the end of the day? During the day as well, are you paying for drive time between jobs? Do you make them take a lunch, or just let them work through it? I know kind of lengthy but, we are early enough in the year, I can get this handled and move on.

  • #2
    Had an issue with an employee. Not a big one but I did, and we worked through it. What happened is, he generally gets to the shop before I do in the a.m. Unlocks the door, pulls his truck and trailer out, then stands around waiting for me to arrive. Very good worker, does excellent work and I am always getting good remarks from customers on him. Ex, great attitude, did a great job, better then expected. So here's the issue. He wants paid from the time he unlocks the door, till the time he arrives back at the shop and closes up. Now thats fine but, when I arrive he's just standing around in the shop, or either on his phone. There is always things to do, sweep the floor, organize hand tools, clean the trucks out of the garbage, wash a truck, empty trash cans, clean up a bathroom and so on. So what do you guys do. Do you start paying when he arrives, or when he arrives at the first job of the day? Then at the end of the day? During the day as well, are you paying for drive time between jobs? Do you make them take a lunch, or just let them work through it? I know kind of lengthy but, we are early enough in the year, I can get this handled and move on.
    I believe in paying good workers good pay. If he wants to get paid when he arrives he must understand that it ain't gonna be for free. Assign him some duties to do before you arrive. I pay trip time. If I'm on the clock at work...then they are too. Take care of your crew and they will take care of you. I have a full time job as well and know what its like to have a crappy supervisor who only looks out for himself. But on the other hand...if your employee gets ****y...I would put him in his place. Not in an ******* way but a way for him to know that your calling he shots around here. If you want to get paid to wait till I get here....your in the wrong business! Pick up a broom! Haha!
    Jacob Rodriguez
    A Cut Above Lawn Care
    acalawncaretx@gmail.com
    www.acalawncare.com

    Comment


    • #3
      jrod I totally agree. Take care of those that take care of you, and I have always in the past. Once a week he was allowed to take home a truck and trailer with equipment to take care of his place. If he wanted to go do his grandparents or his wifes grandparents property he'd ask and I never told him no. If he wanted to borrow a set of trimmers to go do a side job of trimming someones shrubs or trees, it was always "sure go ahead" but with that being said. I have 5 houses in my neighborhood, he ha sto drive by my house to get to them, and back by to leave the neighborhood. I have just over a half acre, now do you think he would stop and catch my lawn while he's in the area? NO! Not without me asking, then he'd wright it down on his time sheet. "Your house" asked one day last year "hey while your trimming trees and shrubs in my neighborhood would you stop and catch mine for me. Took him just under two hours, and he wrote it down. "Trimmed your shrubs" I paid him, no questions asked, but here's the issue. Whose putting gas in the 25k dollar truck your taking home with the 12k dollar Gravely on the trailer and whose putting gas in that gravely, Stihl trimmers, or the Stihl blower your using at your house? Do you think he'd take it on his own maybe once a month to stay late some night, or come in on a Sat we're not working and wash his truck without being asked? Just a little appretiation is all I ask for. Well this year I've made some changes. If an employee wants to take a truck and trailer home with equipment to take care of their own property it will cost them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow! That's messed up! All I can say is speak up. Your the owner. I would definitely put a price tag on letting them use the equipment or just stop it period. Thats just totally being unappreciative,rude and taking advantage of a good thing. They are using good equipment at your cost and have the balls to charge you for maintenance on your house! Let him know the deal fast before this gets worse! This can cause you animosity, stress and everything else that comes with holding things in.
        Jacob Rodriguez
        A Cut Above Lawn Care
        acalawncaretx@gmail.com
        www.acalawncare.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Had an issue with an employee. Not a big one but I did, and we worked through it. What happened is, he generally gets to the shop before I do in the a.m. Unlocks the door, pulls his truck and trailer out, then stands around waiting for me to arrive. Very good worker, does excellent work and I am always getting good remarks from customers on him. Ex, great attitude, did a great job, better then expected. So here's the issue. He wants paid from the time he unlocks the door, till the time he arrives back at the shop and closes up. Now thats fine but, when I arrive he's just standing around in the shop, or either on his phone. There is always things to do, sweep the floor, organize hand tools, clean the trucks out of the garbage, wash a truck, empty trash cans, clean up a bathroom and so on. So what do you guys do. Do you start paying when he arrives, or when he arrives at the first job of the day? Then at the end of the day? During the day as well, are you paying for drive time between jobs? Do you make them take a lunch, or just let them work through it? I know kind of lengthy but, we are early enough in the year, I can get this handled and move on.
          This is a great write up thank you, All your questions I have also. I look forward to reading the responses.
          www.painelesscreations.com
          Visit us on Facebook
          http://www.facebook.com/PainelessCreations

          Comment


          • #6
            My helper lives right across the streeet from me. He comes over when I go out and start hooking up the trailer, he jumps right in, grabs the grease gun, checks the oil levels etc. I pay hime from 7 AM to finish, including drive time, breaks (2 15 to 20 min) Lunch (30 min). He gets the mower, trimmer etc each week when he needs to mow his yard. He also mows mine and trims, each week when he does his. He is a great small engine mechanic, and does all of mechanical work including welding on the trailer. (seems to need something repaired all the time) he gets 8 an hour (cash ) I pay the taxes, 8 hours a day. He is knowlegeable, works hard, and does great work. Hope your helper works just as good as this guy. BTW I have had 5 others some lasted a couple of days, one lasted about weeks.

            Comment


            • #7
              Just a little FYI for you on the time thing.

              1. If you ask them to do something then they are on the clock, your house or not.

              2. Years ago there was a law suit over this very thing about when someone was on the clock. Now this was with AT&T so they had the lawyers to defend it.

              The technician would get in the truck and drive from home where he parked the truck and go to the work center or the first job for the day. He went along like this his whole career until he retired. After he retired he sued the company for back pay for the overtime from the time he got in the truck to the time he got to the first job and from the last job until he got out of it for the day.

              Long story short, he won the lawsuit.

              So in answer to the main question, they are on the clock from the time they get in the truck to the time they get out and this includes travel time.

              Hope this helps.
              Pat

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              • #8
                You also might have an issue if he was to break a window,get into an accident etc while using your truck for his side jobs .He may not have any insurance coverage when he is not on the clock,and since your the owner of the equipment it may fall into your lap .
                Also,unless he is paid piece work ,he should certainly be paid for any time he is there,just make sure he has something to do .

                Comment


                • #9
                  I def. agree that the guy should be paid from the moment he arrives to the yard to the time he leaves the yard. I just think back to when I was a worker. I wanted to be paid for all my time. If I'm driving the truck from one lawn to another, I consider that work, too.

                  That being said, I feel like letting a worker take your truck and equipment to do his own side work for himself and family/friends is a risk. If there was an incident and your insurance provider was able to determine that the work was not for one of your clients, it's possible they could deny the claim. The way I see it, my equipment is my bread and butter. I'm not going to risk that which puts food on my table. It seems like you already treat your employees right. You pay the guy for his time and effort. You're fair. Why let the guy use commercial grade equipment on his friends/family while you take all the risk?

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                  • #10
                    do you have set hours 8-5, 9-5? most jobs I have ever had there is a start time and a stop time most 8 hours if your late you start getting paid when you got there you are required a lunch on or before your 5th hour you get a 15 min break after 2 hours your drive time to and from your house to the job,shop,shack or garage doesn't count. In my shop you get paid when the truck trailer and equipment leave the shop usually truck is out by 8. Back by 4-4:30 gives you a hour to 30min to clean up grease stuff make minor repairs 5:00 you wanna stand around kick rocks and tell stories go for it that"s your time 5:30 you don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

                    Are your work days longer than 8 hours ? Do you pay overtime ? or is everything straight time ? If he is a good worker put him on salary now when he gets there and leaves it all good he gets paid the same. If his kid has a ball game let him go early but pay him for the hole day if his kids sick and needs to stay home with him pay him the day better to do that and make him happy when he really needs the time off than to lose him over min at the shop
                    I also agree with putting a stop to letting him use your equipment let him put the wear and tear on his own equipment.

                    good luck
                    Mac. Leonards Lawn Maint.
                    Last edited by Norcal; 04-11-2011, 11:43 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Worker is a worker

                      unless he is a partner he is a worker and usually a worker in any company can not take any of the companies equipment out or use it for his/her own benefit if he does he can get fired. So now treat him good give him his pay from when he arrives, have him wash the truck, fill the gas tanks or mix the oil, but don't just pay him for not doing anything let him know that he is not allowed on the phone if he is on the clock and take the keys away from him... you should be the only one with keys to your shop, you don't want to tempt people...

                      now pay him what he deserves and make him feel comfartable but do not allow him to use your equipment also you should of trained your workers to take care of your house while they are on the clock that is what i have done

                      Good luck

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If he is a good worker put him on salary now when he gets there and leaves it all good he gets paid the same.
                        Bad advice here. You need to look up the overtime laws on the federal level. Unless you are white collar management, you get paid overtime salary or not.

                        Exempt from overtime pay

                        First up is the "salary-basis" test. To be exempt from overtime, workers must be paid a set salary, not an hourly wage.

                        The second criteria, called the "salary-level" test, has been amended. In order to be exempt from overtime, the new rules require that employees earn a minimum salary of $455 a week, or $23,660 a year.

                        The third test is where the rules get considerably more complicated - and controversial. The final prong is called the "duties" test. It tries to establish eligibility based on the type of work an employee performs every day. Under federal law, a worker whose job is deemed "administrative," "professional" or "executive" in nature does not qualify for overtime.

                        Earnings may be determined on a piece-rate, salary, commission, or some other basis, but in all such cases the overtime pay due must be computed on the basis of the average hourly rate derived from such earnings. This is calculated by dividing the total pay for employment (except for the statutory exclusions noted above) in any workweek by the total number of hours actually worked.

                        Salary for Workweek Exceeding 40 Hours: A fixed salary for a regular workweek longer than 40 hours does not discharge FLSA statutory obligations. For example, an employee may be hired to work a 45 hour workweek for a weekly salary of $405. In this instance the regular rate is obtained by dividing the $405 straight-time salary by 45 hours, resulting in a regular rate of $9.00. The employee is then due additional overtime computed by multiplying the 5 overtime hours by one-half the regular rate of pay ($4.50 x 5 = $22.50).

                        Overtime Pay May Not Be Waived: The overtime requirement may not be waived by agreement between the employer and employees. An agreement that only 8 hours a day or only 40 hours a week will be counted as working time also fails the test of FLSA compliance. An announcement by the employer that no overtime work will be permitted, or that overtime work will not be paid for unless authorized in advance, also will not impair the employee's right to compensation for compensable overtime hours that are worked.


                        Even paying by the job, you are subject to overtime pay requirements.

                        Guys, don't get caught by the short hairs on this because you will get hung out to dry because the feds will back the employee in this.

                        Here is a good link for OT

                        http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs23.pdf
                        Pat

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                        • #13
                          I didn't think I had to point out the O.T. it should be a obvious that you pay overtime all I was trying to point out was if your complaining about the time that he is standing around the shop if he was salary it wouldn't matter. I would think the better solution would be to have set hours you start at ? and stop at ? anything over is O.T.

                          To the cleaning Doctor can you base salary on the workers current hourly wage based on 8 hours or do you have a base salary. Is Overtime anything over 8 or anything over 40 I worked at a tile shop that anything over 40 was overtime so lets say I worked 10 , 10, 8, 8, fri. you go home when you hit 6 shady shady. But based on the third test in your example would we fall under professional side if your a contractor? then salary is not entitled to O.T.

                          I also worked for a piece work company that is currently under investigation and has already paid out a one time payment for not paying overtime who knows if it will ever go to court before the employees see anymore.

                          Some shops in California (I Live here ) had these type of problems and told all there Employees to go register with a temp agency and they would pick them up through there

                          It's all complicated before you hire employees know there rights and entitlements.
                          Last edited by Norcal; 04-12-2011, 12:19 PM.

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                          • #14
                            To the cleaning doctor based on your second test if you pay your salaried employees $455 a week before taxes that is $11.38 per hour Based on an 8 hour day 5 days a week like I said I live in Cal and most guys start out at $10.00 so If I pay them $1.38 more an hour based on salary and if My days where longer than 8 hours I could save allot of money in O.T.
                            If this is the baseline

                            Who comes up with the set salary basis for test one?

                            Test three if your a contractor that should be deemed professional what is the baseline salary then?

                            In our Industry I can't imagine that your winter month days are as long as your summer months days With that said it may save you money in overtime but are you losing money during the winter. Depending on where you live you have to factor this in. I slow down on installs from Nov - Feb I mostly just do maintenance during these months my days are shorter and we don't make as much money. If I was to save money on overtime during the summer I could then pay more during the winter so they could make the same all year. They might like that if it worked out more in there favor I wouldn't mind paying them the same all year so they wouldn't have to worry about The winter month as much.

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                            • #15
                              The OT rule will depend on state regulations. For most states it is 40 hours per week. The federal level is 40 hours per week. But in Alaska the rule is 40 hours per week OR 8 hours in a day. So if you worked 4 - 10 hour days 32 would be straight time and 8 would be OT

                              As far as the test for being exempt from paying OT, you must pass all 3 criteria for the position. Most positions would not qualify in this industry.

                              Basic rule of thumb is if it is a blue collar type of job, you pay overtime.
                              Pat

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