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View Full Version : Pay by the Job vs Hourly Pay


Fantasy Lawns
04-20-2006, 05:07 PM
Fore those whom "pay by the job" ..... how does one go about certain "grey areas"

I understand how piece work or commission pay is used in industry .... but I am not clear on how it works in the service environment

ie you pay by the job & in route to the other job he gets in an accident

Is he covered by WC or even the Insurance ... as he really is not "on the clock" or is he ??

How does one get the employee do other errands ... such as getting fuel or picking up equip .... is this a separate ... pay by the job ??

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the employer is liable to those individuals for overtime wages for work performed ==>whether the work is performed on an hourly or piece-rate basis.

How does one legally get around this ??? OT that is

Again according to the FLSA some employers contractors believe they can avoid paying overtime to employees by paying them on a piece-rate basis.

From what I read of whether an employee is paid hourly or on a piece-rate basis, he is entitled to overtime pay for hours worked over 40 hours a week. And in legal terms, an employee cannot contractually agree to waive his right to overtime pay.

I maybe wrong on the OT thing .... as many consider Farm work or Agriculture work OT exempt in varies states .... I've never ask a legal advice

Those that pay by piece .... what has the legal advice been given

Only asking as I'm looking into doing this in some form if possible

Badgerz
04-20-2006, 05:19 PM
Why don't you just pay them an hourly wage from the time they come in until they leave? Unless I misunderstood it sounds like you're looking for a way to be a cheap boss. If that's the case you won't keep good help long.

ed2hess
04-20-2006, 05:48 PM
I think the idea is to reduce labor cost, correct? I am guessing it is one way to do away with OT, and I think JMI has a very successful business using this method?

PGA
04-20-2006, 05:53 PM
The first and only company I worked for we got paid both.

He paid dick for hourly but he made it up by bonuses. He would give each guy in the truck $.50 extra per house that was completed. And when I was doing 100-150 houses a week it turned out to be a nice chunk of change on top of the paycheck.

It was an extra incentive to get everything done.

Badgerz
04-20-2006, 06:17 PM
Now there's a decent idea.

Fantasy Lawns
04-20-2006, 07:28 PM
Actually my bonus set up for hourlies is base on yearly hours, days missed, uniform, attitude etc. at the 1st of the year I take the total hours ....say 2000 hours & a normal would be .10 per hour or $200 up to .50 per hour or $1000

Being creative, having an ability to adapt with a changing environment, communication, experimenting & sooo many factors moves a real business forward

Fore me ..... cheap ..... is when I buy a $9000 new mower every 2-3 years .... cheap is when I turn over 1/3 of my 2 cycle yearly ..... cheap is painting the trailers every 2 years .... cheap is my weekly-monthly maintenance program .... cheap is a back up Lazer ...she hit 1600 hrs in 2 years & the new Dixie last summer .... is .... cheaply appreciated by the crew .... cheap is a back up Walker for pretty much the same .... cheap .... reason ... but they did luv .... although .... cheaply .... the new Walker EFI 3 years ago

Anywho .... my cheap thoughts were ....how to reward those ...more productive ....given equal equipment & size of route

I have +250 properties ....not all equal size .... but easily 150 are of almost exact size .... I "average' 150 hrs weekly with a $2k payroll ... we have much smaller lots than most up north .... 1/4-1/3 is average .... even a 7 figure home on the water may be only 1 acre

Just for quick number crunching ( as larger properties would really have to have a greater "value" in commission) ....but just fore numbers sake .... that comes too $8 per yard ($2k weekly payroll /250)

Having 3 (2) man crews at this point .... but if paying by the yard .... could that be "shaved" by motivating those involved .... as being payed per yard .... to cut as many as they can get .... in competition to get as many of the 250 yards they can get .... thus .... cheaply .... actually make more weekly ...than if paid by the hour

Granted quality has to stay .... safety both on the job & on the road to other jobs .... MUST stay

I really don't know if OT really will be an issue .... had about 300 hrs OT last year .... just thinking of 2007 ..... some silly .... cheap reason I already thinking of next year

Plus in the winter time when we cut bi-weekly .... my "core" employees may elect to do the jobs ... with less workers ... so they can make more

Brianslawn
04-20-2006, 07:31 PM
Why don't you just pay them an hourly wage from the time they come in until they leave? Unless I misunderstood it sounds like you're looking for a way to be a cheap boss. If that's the case you won't keep good help long.


yeah... im sure justmowit has a hell of a time keeping good help to earn that 800 a week since he pays by the yard.

sounds more like someone has some some lazy employees...

Tn Lawn Man
04-20-2006, 08:06 PM
I have been considering doing a hybrid myself. I remember when I worked at a different job for comission. I worked my butt off. But, when I changed employers but still did the same thing and they paid hourly I slowed down considerably.

So, I am thinking about paying my workers minimum wage with a comission for each property done. This way they are hauling butt when it counts and if I need them to do extra work like clean the gear they are still getting paid but I am not paying them a fortune for easy work.

I suppose the pay will equal the difficulty of work.

What do you all think?

MacLawnCo
04-20-2006, 10:40 PM
Why don't you just pay them an hourly wage from the time they come in until they leave? Unless I misunderstood it sounds like you're looking for a way to be a cheap boss. If that's the case you won't keep good help long.
Because hourly pay rewards ineficiency with overtime

MacLawnCo
04-20-2006, 10:44 PM
Steve, get in touch with me... I can point you in the right direction

Watkinslawnservice
04-21-2006, 10:38 AM
I have been considering doing a hybrid myself. I remember when I worked at a different job for comission. I worked my butt off. But, when I changed employers but still did the same thing and they paid hourly I slowed down considerably.

So, I am thinking about paying my workers minimum wage with a comission for each property done. This way they are hauling butt when it counts and if I need them to do extra work like clean the gear they are still getting paid but I am not paying them a fortune for easy work.

I suppose the pay will equal the difficulty of work.

What do you all think?

I think that is an excellent idea. The only questions I have when it comes to piece work or in this case incentives is do you give the incentive based on the size of the property? I mean if the guys are doing a 6000 sq ft property do they get the same bonus as when they do a 15,000 sq ft property? If so, would that lead to quality issues on the larger properties because they feel they do not make enough money on them and want to get them done and get on to the smaller ones?

Az Gardener
04-21-2006, 11:07 AM
This is a very slippery slope legally, do a search for "what do you track daily" in that thread it was thoroughly discussed. We were discussing subcontractor labor so you can save the tax's and ins. and pay by the job. The rules for that are very strict and most don't comply. If you are still going to have them as employees and pay their tax's comp etc. and they made over minimum wage in an day including windshield time I guess it would be legal.

Paradise Landscapes
04-23-2006, 09:23 AM
If I have it correctly, for ohio law though, (help me here mac) Overtime pay for agriculural workers is not required. That's what I understood. So, I would check federal laws on that to make sure yu don't have to pay over-time.

gqnine44
04-23-2006, 03:28 PM
If I have it correctly, for ohio law though, (help me here mac) Overtime pay for agricultural workers is not required. That's what I understood. So, I would check federal laws on that to make sure you don't have to pay over-time.

Some guys use this escape here. I think it depends what is "agricultural". Is landscaping and lawn care? I pay OT and most of the big guys do. So I presume we must pay. Would like to know what is considered agricultural though.

Paradise Landscapes
04-23-2006, 05:32 PM
Some guys use this escape here. I think it depends what is "agricultural". Is landscaping and lawn care? I pay OT and most of the big guys do. So I presume we must pay. Would like to know what is considered agricultural though.

Last time I knew, the green industry including landscaping, nursery and lawn care industries was agricultural.