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Blmtlandscapes
01-28-2010, 12:23 PM
Some days we have a 45 min commute each way to get to some of our bigger estate properties. Do you guys pay employees for drive time when paying by the hour?

EARTH5
01-28-2010, 12:36 PM
we do but i think we need to re eveluate and possibly pay only 1 way...others are doing that....

xclusive
01-28-2010, 12:41 PM
The minute my guys punch in is the minute they started getting paid from until they take their lunch break. Once their lunch break is over I will pay them til the end of the day when they punch out even if we have to drive an hour each way. After all my clients are paying for our drive time cause I figure that in when I give an estimate.

dougaustreim
01-28-2010, 12:47 PM
By law, you have to pay them from the time they start working until they finish working. So the driver has to be paid. Riders do not have to be paid if they perform now work before leaving home base or after they return. If they are required to do any paperwork, unloading or anything like that after returning to the base, you have to pay them. Of course then you have to pary for any travel between job sites.

CLARK LAWN
01-28-2010, 01:44 PM
i cant believe some things people ask and do. if you are not paying my then im going home and leaving your equipment sit were i am done with it.

starscream
01-28-2010, 01:55 PM
Yes. We pay them for drive time. Happy employees lead to happy customers and so on.

Portland Landscape (http://www.paradiserestored.com/index.htm)

echeandia
01-28-2010, 04:24 PM
You might want to check the Fair Labor Standards Act. Here is a link: http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-flsa.htm

Jim Bo
01-28-2010, 05:33 PM
For me, I pay them one way. And I never stop at the store for them. If they don't bring there lunch, they go hungry.

CMerLand
01-28-2010, 06:31 PM
Yea you have to pay them. Its not their fault your took on a client 45 minutes away each way. They're in your truck, driving to your job and have ZERO choice in the matter. The arrive at work at 8 am leave at 4 pm and you want to pay them for 6.5 hours because of where YOU found the work. Factor the travel time in your bid and pay your employees what you owe them.

As for you Jim BO, your all F-ing heart paying that one way. And a whole other level of scumbag for your comments on letting a guy eat. Gee, I bet if I search on here, I'll find a thread with you on here whining that you cant find any good help.

Jim Bo
01-29-2010, 12:32 PM
To CMerland. First of you wont find anything about me whining, because I don't whine and cry and I have had the same employees for 4 years. Second, I'm not heartless. I'm an employer who pays for labor. My employees are paid well, picked up at there home
everyday, there given uniforms, a summer and winter bonus and a few times I actually paid there rent. P.S. when you find that thread your looking for, let me know, I'd love to read it.

Blmtlandscapes
01-29-2010, 01:39 PM
I guess I should have added that Im the one driving and I have to pick up and drop off my employees. I have been paying them for drive time anyway and I will continue to do so. I just wanted to check to see what eveyone else does.

CMerLand
01-29-2010, 01:51 PM
To CMerland. First of you wont find anything about me whining, because I don't whine and cry and I have had the same employees for 4 years. Second, I'm not heartless. I'm an employer who pays for labor. My employees are paid well, picked up at there home
everyday, there given uniforms, a summer and winter bonus and a few times I actually paid there rent. P.S. when you find that thread your looking for, let me know, I'd love to read it.

I didn't and wouldn't waste the time to look for or read your threads. And seeing that you dont follow the labor laws by not paying your guys for drive time, I'd also question your statements above. I guess it possible you do pay well (Darn now im curious what you consider well paid), just not for all the hours the guys are on the job for you. But hey, I'm sure if you told these guys tommorrow that you were really supposed to pay them for all that travel time over the past four years, they would all say "No thanks boss, we didn't really need that money. It was our pleasure just to drive home with you for free."

Would love to be there in the room, when your in a state wage and hour audit and hear you explain how you only pay drive time one way.

Jim Bo
01-29-2010, 03:47 PM
To Cmerland: I'm more than happy to break down what my employees make. 2 of them make $12.00 an hour and the other makes $13.00 an hour. None of them have a drivers license so I have to pick them up and return them home. I think there a great crew and will do anything for them and have many times. But at the end of the day that's it, the clock stops.

Mahoney3223
01-29-2010, 03:47 PM
if your that worried about paying drive time your probably not charging enough and you are losing your a$$ on that labor part. raise your prices or get tighter routes....no employee is going to sign up for a job with that stipulation. not to mention is illegal. you get one pita employee turn you in, your done for. do it right or don't do it all!!

Think Green
01-29-2010, 04:39 PM
I couldn't help but comment on a thread like this.
First of all this is your company whether it is a multi crew or single crew operation. Labor rates are Federal and all laws apply!! Your CPA knows all of these laws and if the time sheets, w-2's, and 1099 forms aren't filled out correctly, then you need a new staff member. If a bonus is part of their wage at the end of the year, then some of these little windshield time altercations are fair but time spent in the truck is a legitimate time payable.
I can remember a similar lawsuit with Wal-Mart. The employees were to enter the store, walk to the back to put on their smock and walk to the front of the store to clock in. They were shorted 10-16 minutes per work day at the time of starting work and clocking out in the evening. Wal-Mart lost-------they had to pay back wages and tax's! Lowe's used to have this rediculous system called--Chinese overtime to all salaried employees. They were based a pay on 45 hours a week and any hour over that rate was paid out at half of that hourly rate. Lowe's was sued and lost..........wages paid and tax's. There has been numerous lawsiuts involving employee fairness acts. If we are in the business of screwing our employees,then we need to go back to solo operations.
I will be first in saying on this public forum, that these questions are subjected to undercover State Tax Auditors, so watch what you say and do!!!!!
I like to put myself in the situation of the employee, and if I am not willing to be schmeckled, then are you willing??

Jim Bo
01-29-2010, 04:58 PM
OK, fair enough. nviewlandscaping and myself are in the same situation. Both of us pick are employees up and take them home. I'am a licensed landscaper in Maryland. I will quote my states policy on this " An employee must be paid for all time that the employer requires an employee to be at work, including driving time from the employer's place of business to the work site and back to the place of business". The problem is my employees never come to the shop. I called the state when I was getting licensed and they said since my employees don't report to a shop that there place of work is the job site. I pay them 1 way, I don't charge to pick them up or take them home, I think it is fair to the employees, to me and I think I have adheared to the states laws.

nobagger
01-29-2010, 05:04 PM
Some days we have a 45 min commute each way to get to some of our bigger estate properties. Do you guys pay employees for drive time when paying by the hour?

Ahhhh yeah. There might be some law against not paying EMPLOYEE'S for the time they are working. Is this a serious question? :confused:

Blmtlandscapes
01-29-2010, 05:39 PM
Again, I do pay my employees for drive time anyway, I know plenty of people that dont. A lot of people in other professions have long commutes to work and dont get paid for it so I dont think its that crazy of a question. Anyway thanks for the responses I think we can call the discussion closed before it turns into an unecessary rant.

echeandia
01-29-2010, 06:35 PM
I pick up my employee and drop him off at the end of the day. He clocks in when we get to the garage where I store the trailer and clocks out after we drop it off. He gets paid for everything in between.

CMerLand
01-29-2010, 07:20 PM
Theres a difference between commuting to work and commuting while at work. If someone has an hour drive to get to you, obviously they are not paid. But once they get in the truck and drive an hour to your job they're on your dime. Glad lawnsite could answer your question, and maybe those who we're shorting their guys will now do the right thing.

nobagger
01-29-2010, 10:52 PM
Again, I do pay my employees for drive time anyway, I know plenty of people that dont. A lot of people in other professions have long commutes to work and dont get paid for it so I dont think its that crazy of a question. Anyway thanks for the responses I think we can call the discussion closed before it turns into an unecessary rant.

Ok so if you worked in a big city and you had to be at work by 7am and you had to leave your house by 5am in order to get there by 7am you would expect that company to pay you for the extra 2 hours? Good luck with that. And on the flip side if you were a delivery guy and only got paid while making the actual delivery, you would have a long day with no pay.

sdk1959
01-30-2010, 01:28 AM
It's legal as long as they average at least the minimum wage per hour. See link below. This arrangement would be feasible for lawn care accounts where you know how long it should take to cut a property and pay a fair commission.

But you have to make it worth it to them so they will "average" $1-3 an hour more than if they were paid hourly including drive time.

The upside to paying a commission per property is they will work more efficiently and with a "sense of urgency" to get the job done. When your route gets tighter and you get better equipment there is less drive time and your more productive on site which translates to higher income for both you and your employees. A hourly employee will see a tighter route as more work per hour and less drive time. You also know exactly what your labor will cost weekly, negating factors such as extra time cutting tall grass due to rain between cuts for example.:)

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs20.htm

echeandia
01-30-2010, 08:06 AM
SDK, You are referring to Piece Rate not Commision. A Commision is pay for the sale of an item. The Piece Rate is for performing units of work and being paid for each unit. The page I believe you want to refer to is http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs39D.htm, which discusses factoring in wait time to determine if they have made minimum wage.

However, I believe you are wrong in using Piece work as the method of paying your employees. You should be going by the following regulation which specifically mentions travel between job sites and how they should be handled:http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs22.htm.

You are going down a slippery slope my friend.

nobagger
01-30-2010, 08:45 AM
It's legal as long as they average at least the minimum wage per hour. See link below. This arrangement would be feasible for lawn care accounts where you know how long it should take to cut a property and pay a fair commission.

But you have to make it worth it to them so they will "average" $1-3 an hour more than if they were paid hourly including drive time.

The upside to paying a commission per property is they will work more efficiently and with a "sense of urgency" to get the job done. When your route gets tighter and you get better equipment there is less drive time and your more productive on site which translates to higher income for both you and your employees. A hourly employee will see a tighter route as more work per hour and less drive time. You also know exactly what your labor will cost weekly, negating factors such as extra time cutting tall grass due to rain between cuts for example.:)

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs20.htm

If you are paying commission, sounds like your trying to make them a sub contractor and... if they are using YOUR equipment, YOUR trucks etc to get to a job site under YOUR direction etc. then they are an employee. Sub contracting employees or paying employee's like a sub is a very sticky subject.

sdk1959
01-30-2010, 11:05 AM
If you are paying commission, sounds like your trying to make them a sub contractor and... if they are using YOUR equipment, YOUR trucks etc to get to a job site under YOUR direction etc. then they are an employee. Sub contracting employees or paying employee's like a sub is a very sticky subject.

Wrong on many levels. YOU have to classify them with the IRS as a sub and pay them as a subcontractor, which means you don't withhold taxes and file a 1099 for them at the end of the year.Totally different arrangement. Has nothing to do with who owns and uses the equipment. Did you read the link in the posting? It spells it out. As long as they average the minimum wage or better and you keep track of the hours worked it's perfectly ok with the IRS. Terminex technicians for example are paid commissions on the accounts they service.

I have worked as a subcontractor in the past and know the tax rules very well. Long story short- I worked part-time as a subcontractor doing electronics work one year in the early 90's and used H&R Block for my taxes. Needless to say, they had me owing the IRS almost $2000.00. I didn't have the money then and it didn't seem right so I didn't file, then that summer a friend also said that didn't sound right and recommended a accountant he uses and I still use. This woman knew the tax rules backwards and forwards, filed an extension, took all these deductions I was entitled to that H&R Block didn't and not only did I not owe any money I got a REFUND of $612.00!!! She said H&R Block might as well filed a EZ form because they took no deductions at all.

She told me then the IRS is to be respected NOT FEARED. I abide by that advice to this day. In 2007 she got me out of a problem with some short sale stock trades. IRS had me making money on trades I lost money on. Refiled 2007 return with more proof, IRS admitted their mistake, case closed.

If you don't have a good accountant find one, their so worth it. Don't depend on Turbo Tax or some other lame software to do your taxes.