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View Full Version : We didn't take a break today! ?????


Mow Man
09-01-2010, 06:25 PM
So, here we go again! Honestly, we have a real good group of guys. The fact is, my problem (or my advantage) is that I have been on both sides of the fence. I have introduced a policy a couple of weeks ago that I will be taking .5 hours a day from their time. I feel strongly that they need a real break and I also know that they do get breaks and don't write them on their daily work sheets. Today, they came back from a very profitable and busy day and the "no break" notation was on their sheet. As a matter of princapal, I want to hold to my policy b/c if they start this again I feel I have lost control. Any thoughts or ideas?

MarcSmith
09-01-2010, 06:43 PM
Union shop here,,,one hour of breaks. .5 paid .5 unpaid. no if and or buts about it. being that my guys are pretty much visible is some doesn't take a break I know about it and I'll send him home .5 hour early..

your guys ill take time, water breaks ciggy breaks, hold the shovel breaks, ect.. which I would consider thei r paid breaks....lunch is their unpaid break...hate to force people to stop working, but its sets up rules and boundaries...gotta follow the bosses rules...

Mow Man
09-01-2010, 07:15 PM
Mr. Mark
We are certainly on the same page!

Thanks for the reply

Mickhippy
09-01-2010, 07:18 PM
Its no wonder a lot of you guys have trouble keeping good workers! I obviously dont know what your retention rate is but if you nickel and dimed me I would be out the door quick smart, along with every other Aussie. And if I stayed I would go on a "go slow" protest!
Getting water, going to the loo, taking a breather are a necessity and should NOT be considered breaks.

I read a lot on this site and I have to say, you guys are sooooo cheap! What are you paying your guys? How many guys? I generally see 4 guys at average $12/hr. At that rate its only costing you $24 for a half hour break, that keeps guys fresher and happier. Happy workers are more profitable than unhappy!

The OP said "they came back from a very profitable and busy day" and he's still complaining! How much is that half hour costing you? If you had a very profitable day, reward the guys, dont ***** about a few dollars extra each!
If you were unhappy with how much they got done, then you have reason to complain!

Mow Man
09-01-2010, 07:50 PM
Hey Diamond Jim, I guess I haven't made it too the top yet like you have! Or Have you? Cheap I am not- A smart business man I am! Do you believe in boundaries, policies, procedures, and getting respect by running a tight ship and having guys want to work for you, maybe you should do the math on this one. Also, have you ever thought of leaving the 3,4,5% or more on the table of a 500K per year business because you are foolish with your money. I work too hard for that, maybe you aren't concerned about 15-25,000.00, I am!

I guess maybe some day I'll meet you at the top-as you are falling back down!

nepatsfan
09-01-2010, 07:54 PM
Hey Diamond Jim, I guess I haven't made it too the top yet like you have! Or Have you? Cheap I am not- A smart business man I am! Do you believe in boundaries, policies, procedures, and getting respect by running a tight ship and having guys want to work for you, maybe you should do the math on this one. Also, have you ever thought of leaving the 3,4,5% or more on the table of a 500K per year business because you are foolish with your money. I work too hard for that, maybe you aren't concerned about 15-25,000.00, I am!

I guess maybe some day I'll meet you at the top-as you are falling back down!

If you already know the answer then why are you asking?

gene gls
09-01-2010, 08:49 PM
Most states have laws in place that require employees to take breaks.

Mow Man
09-01-2010, 10:05 PM
I am only looking for feedback. Maybe you should read a little bit before you open your mouth. I didn't ask a question, I posed a situation and am looking for some opinions on this subject. I can see this is going to be an interesting one! I guess I can wait and have problems with the labor board or let my guys just run my business for me. I wonder how that would work out?

zak406
09-01-2010, 10:43 PM
At my other job my employer today bitched at me for not taking a lunch break every day. Im gonna put it as simple as this (keep in mind this has nothing to do with landscaping biz) **** him I get off at 430 start at 8 I like to not take lunches so i can leave a half hour early and be home at 4 instead of 430. And before you ask yes i truly do work all day with maybe 2 small 5-10 min breaks. End result it pisses me off.... One more reason why i strive to own my own company.... Now dont get me wrong there is nothing wrong with taking breaks and if i had employees I would have no problem with that, however myself, I dont like taking breaks it disrupts my work day.....

Btw I also know my own limits if I need a lunch break on a particular day I will take one but its once in a blue moon that i need one....
Maybe this is more a rant than anything else but I dont see the point in making somebody take a break if they dont need one.......... Its rather friggin agitating...

kilgoja
09-01-2010, 11:50 PM
lol...i dunno...you guys need to loosen up a little...i mean this is the reason i got into lawn care was to get away from "running a tight ship" mode...i worked in an auto factory with 2-10 min breaks a day and 30min for lunch (10 min of that was spent walking to and from the lunchroom) lol and another 10 getting your food and paying for it so basically had 10min to eat lunch!!!...are you seriuos?...this isn't the marines or anything lol....maybe you have to do that since you have a big crew of people but that's why i work alone and for myself ...i can work at my own pace and do what i want whenever i want...it's like freedom...that's more important to me than making alot of money...i mean i do work and i don't slack off all day but i'm not running around like a chicken with it's head cut off either lol...i mean it gets to be a 100 degrees for like a month here in the summer so i take a water/gatorade break before and after every yard lol

nepatsfan
09-02-2010, 07:01 AM
I am only looking for feedback. Maybe you should read a little bit before you open your mouth. I didn't ask a question, I posed a situation and am looking for some opinions on this subject. I can see this is going to be an interesting one! I guess I can wait and have problems with the labor board or let my guys just run my business for me. I wonder how that would work out?

No need to be rude but the sentence fragmant "Any thoughts or ideas" is a question. People give you ideas and you trash them. No need for it.

MarcSmith
09-02-2010, 07:09 AM
its not about the nickle and diming, it not about a power trip....it about simple rules...today its about not taking a break. tomorrows it about not wearing a uniform, the next day its not keep good track of what you did at a particular home, the next day its not telling the boss about a broken piece of equipment, not weraing safety glasses, and so on.......it is the proverbial. give em an inch they take a mile...

we are not on a Caribbean cruise here. were are making money. More importantly it is about keeping money on MY table, I make no bones about it. that is my first priority.....Because then the chips fall, I could have let every employee go and become a solo op again...much easier to downsize.....

I have been at GU for 7 years. I have 20 employees. 2 have retired, 5 have been terminated one died...no one has quit....When I ran my own business in Florida, no one quit....

While it may seem like enforcing seeming simple rules and being a hardass, but its not, its about keeping a tight ship, a laid back do as your care atmosphere won't make you money in the service business...and its about being fair. same rules apply to everyone...

Mickhippy
09-02-2010, 08:58 AM
Sorry Marc, my comments wernt really directed at you per say except that getting a drink and going to the loo is just part of being a person, something we all NEED to do to survive, even the Queen and Obama. Its the great equaliser!

Its a mute point though. What really is a 30min paid break? If a worker doesnt take a drink or shyt etc all day, you'll pay him for that 30mins. Is that correct? What happens if he dosnt take a drink all day and keels over and ends in hospital so he can get 30mins paid? Basically, your 30mins paid is rubbish and is or should be just part of a normal day! Your just allowing for 30mins for getting a drink, taking a dump or catching ya breathe while digging a hole. (phone calls etc are obviously not what Im talking about here)

If guys are landscaping, they need a 30min break generally. I know there is no way in hell I could of gone all day without a sit down and something to eat.
Doing lawns is different IMO. Due to the "breaks" between jobs, I can understand them not really needing a 30min sit down lunch break. However, they should still be paid for that 30mins or be able to leave 30min early. Its not costing you anything!


I agree that there should be rules and guide lines for workers to adhere to, I also agree that its about making money for you, the business owner. But moral, respect etc will make you more money in the end. Like Ive said, a happy worker is a good worker. A good worker is a profitable worker.

Maybe I read the OP wrong, Im not sure now. All I saw was that he wants to deduct 30mins of work time from his workers. Correct me if I read it wrong!
Did they work X hours and get back to shop 30mins early? Or did they work X+30mins?

This all reminds me of pervious posts like... "I dont pay my guys on way to first job, between jobs or on the trip back to the shop!"

Mark Oomkes
09-02-2010, 08:58 AM
Most states have laws in place that require employees to take breaks.

I would say many, not most. This is a common fallacy that continues to be perpetuated.

For the OP:

http://www.llr.state.sc.us/labor/wages/index.asp?file=faq.htm

Q. Does my employer have to provide me with breaks and time for lunch/dinner during the day?

A. There is no requirement under South Carolina law for an employer to provide employees with breaks or a lunch period.

For gene (in case you didn't know):

http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=cagoterminal&L=3&L0=Home&L1=Workplace+Rights&L2=Wage+and+Hour&sid=Cago&b=terminalcontent&f=workplace_meal_breaks&csid=Cago

Massachusetts law states that employees must receive a 30-minute break after six hours of working. An employee must be free to leave the workplace during the break. An employee can voluntarily give up the meal break, but must be paid for all hours worked. Compensation for the 30-minute meal break must be paid if the employee has voluntarily agreed to waive his or her meal break by (1) working through his or her meal break, or (2) remaining on the premises at the request of the employer during the meal break. The break period may be unpaid. Certain exemptions from this requirement can be found in M.G.L. c. 149, s. 101.

As for the OP's question, I have a struggle with this also and have to lay the law down better. Smoke breaks, sitting in the truck water breaks, etc are getting excessive.

While I don't want to be a prick, efficiency is everything in this economy and industry. Time is what we sell and we can't get it back if it's wasted. And if employee breaks are not figured into the overall labor cost, we do lose money.

As for the guys that don't think running a tight ship is necessary, you need to take some business management classes and become better educated about managing a business.

MarcSmith
09-02-2010, 09:11 AM
mick, never thought you had directed anything at me...:)

Mickhippy
09-02-2010, 09:22 AM
This site is getting worse and worse with you assholes that attack "posters" for there threads. I mean its like yall lay in the weeds and waith for a thread in which you can bash someone or point our how they are just totally wrong when all they are looking for is a damn discussion and ideas not a freaking argument. I am not directing this at McHippie he 9 out of 10 times is very helpful in his posts.

McHippie is usually not this type guy, I am not defending his refute to the OP, just saying he is usually helpful in all his posts. I didnt read the post like Mc did, I read it as if the OP was trying to make em take breaks for their safety and moral, not because he is cheap.

Very nice of you to say! Thank you!:drinkup:

Ive worked for cheap azz boss's before and thats why Im just trying to explain from the workers point of view. I worked for one guy 4yrs. Was 2yrs before he even bought us a beer! He would make us move mountains of compacted soil by shovel to save $10 on a bobcat. Little did he know that because it was so difficult, we were buggered in the afternoon, so it ended up costing him in the long run. I could go on but that'll do for now!

I see $10, $11, $12/hr mentioned all the time here. That sort of money was min wage back in the early 90's here. I have a hard time understanding when we're talking such low wages! Im obviously missing something here!

I guess Im just going in to bat for the worker and yes, maybe I did read the OP wrong.
If I did, I apologise!

Texas Lawn
09-02-2010, 10:45 AM
its all about trade offs. I am all about running an efficient crew but you have to balance it for youself as well as the employees. Ill let them take extra long breaks every now and then or let them go home early sometimes. They appreciate it, they dont see this as an opportunity to screw over the boss in the future but rather someone who appreciates them. I also tied compensation to efficiency and productivity. They were a lot more productive then, and if for some reason they werent, i didnt have to pay for it.

Outdoor_Maintenance_2010
09-02-2010, 01:25 PM
Its no wonder a lot of you guys have trouble keeping good workers! I obviously dont know what your retention rate is but if you nickel and dimed me I would be out the door quick smart, along with every other Aussie. And if I stayed I would go on a "go slow" protest!
Getting water, going to the loo, taking a breather are a necessity and should NOT be considered breaks.

I read a lot on this site and I have to say, you guys are sooooo cheap! What are you paying your guys? How many guys? I generally see 4 guys at average $12/hr. At that rate its only costing you $24 for a half hour break, that keeps guys fresher and happier. Happy workers are more profitable than unhappy!

The OP said "they came back from a very profitable and busy day" and he's still complaining! How much is that half hour costing you? If you had a very profitable day, reward the guys, dont ***** about a few dollars extra each!
If you were unhappy with how much they got done, then you have reason to complain!

I have to agree with ^^

your guys dont have to be machine's, ciggy brakes,and shovel brakes are max 5 mins,what would happend if your guys left all at once? you'll be stuck
respect your guys and if they respect you. i pay my guys breakfast sometimes...and the know i expect hard work and they do it,

if you guys want non stop working guy contact toyota for them to make u a robot that will work non stop

Outdoor_Maintenance_2010
09-02-2010, 01:42 PM
over here,here how it works

My employer has an obligation to give me a break?
According to the Law on labor standards, the employer is not obliged to grant a coffee break, but if he does, he must pay.

When am I entitled to a meal break?
The employer must give 30-minute meal break after five consecutive hours of work. This break is not paid, unless it is not allowed to leave his post during this period.

I worked with a guy, and it was like 100 outside,i reach in my lunch box to get a pepsi..start drinking my boss goes by and since what are u doing? im like I'm drinking,then he continues doing his stuff..i could tell it piss him of i was drinking,but why? im not allowed to drink? when i work with him i never ever get to go lunch..he doesnt give a crap about me not getting something to eat...so yea i quit not to long after...what an ass...

MarcSmith
09-02-2010, 01:59 PM
your guys dont have to be machine's, ciggy brakes,and shovel brakes are max 5 mins,

I've never seen one guy smoke just one ciggy in a day... usually 5-6. which means 25-30 minutes. unless they really huff one down... and while one guys taking a ciggy break another guy who doesn't smoke is chatting with him.

guys while a 5 minute break seems like no big deal... if you add up all the 5 minute breaks....you will see how much $$$ is going up in smoke...your employees are spending YOUR MONEY.

lets say a guy spends juts 5 minutes each day. picking his nose, scratching his ***, whatever. 5 days in a week 52 weeks in a year. 25 minutes in one week, or 21.6 hours per man per 5 minute break....... or half of one weeks pay....I'm not talking about grabbing a swig of water from the cooler, or draining willy. I'm talking about the mosey back to the trailer light up, re string the trimmer, finish smoking. head back out. run out of gas because he forgot to top off while restringing, come back, light up again...someone like that...wont' last a week. and by and large the crews don't want a lazy SOB working with them..since one slow guy brings the crew down.. And whats really worse, when th e guys who mow and change job location 15 times a day and are driving in the truck for 5-10 minutes and then take a break on the site. WTF you've just been in the truck for 5-10 minutes you should be somewhat recharged and ready to hit the ground once your pull up...call it lack of hustle, or no sense of urgency...its just aggravated me to now end

Case in point. today I had a job for my equipment operator and gardener. I needed the high reach brought up to look at some trees and do some high level pruning. operator would be up in the bucket gardener on the ground spotting for people Operator came in drove the high reach up. than came back down tot he garage to get his pruners and saw...and then by the time he got back up to the site he had about 30 minutes of work before break...I know its my job, but a guy whose been here 20 years making 20+ an hour I should not have to label every single step ABCD and so on...

I'm not asking for machine..I know this is hard work. I did not get to be where I am today by graduating directly to management. I know about hard work...I bring my guys food, have cook outs, let em go early sometimes on fridays...but the key is its my decision to do those things. When the workers start deciding on their own how they want to spend my money...is when I start having heart burn...

Mark Oomkes
09-02-2010, 02:13 PM
I've never seen one guy smoke just one ciggy in a day... usually 5-6. which means 25-30 minutes. unless they really huff one down... and while one guys taking a ciggy break another guy who doesn't smoke is chatting with him.

guys while a 5 minute break seems like no big deal... if you add up all the 5 minute breaks....you will see how much $$$ is going up in smoke...your employees are spending YOUR MONEY.

lets say a guy spends juts 5 minutes each day. picking his nose, scratching his *** , whatever. 5 days in a week 52 weeks in a year. 25 minutes in one week, or 21.6 hours per man per 5 minute break....... or half of one weeks pay....I'm not talking about grabbing a swig of water from the cooler, or draining willy. I'm talking about the mosey back to the trailer light up, re string the trimmer, finish smoking. head back out. run out of gas because he forgot to top off while restringing, come back, light up again...someone like that...wont' last a week. and by and large the crews don't want a lazy SOB working with them..since one slow guy brings the crew down.. And whats really worse, when th e guys who mow and change job location 15 times a day and are driving in the truck for 5-10 minutes and then take a break on the site. WTF you've just been in the truck for 5-10 minutes you should be somewhat recharged and ready to hit the ground once your pull up...call it lack of hustle, or no sense of urgency...its just aggravated me to now end

Case in point. today I had a job for my equipment operator and gardener. I needed the high reach brought up to look at some trees and do some high level pruning. operator would be up in the bucket gardener on the ground spotting for people Operator came in drove the high reach up. than came back down tot he garage to get his pruners and saw...and then by the time he got back up to the site he had about 30 minutes of work before break...I know its my job, but a guy whose been here 20 years making 20+ an hour I should not have to label every single step ABCD and so on...

I'm not asking for machine..I know this is hard work. I did not get to be where I am today by graduating directly to management. I know about hard work...I bring my guys food, have cook outs, let em go early sometimes on fridays...but the key is its my decision to do those things. When the workers start deciding on their own how they want to spend my money...is when I start having heart burn...

Glad to see someone gets it.

But I knew you did.

yardguy28
09-02-2010, 03:09 PM
i think forcing breaks or docking pay for break time when no break is taken is not fair and not a good idea.

i'm solo and there are plenty of days when i take no break other than the drive inbetween properties and stopping at the gas station to use the bathroom.

by law if your 18 or older you do NOT HAVE TO take a break. yes as an employer they have to be allowed but you don't have to take advantage of them.

now if your guys are consistently take breaks and not putting them on there time sheets then yes you could dock them for those breaks but i would think by law you would have to actually be able to prove they took the breaks. the only way you can do that is by actually seeing it with your own 2 eyes.

if there scheduled hours are say 8am to 5pm with a half an hour lunch and they don't take that half an hour lunch you have to pay them the whole 9 hours. you can't just dock there pay because you don't want to pay them that half an hour and you would prefer they take a break. you can't make someone take a break.

if i worked for you and you did that to my check and were trying to force me to take a break when i didn't want to i'd be on the phone to lawyer and seeing you in court.

i've worked for places before like big box stores like menards and target and even though they offer the breaks i wouldn't always take them. sometimes i left work half an hour early sometimes i stayed the whole shift. it all depended on what work needed to be done and what the boss would allow.

if given the option to work 8am to 5pm with half an hour lunch or 8am to 4:30pm i would always take the later.

i'm not an expert on law but i would guess unless you have seen them taking breaks and not recording it with your own eyes you have to pay them for the whole shift.

Outdoor_Maintenance_2010
09-02-2010, 03:09 PM
I've never seen one guy smoke just one ciggy in a day... usually 5-6. which means 25-30 minutes. unless they really huff one down... and while one guys taking a ciggy break another guy who doesn't smoke is chatting with him.

guys while a 5 minute break seems like no big deal... if you add up all the 5 minute breaks....you will see how much $$$ is going up in smoke...your employees are spending YOUR MONEY.

lets say a guy spends juts 5 minutes each day. picking his nose, scratching his ***, whatever. 5 days in a week 52 weeks in a year. 25 minutes in one week, or 21.6 hours per man per 5 minute break....... or half of one weeks pay....I'm not talking about grabbing a swig of water from the cooler, or draining willy. I'm talking about the mosey back to the trailer light up, re string the trimmer, finish smoking. head back out. run out of gas because he forgot to top off while restringing, come back, light up again...someone like that...wont' last a week. and by and large the crews don't want a lazy SOB working with them..since one slow guy brings the crew down.. And whats really worse, when th e guys who mow and change job location 15 times a day and are driving in the truck for 5-10 minutes and then take a break on the site. WTF you've just been in the truck for 5-10 minutes you should be somewhat recharged and ready to hit the ground once your pull up...call it lack of hustle, or no sense of urgency...its just aggravated me to now end

Case in point. today I had a job for my equipment operator and gardener. I needed the high reach brought up to look at some trees and do some high level pruning. operator would be up in the bucket gardener on the ground spotting for people Operator came in drove the high reach up. than came back down tot he garage to get his pruners and saw...and then by the time he got back up to the site he had about 30 minutes of work before break...I know its my job, but a guy whose been here 20 years making 20+ an hour I should not have to label every single step ABCD and so on...

I'm not asking for machine..I know this is hard work. I did not get to be where I am today by graduating directly to management. I know about hard work...I bring my guys food, have cook outs, let em go early sometimes on fridays...but the key is its my decision to do those things. When the workers start deciding on their own how they want to spend my money...is when I start having heart burn...

Just don't get guys that smoke youll gain all that time back...
even then ive seen guys work with cigarettes in there mouths
The point is..you have pro's and con's on a employee,,he might be big smoker/time killer
but if on the week end u need a guy to work..and no one awesers the phone except him and he accepts to come in...what would u think of that?

if he start calculating all time that is lose in a week,months and a year
stuff u cant do anything about..u can emprove things but youll still loose some time,try to calculate time for traveling or time you waste on some bids that you didnt have...

yardguy28
09-02-2010, 03:20 PM
Most states have laws in place that require employees to take breaks.

actually i think you have it backwards......

most states have laws in place that require employers to offer breaks. whether the employee actually takes them is a whole different story.

most of the jobs i've worked at i've only ever taken a lunch break. even though other breaks where offered throughout the day.

when i worked at menards you got a 15 min. break i believe it was for every 2 hours of work you did. it was either 6 or 8 hours that you got a half an hour lunch. when i worked there i was a smoker so i actually took my 15 min. breaks. but when i worked at target the same break policy was in effect and i only took my half an hour lunch. worked 4 hours took a lunch and then finished my shift and went home.

i could be wrong about the states requiring employees taking breaks though. maybe i live in one that doesn't require them to take breaks.

i'm thankfull for these kinds of threads though because being solo i'm learning how much of a headache hiring help would be if i go through the legal and correct way of hiring someone. actually makes me not wanna hire someone at all. because if i do i'm not gonna let them take any break (extremely hot days are the exception) except a lunch and what time we spend driving inbetween jobs. and if my state requires that employees take breaks every so often then i don't think i will be hiring anyone.

Mark Oomkes
09-02-2010, 03:24 PM
by law if your 18 or older you do NOT HAVE TO take a break. yes as an employer they have to be allowed but you don't have to take advantage of them.

i'm not an expert on law but i would guess unless you have seen them taking breaks and not recording it with your own eyes you have to pay them for the whole shift.

most states have laws in place that require employers to offer breaks. whether the employee actually takes them is a whole different story.

See underlined. Obviously, because you are incorrect in your statement that employers HAVE to allow breaks. I've posted link after link after link from states that do not have these requirements. Some do, many do not.

All you need to do is google your state and employee breaks and you will find a link to your state's DOL site explaining it.

I'm no expert in law either, but I can google and tell someone what their state requires.

yardguy28
09-02-2010, 03:27 PM
See underlined. Obviously, because you are incorrect in your statement that employers HAVE to allow breaks. I've posted link after link after link from states that do not have these requirements. Some do, many do not.

All you need to do is google your state and employee breaks and you will find a link to your state's DOL site explaining it.

I'm no expert in law either, but I can google and tell someone what their state requires.

i did not google any state. only going by what i know my state requires. and the only reason i know that is because i worked as a manager at a carwash and did hiring so i was educated on IN law.

i guess i figured it was that way everywhere.....thats what i get for assume ing

Mark Oomkes
09-02-2010, 03:35 PM
i did not google any state. only going by what i know my state requires. and the only reason i know that is because i worked as a manager at a carwash and did hiring so i was educated on IN law.

i guess i figured it was that way everywhere.....thats what i get for @#!*% ume ing

Good thing you gave the disclaimer that you're not an expert in the law.

Apparently you didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night either because you are also wrong and ignorant of Indiana laws about employee breaks.

http://www.in.gov/dol/2345.htm#B4

Are employers required to provide breaks to employees?
Indiana state law does not generally require employers to provide rest breaks, meal breaks, or breaks for other purposes to adult employees. Minor employees (under 18 years of age) who work six or more hours in a shift must be given one or two breaks totaling at least 30 minutes. These breaks may be taken at any point during the minor's shift. Indiana Administrative Code 610 IAC 10-3-1 requires break logs to be maintained by the employer to document all breaks provided to minor employees.

Certain other categories of workers, such as airline pilots, truck drivers, and workers covered by a union collective bargaining agreement may be entitled to mandatory breaks under other applicable regulations or by contract. Check with the appropriate regulatory agency or with your union representative.

Turf Commando
09-02-2010, 04:02 PM
Good thing you gave the disclaimer that you're not an expert in the law.

Apparently you didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night either because you are also wrong and ignorant of Indiana laws about employee breaks.



Thats funny right there....Thanks Mark for the comical relief...

nepatsfan
09-02-2010, 05:12 PM
Good thing you gave the disclaimer that you're not an expert in the law.

Apparently you didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night either because you are also wrong and ignorant of Indiana laws about employee breaks.

http://www.in.gov/dol/2345.htm#B4

Are employers required to provide breaks to employees?
Indiana state law does not generally require employers to provide rest breaks, meal breaks, or breaks for other purposes to adult employees. Minor employees (under 18 years of age) who work six or more hours in a shift must be given one or two breaks totaling at least 30 minutes. These breaks may be taken at any point during the minor's shift. Indiana Administrative Code 610 IAC 10-3-1 requires break logs to be maintained by the employer to document all breaks provided to minor employees.

Certain other categories of workers, such as airline pilots, truck drivers, and workers covered by a union collective bargaining agreement may be entitled to mandatory breaks under other applicable regulations or by contract. Check with the appropriate regulatory agency or with your union representative.

Since when would he let facts get in the way of a good discussion on lawnsite.

Mow Man
09-02-2010, 05:27 PM
Thanks guys for the input. As the OP that started this thread I was originally pissed at the way that some of you have misread me and my concern. That being said, I do learn a lot from these threads from owners as well as employees.

Just to set the record straight! I do buy my guys coffee, lunches on occasion, make sure they always have ice water on their trucks, take them to the home depot and let them choose the safety glasses that they will actually wear (no $ limit) require them to wear boots, purchase their shirts, make sure all trucks have first aid kits, repair the equipment when it needs it for productivity and safety reasons, offer further education to them etc.... Cheap I am not concerned about safety, labor laws, making sure my guys get a real break (it is tough nout there) and giving as well as demanding respect are some of my concerns!

Mickhippy
09-02-2010, 05:39 PM
Marc, you make good points and I agree, but I dont really see what youve said as relevant to the OP.
His guys got everything done and was happy with profits etc. They were obviously working efficiently!
Your talking ciggy breaks an being totally non efficient (leaving pruners on ground, not fuelling etc.)

We need to separate these workers onto 2 different things I think. There are "landscapers" (pavers, new gardens, retaining walls, new house landscapes). And there are "gardeners" (pruning, a couple of new plants, mowing, a little mulch, garden maintenance)

Landscapers are on site for many hours. These guys are on the shovel. This can be VERY hard work. These guys deserve what we call "smoko" or morning tea break. Its only 15min but will really help with production as the guys get to refuel. Landscapers will take a breather half way through digging a hole, they will get a drink, they will cool off in the shade and this should all be ok with any boss. Fresh and fuelled workers are better workers. Same applies for 30min lunch except this is unpaid.

Gardeners have many sites in a day and get breaks between each one. They get air con, a chance to have a drink, smoke etc between jobs. They should not need a "smoko" break but still need lunch or food to refuel. This would generally be non paid. But, if the guys are eating & drinking between jobs, are happy, fuelled and fresh then they dont really need a lunch break, I personally think it should be there call! I would NOT want to see any of these guys standing around chatting, smoking etc unless its a large multi hour job. A multi hour job would be treated as "Landscaper" with allowance for drinks etc. Sitting on a rider is not included in that!
If they get everything done in the time allowed then no boss should complain about efficiency!

I guess Im feeling that many loose touch with how difficult these jobs are or can be. Its easy to sit behind a desk or drive around doing quotes. Those who manage and dont actually do any of the work themselves should get out on the tools on occasion!

Mickhippy
09-02-2010, 05:45 PM
Thanks guys for the input. As the OP that started this thread I was originally pissed at the way that some of you have misread me and my concern. That being said, I do learn a lot from these threads from owners as well as employees.

Just to set the record straight! I do buy my guys coffee, lunches on occasion, make sure they always have ice water on their trucks, take them to the home depot and let them choose the safety glasses that they will actually wear (no $ limit) require them to wear boots, purchase their shirts, make sure all trucks have first aid kits, repair the equipment when it needs it for productivity and safety reasons, offer further education to them etc.... Cheap I am not concerned about safety, labor laws, making sure my guys get a real break (it is tough nout there) and giving as well as demanding respect are some of my concerns!

I know I shouldnt of called you cheap. I must of read your post wrong. Sounded to me like you wanted to deduct 30min pay after they've worked it.
If I got it wrong, I apologise!

Mow Man
09-02-2010, 05:47 PM
Mickhippy, after your tirait towards me you have settled down qute a bit as have I. I will admit to you that you make some very valid points and that is truley what I was seeking from the start. I do care a lot about my guys and I do make it a point to get in the trenches with them. I will be reconsidering my views and stooing on this for a while!

Mow Man
09-02-2010, 05:49 PM
no problem, I look forward to another heated discussion with you and all others with all due respect. I think the next time I'll do the reply"s!!!!

Mickhippy
09-02-2010, 06:05 PM
no problem, I look forward to another heated discussion with you and all others with all due respect. I think the next time I'll do the reply"s!!!!

Naaaa, dont be soft mate. Chew on some concrete and toughen up! haaa joking!

nepatsfan
09-02-2010, 06:06 PM
Naaaa, dont be soft mate. Chew on some concrete and toughen up! haaa joking!

You two go from hating each other to needing a room:drinkup:

Mickhippy
09-02-2010, 06:11 PM
You two go from hating each other to needing a room:drinkup:

He's to cheap to afford me!:laugh:

MarcSmith
09-02-2010, 06:23 PM
mick,

I agree a landscaper/hardscaper that is stuck on a single job site will take shovel breaks, and by and large I don't mind it does depend on the what kind of work is going on. I had several jobs in florida where we were cutting grass all day on the same site....no windshield breaks. and some times you may be 1/4 mile from the truck...not fun, but necessary evil...

but no matter the job, if the boss has rules that says "a 30 minute lunch break deducted from the final hours on the time card" then so be it, those are the rules. While I agree that at some times you can get in a groove and forget to stop for lunch, but being this is a dangerous business and can be hot, humid and very tiring. prime conditions for heat stroke, dehydration, fatigue. the mandate of a break is not just the boss the flexing his muscles, but a way for the boss to "force" his crews to stops, take a break, drink fluids, eat, and rest. IE recharge such that an employee doesn't get hurt or hurt others on the job...

now if the guys came back an hour early finished a job ahead of the projected and the "skipping break" was not a common occurrence I would probably pay them the 8 hours and let them go home...But I would have a word with the crew leader and remind them that breaks are put in place for their safety and well being, quality standards, and safety of the property owners and people around the work site.

Again I feel that if the "transgression" goes unmentioned, then it could be come a common occurrence, which then could become an issue with them taking break anyhow and still coming in after 8 hours away form the shop. in essence working 7.5 hours but getting paid for 8. Which means theft and falsification of the time sheet.. Both grounds for immediate termination...

Mickhippy
09-02-2010, 06:41 PM
Yes, working 7.5hrs and getting paid for 8 is wrong. Totally agree!
I read the OP as, for example, working 8hrs and getting paid for 7.5hrs. That was my mistake!
To be honest, I agree with most of what been said. In fact you WANT, REQUIRE and insist they take lunch! I have absolutely no problem with that.
Its MUCH MUCH better than other posts in the past here of boss's not allowing there guys to have lunch, no pay to, from or between jobs. I REALLY have a problem with that shyt!

I also agree that workers need to know who the boss is and respect his authority. But there are better ways of getting respect than being a hard azz!

Like I said, I screwed up and read the OP wrong. My mistake and Ive been big enough to apologise for that mistake!

So, cant we all just get along?????? haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

txgrassguy
09-02-2010, 06:47 PM
I have an enforced policy - a minimum of .5 hour for lunch plus two 15 minute breaks during the day. One at 0900 and the other at 1400. Period, no questions.
The lunch is an unpaid break only.
I have one set rule, it is inviolate and nonnegotiable - I own the company therefore I set the rules, play by the rules and you have a job - try to jack around with the "I missed lunch/break" or the "I know better than you/why aren't you out here all of the time" bullshit and you are out on your ear.
Do I know it all, Nope - not a chance. Do I care? Sometimes.
But what I do know works very well for me as I have a continual six to eight week backlog of both new clients plus existing "add on" work for long time clients.
What you get when you work with me is a guaranteed paycheck each Friday, a safe working environment and if you have two brain cells firing together a bunch of on the job training including correct irrigation and chemical application - in short a bunch of skills.
What you won't get is unrealistic performance goals, crappy pay, cobbled together equipment and occasional work.
I'm not playing baseball, there isn't three strikes and your out and I am sure as hell ain't Wendy's - the only one that gets it their way is the client and only if they have a proven payment history.

Mickhippy
09-02-2010, 06:57 PM
I have an enforced policy - a minimum of .5 hour for lunch plus two 15 minute breaks during the day. One at 0900 and the other at 1400. Period, no questions.
The lunch is an unpaid break only.
I have one set rule, it is inviolate and nonnegotiable - I own the company therefore I set the rules, play by the rules and you have a job - try to jack around with the "I missed lunch/break" or the "I know better than you/why aren't you out here all of the time" bullshit and you are out on your ear.
Do I know it all, Nope - not a chance. Do I care? Sometimes.
But what I do know works very well for me as I have a continual six to eight week backlog of both new clients plus existing "add on" work for long time clients.
What you get when you work with me is a guaranteed paycheck each Friday, a safe working environment and if you have two brain cells firing together a bunch of on the job training including correct irrigation and chemical application - in short a bunch of skills.
What you won't get is unrealistic performance goals, crappy pay, cobbled together equipment and occasional work.
I'm not playing baseball, there isn't three strikes and your out and I am sure as hell ain't Wendy's - the only one that gets it their way is the client and only if they have a proven payment history.

Hell, I'd work for you!:usflag:

Its funny you mentioned a 15min break in afternoon. Back in the day, I would of really loved a bit of a break about then. Make the arvo go quicker, keep a littler fresher for the arvo push.

Do you find you get more out of the guys in the afternoon?

clydebusa
09-02-2010, 07:13 PM
mick,

I agree a landscaper/hardscaper that is stuck on a single job site will take shovel breaks, and by and large I don't mind it does depend on the what kind of work is going on. I had several jobs in florida where we were cutting grass all day on the same site....no windshield breaks. and some times you may be 1/4 mile from the truck...not fun, but necessary evil...

but no matter the job, if the boss has rules that says "a 30 minute lunch break deducted from the final hours on the time card" then so be it, those are the rules. While I agree that at some times you can get in a groove and forget to stop for lunch, but being this is a dangerous business and can be hot, humid and very tiring. prime conditions for heat stroke, dehydration, fatigue. the mandate of a break is not just the boss the flexing his muscles, but a way for the boss to "force" his crews to stops, take a break, drink fluids, eat, and rest. IE recharge such that an employee doesn't get hurt or hurt others on the job...

now if the guys came back an hour early finished a job ahead of the projected and the "skipping break" was not a common occurrence I would probably pay them the 8 hours and let them go home...But I would have a word with the crew leader and remind them that breaks are put in place for their safety and well being, quality standards, and safety of the property owners and people around the work site.

Again I feel that if the "transgression" goes unmentioned, then it could be come a common occurrence, which then could become an issue with them taking break anyhow and still coming in after 8 hours away form the shop. in essence working 7.5 hours but getting paid for 8. Which means theft and falsification of the time sheet.. Both grounds for immediate termination...

I agree with every word of this. The break is for them to cool off and recharge.

nepatsfan
09-02-2010, 07:21 PM
He's to cheap to afford me!:laugh:
You're just playing hard to get.:laugh:

Mickhippy
09-02-2010, 07:30 PM
You're just playing hard to get.:laugh:

Nah, Im easy! Just hard and expensive to get to! :walking:

stan the man
09-02-2010, 07:33 PM
i would be taking a lunch

Mow Man
09-02-2010, 08:47 PM
Naaaa, dont be soft mate. Chew on some concrete and toughen up! haaa joking!

OK, MRMICKHIPPY-KMA eat sh.t and croke!!!!!!!!!!!!!Dose that work for ya mate

yardguy28
09-02-2010, 08:53 PM
Good thing you gave the disclaimer that you're not an expert in the law.

Apparently you didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night either because you are also wrong and ignorant of Indiana laws about employee breaks.

http://www.in.gov/dol/2345.htm#B4

Are employers required to provide breaks to employees?
Indiana state law does not generally require employers to provide rest breaks, meal breaks, or breaks for other purposes to adult employees. Minor employees (under 18 years of age) who work six or more hours in a shift must be given one or two breaks totaling at least 30 minutes. These breaks may be taken at any point during the minor's shift. Indiana Administrative Code 610 IAC 10-3-1 requires break logs to be maintained by the employer to document all breaks provided to minor employees.

Certain other categories of workers, such as airline pilots, truck drivers, and workers covered by a union collective bargaining agreement may be entitled to mandatory breaks under other applicable regulations or by contract. Check with the appropriate regulatory agency or with your union representative.

regardless employee's aren't required to take breaks unless your younger than 18 which is what the post i was commenting on said wasn't it??? :confused:

mick,

I agree a landscaper/hardscaper that is stuck on a single job site will take shovel breaks, and by and large I don't mind it does depend on the what kind of work is going on. I had several jobs in florida where we were cutting grass all day on the same site....no windshield breaks. and some times you may be 1/4 mile from the truck...not fun, but necessary evil...

but no matter the job, if the boss has rules that says "a 30 minute lunch break deducted from the final hours on the time card" then so be it, those are the rules. While I agree that at some times you can get in a groove and forget to stop for lunch, but being this is a dangerous business and can be hot, humid and very tiring. prime conditions for heat stroke, dehydration, fatigue. the mandate of a break is not just the boss the flexing his muscles, but a way for the boss to "force" his crews to stops, take a break, drink fluids, eat, and rest. IE recharge such that an employee doesn't get hurt or hurt others on the job...

i think making a rule that you HAVE to take break is wrong. unless your state by law requires it. not everyone needs or wants breaks. and i think if an employee puts in 8 hours no breaks he should get paid 8 hours, not docked half an hour because he should have taken a break.

i won't work for anyone that forces me to do anything i don't want to do. if i want to work through lunch every day i'll work through lunch.

if i ever hire someone they won't be forced by me to take breaks. in fact the only breaks they will be allowed to take are lunch breaks unless it's an extremely hot day, then i'll leave it up to them.

4 seasons lawn&land
09-02-2010, 08:59 PM
I am only looking for feedback. Maybe you should read a little bit before you open your mouth. I didn't ask a question, I posed a situation and am looking for some opinions on this subject. I can see this is going to be an interesting one! I guess I can wait and have problems with the labor board or let my guys just run my business for me. I wonder how that would work out?




no need. Your already at the top.:rolleyes:

Mark Oomkes
09-02-2010, 09:35 PM
most states have laws in place that require employers to offer breaks.

i could be wrong about the states requiring employees taking breaks though. maybe i live in one that doesn't require them to take breaks.

and if my state requires that employees take breaks every so often then i don't think i will be hiring anyone.

only going by what i know my state requires. and the only reason i know that is because i worked as a manager at a carwash and did hiring so i was educated on IN law.


regardless employee's aren't required to take breaks unless your younger than 18 which is what the post i was commenting on said wasn't it??? :confused:

No, but now that I've reread your posts, you have thoroughly contradicted yourself several times as well as confused the whole issue to the point I don't even know what we're talking about anymore.

:dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

:confused::confused::confused::confused:

kilgoja
09-02-2010, 09:44 PM
well about 15 years ago when i worked for a lawn company we never got any breaks...at least not scheduled breaks...i mean our breaks were the 5-10 min driving from house to house throughout the day and we would cut about 10 yards a day so that's like over an hour a day in breaks if you look at it that way....but we still got paid... the lunch time which was prolly 45 min usually and we got paid for 8hrs a day regardless....i mean we had a schedule...10 yards...as long as we got done within 8 hrs (which we always did) then there was never a problem...the work was done...so the money made was enough to pay us for 8 hrs without any problems...i mean we'd take a min or two to get a drink before and after a yard...but we NEVER took breaks during a job...we started and finished a yard without interuption...but we're talking residential houses where each job would take 30min-1hr to complete.....no reason to take a break during that amount of time...can just do it before or after....but i imagine landscaping would be alot different cuz you would be on one job all day long sometimes....i mean i see nothing wrong with grabbing a drink while going to the truck to change trimmer line but i mean don't be up there for 15min lol....just change the line and grab a sip then get back to work...prolly take 5 min at the most....none of us smoked...i'd say if people smoke let them smoke during the time between yards but that would make me sick to ride with them smelling it lol...so i dunno...i prolly wouldn't hire a smoker if it was me because i hate smoke and i don't want the second hand smoke in my lungs lol....i'd say you can smoke while going from house to house but you have to ride in the back of the truck...and stay away from the gas can!!!!

all i want to know is what kind of person never wants to take a break or take lunch???...i always looked forward to having a break to relax a bit

keep in mind we made like $8 an hour back then lol....so maybe you are paying too much per hour? i dunno

yardguy28
09-02-2010, 09:45 PM
No, but now that I've reread your posts, you have thoroughly contradicted yourself several times as well as confused the whole issue to the point I don't even know what we're talking about anymore.

:dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

:confused::confused::confused::confused:

i only changed my mind because of what you posted about indiana law.

when i worked at the carwash as a manager i went through a workshop about employer/employee laws. i was told indiana law require lunch breaks of at least 30 min. if a 6 or more hour shift was worked. you proved me wrong.

i thought this whole thing got started because another member posted that law required EMPLOYEE's to take breaks and i was saying that that was incorrect. i've never seen a law anywhere that requires the employee to take a break.

really the whole point is i don't think the thread starter should be requiring his employees to take breaks and forcing them to take breaks by docking there pay for the break time. i worked for him and put in 8 hours no break every day i expect to be paid 8 hours of work every day.

i'm starting to get confused myself though....thanks mark......:dizzy:

shooterm
09-02-2010, 10:05 PM
Your employees are so stupid you have to instruct them to take lunch.

93Chevy
09-02-2010, 10:14 PM
More points of contention...

What if you have a three-man grass crew where two members complained that they didn't take breaks while the third guy "sat out a lawn" because it was his "lunch" while the other two guys where busting their balls? And come around to the end of the day...all three get the same paycheck.

Anything wrong with that picture?

kilgoja
09-02-2010, 10:16 PM
yeah i meant to talk more about that in my previous post...alot may not see it this way but this is what bugged me about my auto factory job...i mean we worked 8 hr days right?..like a typical 1st shift schedule was 630am-3pm but employers don't take into account i had to wake up at 430am to get ready and drive to work and eat breakfast and get prepared to work(set up my work area off the clock) and then it was 4pm by the time i got cleaned up and got home...so...i basically spent 12hrs a day almost and only got paid for 8hrs...i always here how company time is important and stuff but what about employees and their time?....it doesn't count for much in our society unfortunately...any way you look at it...if you are working for someone else or a company you are getting screwed no matter how well you are getting paid if you wanna get nit picky about it...that's just how it works in america...if you have a full time job your 8hr a day job takes up about 12hrs of your day and we are supposed to sleep 8 hrs a night which never happens if you work for someone or a company...so if you did that leaves you with 4hrs of freetime each day....not very much lol...but employers don't care about an employee's quality of life...all they care about is the bottom line....which is why i quit working for a company and started my own business so i can do it how i see fit...that way i'll have a better quality of life...i mean seriously...i find it hard to believe anyone would work for someone in the lawncare business but alot do...you can make alot more money doing it on your own....and yeah instead of making $8 an hr like i did working for that lawn business in college...now i'm making 5 times as much for the same work...actually easier because back then they would stick me on the trimmer most of the time all day long lol

Mickhippy
09-02-2010, 10:42 PM
OK, MRMICKHIPPY-KMA eat sh.t and croke!!!!!!!!!!!!!Dose that work for ya mate

WTF? Where did that come from? Didnt you read, "joking?"
That "chew on concrete etc" is just messing. Surely its not just an Aussie thing to take the pizz!
Fark, take it easy!:hammerhead:

MarcSmith
09-03-2010, 06:39 AM
i won't work for anyone that forces me to do anything i don't want to do. Fine by me I don't want people working for me that won't follow simple rules.

the law doesn't mandate that you wear safety gear. But I do. if you don't want to wear ear and eyes, boots, proper uniform, ect, no problem....no job...

I know for many people here, they do not have more than a couple, if any employees. And those that have few or no employee's really don't get the big picture of managing many employees and the multitude of personalities and difficulties that come into play. I'd venture to say that managing(baby sitting) 10+ employees is more work than than cutting 30 yards in a day...And I've got in easier than most since my 20 employees are contained to a 114 acre campus.

nepatsfan
09-03-2010, 06:53 AM
Fine by me I don't want people working for me that won't follow simple rules.

the law doesn't mandate that you wear safety gear. But I do. if you don't want to wear ear and eyes, boots, proper uniform, ect, no problem....no job...
I know for many people here, they do not have more than a couple, if any employees. And those that have few or no employee's really don't get the big picture of managing many employees and the multitude of personalities and difficulties that come into play. I'd venture to say that managing(baby sitting) 10+ employees is more work than than cutting 30 yards in a day...And I've got in easier than most since my 20 employees are contained to a 114 acre campus.

Osha certainly does

MarcSmith
09-03-2010, 07:01 AM
you are correct on the eyes and ears, but I went one step further with the over ankle boots, long pants.

stan the man
09-03-2010, 07:02 AM
i did 20 years in the service and put up with sh*** .but the money i get every month is great. you guy treat your men like sh***.remember you guy have a mission to do. to get the mission done you need men. that is why i work for myself.you say you pay great were is their money after 20 years of service. the guys can't take break cant get water. i guy hits some with truck i want money. open the eye you need men to do the mission.

yardguy28
09-03-2010, 07:46 AM
More points of contention...

What if you have a three-man grass crew where two members complained that they didn't take breaks while the third guy "sat out a lawn" because it was his "lunch" while the other two guys where busting their balls? And come around to the end of the day...all three get the same paycheck.

Anything wrong with that picture?

but if the guys that didn't take the lunch get paid for that extra time there shouldn't be a problem.

this is what i plan on doing should i hire someone. if i pull up to a property and the guy wants to sit in the truck for his lunch sitting that lawn out thats fine. this is only of course on the days i personally wouldn't be taking a lunch. he won't get paid for that time he's sitting there but it's his choice.

same thing with the extremely hot days. if he wants to sit a lawn out while i work thats fine. again no pay for the sitting time. unless we are talking 5 min. at the water cooler getting a drink.

Fine by me I don't want people working for me that won't follow simple rules.

the law doesn't mandate that you wear safety gear. But I do. if you don't want to wear ear and eyes, boots, proper uniform, ect, no problem....no job...

I know for many people here, they do not have more than a couple, if any employees. And those that have few or no employee's really don't get the big picture of managing many employees and the multitude of personalities and difficulties that come into play. I'd venture to say that managing(baby sitting) 10+ employees is more work than than cutting 30 yards in a day...And I've got in easier than most since my 20 employees are contained to a 114 acre campus.

fine by me. i don't want to work for someone mandating i take breaks in the first place. most rules in a work place usually can be backed up by some sort of law. unless you live in a state that has a law employees must take a lunch break i'm not interested in working for a place that just wants to pay there employees a little less each day and forces them to take a lunch a break.

and if your gonna claim it's for there own safety and protection and protects the business from getting sued by someone who didn't take a break and got sick from overworking, well i'll sign paperwork at any job releaving them from responsibility if i personally choose not to take a break and harm would come of me.

if your working for me, the sooner we get the jobs done the sooner quitting time is. so if you wanna work through lunch to speed things along fine by me.

MarcSmith
09-03-2010, 09:09 AM
i'm not interested in working for a place that just wants to pay there employees a little less each day and forces them to take a lunch a break.I'm not paying any less... you work 8 hours you get paid 8 hours. lunch is not paid.

and if your gonna claim it's for there own safety and protection and protects the business from getting sued by someone who didn't take a break and got sick from overworking, well i'll sign paperwork at any job releaving them from responsibility if i personally choose not to take a break and harm would come of me.that's fine and dandy but a release form is worth about as much as toilet paper. You could be gods gift to landscaping, but I wont have one employee disrespecting me and not following the rules...

if your working for me, the sooner we get the jobs done the sooner quitting time is. so if you wanna work through lunch to speed things along fine by me. your company, your rules...And there were time when we worked through lunch and got out early...again...bosses prerogative...but when the boss is not around or not site, we have rules we follow them. If you won't follow one simple rule, then what else are you not doing...It becomes an issue of trust at that point

Mow Man
09-03-2010, 09:11 AM
WTF? Where did that come from? Didnt you read, "joking?"
That "chew on concrete etc" is just messing. Surely its not just an Aussie thing to take the pizz!
Fark, take it easy!:hammerhead:

Misunderstanding-Were good-I guess eating that concrete gives me a warped sence of humor. I am going to let this thread go and enjoy it

Wow-I thought I would get a couple of replys. Who would have guessed that this is such a debatable topic?

Mow Man
09-03-2010, 09:15 AM
i'm not interested in working for a place that just wants to pay there employees a little less each day and forces them to take a lunch a break.I'm not paying any less... you work 8 hours you get paid 8 hours. lunch is not paid.

and if your gonna claim it's for there own safety and protection and protects the business from getting sued by someone who didn't take a break and got sick from overworking, well i'll sign paperwork at any job releaving them from responsibility if i personally choose not to take a break and harm would come of me.that's fine and dandy but a release form is worth about as much as toilet paper. You could be gods gift to landscaping, but I wont have one employee disrespecting me and not following the rules...

if your working for me, the sooner we get the jobs done the sooner quitting time is. so if you wanna work through lunch to speed things along fine by me. your company, your rules...And there were time when we worked through lunch and got out early...again...bosses prerogative...

Thankis for the back up marc! some people get it and some don't. Going to play in the dirt. Have a great day

txgrassguy
09-03-2010, 02:47 PM
Hell, I'd work for you!:usflag:

Its funny you mentioned a 15min break in afternoon. Back in the day, I would of really loved a bit of a break about then. Make the arvo go quicker, keep a littler fresher for the arvo push.

Do you find you get more out of the guys in the afternoon?

Yep - everyone is more productive throughout the day, me included. I have found these three rest periods are vital for morale, direct contact with all of the employees is much easier, questions and answers are more convenient, in short it works for me.
The guys might be dragging a bit when they come in for the break but always bust right back out refreshed and the days always finish on a high note.

93Chevy
09-03-2010, 03:21 PM
but if the guys that didn't take the lunch get paid for that extra time there shouldn't be a problem.



That's why it's a problem...all three guys took home the same pay at the end of the day (assuming punch in and punch out times were within 1-2 minutes of each other) while 1 sat out a lawn while the other 2 worked their balls off.

yardguy28
09-03-2010, 08:44 PM
I'm not paying any less... you work 8 hours you get paid 8 hours. lunch is not paid.

that's fine and dandy but a release form is worth about as much as toilet paper. You could be gods gift to landscaping, but I wont have one employee disrespecting me and not following the rules...

your company, your rules...And there were time when we worked through lunch and got out early...again...bosses prerogative...but when the boss is not around or not site, we have rules we follow them. If you won't follow one simple rule, then what else are you not doing...It becomes an issue of trust at that point

never said lunch was paid for. but the thread starter is FORCING his employees to take a lunch break by docking there pay for the lunch break whether they take the break or not. so if they put in 8 hours or work no lunch break he's paying them for 7.5 hours planning on them getting the message they might as well take the lunch break.

are all you guys that hire employees on power trips? you all baulk about employees respecting you, like your some sort of gods gift to man kind. if i ever hire someone i'm not looking for someone to respect me. i'm looking for someone to do a job.

maybe i'm too young to understand but i just don't see following or not following rules as a matter or respect. i see it black and white as just that following or not following the rules. just because someone wouldn't follow my rules doesn't mean they don't respect me.

That's why it's a problem...all three guys took home the same pay at the end of the day (assuming punch in and punch out times were within 1-2 minutes of each other) while 1 sat out a lawn while the other 2 worked their balls off.

well yes that would be a problem then.

MarcSmith
09-03-2010, 09:46 PM
are all you guys that hire employees on power trips? you all baulk about employees respecting you, like your some sort of gods gift to man kind. if i ever hire someone i'm not looking for someone to respect me. i'm looking for someone to do a job.

it not a power trip...it simple black and white if you came to work for me, and knew the rules up front and then you decide not to follow them, its a sign of disrespect....yes there are always exceptions to the rules, and as the boss/owner I can make the call to waive the rule....

do you want them to do the job YOUR way or their way...?? there is a reason they are the employee and YOU are the boss/owner...

yardguy28
09-03-2010, 10:24 PM
it not a power trip...it simple black and white if you came to work for me, and knew the rules up front and then you decide not to follow them, its a sign of disrespect....yes there are always exceptions to the rules, and as the boss/owner I can make the call to waive the rule....

do you want them to do the job YOUR way or their way...?? there is a reason they are the employee and YOU are the boss/owner...

has to be an age thing cuz i really don't see not following the rules even when you know them as a sign of disrespect.....or maybe i'm just an @sshole....

they can do the job there way as long as the end result is the same as my way would have gotten it. as long as the clients are happy i don't care how the job gets done.

yeah theres a reason they are the employee and i'm the boss. it's because i decided to start the business not them.

perhaps you have some hort knowledge or college degree in business or something but i don't. i don't see myself above anyone else or knowing any more than any other person. the business i run isn't rocket science and there isn't anything i know or any knowledge i have that would make me any smarter or better than any employee i would hire. the only difference i am the one running the business not them. the roles could be completely reversed. i have no college education. last time i was in a school was 1999 when i graduated from highschool. never have taken a single hort or business class or read a single book about either one.

when i started my business i just bought what i needed with the money i had saved up and started advertising and slowly built up my client base. like i said the only thing that would be making me any different than an employee i would hire is the fact that business is actual mine. anyone can learn how to run a mower, trimmer, edger, blower.

MarcSmith
09-04-2010, 08:22 AM
yard.... you not an azz..

I am just generalizing here so don't takeit personally.

you are at least 10 years younger than I, and I have noticed that there is a definite generational gap between us older guys and the younger folks. I really see that generation gap at work. in dealing with kids that now are 20 years younger than me.

Its not just the technological gap, but the attitudes seem to have really shifted, and the think nothing of breaking the rules, openly and just being irresponsible.

again different generations. Rules are in place, mean to be followed and by not following the rules, I see as a sign of disrespect, rebellion and insubordination.

Have you ever worked for some one else as an employee? How did you feel about the rules, and if you broke them, did you not fear any consequences?

I feel that you are doing yourself a disservice by equating yourself to your employees. You ARE different then them. You had the drive, determination, forethough to save money to better yourself by wanting to own a business. You job now is not just mowing, its customer service, customer retentions, billing, advertising providing work for you employee... your employees, just cut grass. When you put yourself on their level, yes I know it sound elitist, then they equate themselves with you and like it or not they look to you for direction. and if you break/bend rules then they see thats it ok for them to do the same...

Again you and I are different, I would have spent that money on college. I realized that my body would not last forever in the field and to have the degree, the backup, as it were.

yardguy28
09-04-2010, 09:07 AM
yard.... you not an azz..

I am just generalizing here so don't takeit personally.

you are at least 10 years younger than I, and I have noticed that there is a definite generational gap between us older guys and the younger folks. I really see that generation gap at work. in dealing with kids that now are 20 years younger than me.

Its not just the technological gap, but the attitudes seem to have really shifted, and the think nothing of breaking the rules, openly and just being irresponsible.

again different generations. Rules are in place, mean to be followed and by not following the rules, I see as a sign of disrespect, rebellion and insubordination.

Have you ever worked for some one else as an employee? How did you feel about the rules, and if you broke them, did you not fear any consequences?

I feel that you are doing yourself a disservice by equating yourself to your employees. You ARE different then them. You had the drive, determination, forethough to save money to better yourself by wanting to own a business. You job now is not just mowing, its customer service, customer retentions, billing, advertising providing work for you employee... your employees, just cut grass. When you put yourself on their level, yes I know it sound elitist, then they equate themselves with you and like it or not they look to you for direction. and if you break/bend rules then they see thats it ok for them to do the same...

Again you and I are different, I would have spent that money on college. I realized that my body would not last forever in the field and to have the degree, the backup, as it were.

i appreciate the good comments towards me.....but if you really knew me you would agree i can be an @ss, at least sometimes.

when is ay age difference i mean exactly what you said generational gap.

yes i've worked plenty of jobs as an employee and depending on what rule i was breaking and why i was breaking it i didn't fear the consequences. which is something that makes me an @sshole at times.

don't get me wrong i think rules are good, to a certain degree though. rules like showing up on time, wearing your safety equipment, no smoking while working, no relieving willy on the clients property, etc. are good rules to have. but in my mind when you start forcing employees to stop and take a break, that is taking it too far. a break is something that should be left up to that individual.

i don't mean to "sell myself short" when i compare myself to an employee. but my point was i don't have any sort of education above what someone i would hire, would have. yes since i've been in the business 4 years now i have experience of advertising, invoicing, customer service, etc. but i don't have the business education or hort education that some of the guys in this business have.

i run a very simple, basic operation. a little too simple actually. there really isn't anything in my business that is done that someone couldn't learn in a weeks time, except the estimating part.

i just stongly feel forcing breaks on employees is wrong. when i think about how i would do things hiring someone breaks is not something i even think about. as i said i would offer a lunch break for that person if they wanted. i usually eat (if i eat) in the truck while driving between jobs. beyond lunch i don't really take breaks except in the extreme heat. my breaks are the time spent in the truck driving between jobs. so if an employee wants to do just the same i'm totally fine with. as i said the sooner the jobs are done the sooner quitting time comes for the day. but forcing someone to take breaks by docking there pay is not something i believe in and if worked for someone who did that i would get a lawyer and courts involved.

MarcSmith
09-04-2010, 10:34 AM
if I guy works 8 hours, then he works 8 hours. you can't not pay him time owed. When you get out of the truck and start managing the crews from afar...things change...employee's start taking liberty. Its the nature of the beast...if you put policies in place that say start/stop times, when you take breaks, ect call it a way to standardize things...take a look at UPS and FEDEX and some of the "stupid" rules, or even Disney. No tats, no facial hair, ect, ect...call it conformity, call it what you will, but its still all about standards, and holding each employee to the same standards. It takes the objectivity out of the equation.

when you job hop from lawn to lawn, you are getting "breaks" between the jobs. a chance to stop, cool down, recharge. if you are on on job all day, you don't get the chance, and thats where a mandatory break period really becomes necessary. IMO

yardguy28
09-04-2010, 03:54 PM
if I guy works 8 hours, then he works 8 hours. you can't not pay him time owed. When you get out of the truck and start managing the crews from afar...things change...employee's start taking liberty. Its the nature of the beast...if you put policies in place that say start/stop times, when you take breaks, ect call it a way to standardize things...take a look at UPS and FEDEX and some of the "stupid" rules, or even Disney. No tats, no facial hair, ect, ect...call it conformity, call it what you will, but its still all about standards, and holding each employee to the same standards. It takes the objectivity out of the equation.

when you job hop from lawn to lawn, you are getting "breaks" between the jobs. a chance to stop, cool down, recharge. if you are on on job all day, you don't get the chance, and thats where a mandatory break period really becomes necessary. IMO

yes those 2 rules are very stupid. i happen to have tattoo's.

but anyway i see your point about staying at one job all day but that will never happen for me as long as i'm in business. i primarely do residential. and any commercial jobs i take on are jobs i can get in and out in an hour or less right now. eventually i hope to take on larger commercial jobs but not ones that require me to spend the entire day at one job site.

i also will never be managing employees from afar. i will always be on the job because as stated in another thread recently i prefer to be doing the labor. if i grow my business large enough to hire employees one person i will be hiring is someone to do the estimates, invoicing, phone call taking, etc. for me. to keep me in the field running the equipment. one employee to help me in the field and one to do the business end would be perfect for me.

MarcSmith
09-04-2010, 04:35 PM
yard....

take for instance Disney no visible tats... consider the amount of people that a particular employee may be in front of... consider how many of those people may be from different cultures where something as small as a tat could be seen as offensive. All about keeping the customer happy...And if the rule is applied evenly across the board. then no harm no foul...

I hope your body doesn't let you down...I have 3 blown discs in my back. my days of working in the field are long over...I don't have the option of working along side the guys. Yeah I can put in a solid day or two before I'm hunched over like Quasimodo...but the ends don't justify the means.

Ask yoruself this question. where do you want to be in 20 years. do you still want to be running a mower and coming home to your wife and kids with grass in places you didn't know existed or running a business and letting others who are younger and faster and stronger doing the "grunt" work so to speak. while you focus on some of the "easier" stuff like estimating, billing, customer retention, customer acquisitions...

don't be afraid of an all day maintenance job...good money to be had...

yardguy28
09-04-2010, 04:54 PM
yard....

take for instance Disney no visible tats... consider the amount of people that a particular employee may be in front of... consider how many of those people may be from different cultures where something as small as a tat could be seen as offensive. All about keeping the customer happy...And if the rule is applied evenly across the board. then no harm no foul...

I hope your body doesn't let you down...I have 3 blown discs in my back. my days of working in the field are long over...I don't have the option of working along side the guys. Yeah I can put in a solid day or two before I'm hunched over like Quasimodo...but the ends don't justify the means.

Ask yoruself this question. where do you want to be in 20 years. do you still want to be running a mower and coming home to your wife and kids with grass in places you didn't know existed or running a business and letting others who are younger and faster and stronger doing the "grunt" work so to speak. while you focus on some of the "easier" stuff like estimating, billing, customer retention, customer acquisitions...

don't be afraid of an all day maintenance job...good money to be had...

in 20 years i hope to still be behind the mower servicing my clients. coming home to my empty house with no wife and no kids. i hope to have one person working along side of me and maybe one in a shop office taking phone calls, invoicing, taking payments, scheduling and doing estimates, etc.

MarcSmith
09-04-2010, 05:37 PM
more power to ya....I spent almost ten years in the fiedl after school, and probably just as many prior to.

there are days though when I miss the simplicity of getting on a mower and just cutting grass and not having to worry about the management side of things...

clydebusa
09-04-2010, 05:43 PM
http://employmentlawhandbook.com/State/Oklahoma.html


You can go to this site and enter you state and it will give you the info.

Mow Man
09-04-2010, 07:09 PM
in 20 years i hope to still be behind the mower servicing my clients. coming home to my empty house with no wife and no kids. i hope to have one person working along side of me and maybe one in a shop office taking phone calls, invoicing, taking payments, scheduling and doing estimates, etc.

dream on brother! Dosn't sound like a very exciting existance

nepatsfan
09-04-2010, 09:32 PM
i did 20 years in the service and put up with sh*** .but the money i get every month is great. you guy treat your men like sh***.remember you guy have a mission to do. to get the mission done you need men. that is why i work for myself.you say you pay great were is their money after 20 years of service. the guys can't take break cant get water. i guy hits some with truck i want money. open the eye you need men to do the mission.

HUH?!?:confused: Not that I understood much but what is the mission and what is "i guy hits some with truck i want money" ????????what?

kilgoja
09-04-2010, 11:20 PM
my dad is 67 years old and he still cuts his grass...what did you do to your back?...cutting grass isn't that hard on your back

MarcSmith
09-05-2010, 08:40 AM
oh I still cut my own grass, and I still work in the yard and trim shrubs. but I can't do it day in and day out and have a comfortable existence with out surgery. and sorry but no one is getting any knives near my spinal cord until I can't bear the pain. So since I can't work in the field all day long, with my background I can be a manager...

Dr doesn't know what happened. but I have been in the landscape business and my entire life since my folks owned a landscape business.

sitting on a mower bouncing around isn't conducive for a healthy back, I'm carrying about 20-30 lbs more in my belly than I should be. Planting and doing hardscapes, is hard on the back. While 6" annuals or bulbs are not heavy, the constant repetitive motion lift twist, bend, ect are good way to hurt your bask.

My grandmother has back issues, my mother has back issues...so it could also be hereditary....

yardguy28
09-05-2010, 08:47 AM
dream on brother! Dosn't sound like a very exciting existance

dream on? i'm only 29. in 20 years i'll be 49. still able to do this for a living.

maybe it doesn't sound like an exciting existance to you but it does to me.

not everyone in this world has the dream of getting married having kids retiring and working less and less as they get older.

i plan to work until i can't physically work anymore or until i die. whichever comes first.

shooterm
09-05-2010, 07:32 PM
Sceduled breaks work for Unions, factorys, facility maintence. Somewhere down the road your going to get a kid with higher then average IQ that realizes he can eat lunch when he drives to the next site or on the equipment. Now if you dock his pay you've just stole from one of your employees. I get in this same fight almost everyday with a open shop. If someone wants to work through lunch and DOESNT mess up the order of work you let him.

wilbilt
09-05-2010, 08:02 PM
dream on? i'm only 29. in 20 years i'll be 49. still able to do this for a living.



You can hope.

I am not a LCO or irrigation contractor, just a lowly homeowner. I am pushing 48.

I spent 20+ years working tire/brake/front end shops. The effects of crawling under alignment racks and tossing truck tires around have taken their toll.

The "old guys" used to tell us to take care of our backs and go easy on the knees. As indestructible youngsters, we laughed at them. Now my back and knees are totally blown out. I am hoping avoid the surgery and recovery time, but the clock is ticking.

I enjoy working in my yard and all it entails. Yesterday, I trenched about 60 feet - by hand - and am now feeling the results.

If you are planning to work through to your retirement age, take some steps now to insure you will still be able when you get "old". Nothing will take you down faster than a back injury.

clydebusa
09-06-2010, 09:01 AM
You can hope.

I am not a LCO or irrigation contractor, just a lowly homeowner. I am pushing 48.

I spent 20+ years working tire/brake/front end shops. The effects of crawling under alignment racks and tossing truck tires around have taken their toll.

The "old guys" used to tell us to take care of our backs and go easy on the knees. As indestructible youngsters, we laughed at them. Now my back and knees are totally blown out. I am hoping avoid the surgery and recovery time, but the clock is ticking.

I enjoy working in my yard and all it entails. Yesterday, I trenched about 60 feet - by hand - and am now feeling the results.

If you are planning to work through to your retirement age, take some steps now to insure you will still be able when you get "old". Nothing will take you down faster than a back injury.

I was going to post something like this. Stateing your are doing a benefit to your employee to have them take breaks and lunches. You are in a way making a deposit in the bank. If you don't make the deposit you suffer later on could be that day or years later.

yardguy28
09-06-2010, 06:24 PM
I was going to post something like this. Stateing your are doing a benefit to your employee to have them take breaks and lunches. You are in a way making a deposit in the bank. If you don't make the deposit you suffer later on could be that day or years later.

:confused: you sure lost me big time with that :confused:

i never said you can't offer breaks to employees. i said it's not right to force them to take breaks, especially by docking there pay whether they actually take a break or not.

i say it's up to the individual. i know there are many days that when lunch time rolls around i'm just not hungry and just don't feel i need a break. so i keep on working. if i hire someone and they wanna do that too, fine by me. whether that means we get finished early or just get more work done in a days time. if they work 8 hours they will get paid 8 hours. if they work 7.5 hours they will get paid 7.5 hours. if they work 8.5 hours they will get paid 8.5 hours. none of this "you didn't take a break this day or that day but your still not getting paid for that half hour you worked" sheot.

clydebusa
09-06-2010, 06:41 PM
Well junior it is like this. I do construction and some lawn care. And yes if you have some window time between jobs work output doesn't suffer. If you are hanging drywall all day and do not take a break your output will suffer your body will suffer and so on. I know several contractors that have the same theory as you and so be it. I can prove that a rested person does more work than a tired person. So run your business as you see fit, I don't care I was just throwing some ideas out there for someone to think about. But since I lost you on my previous post, let me give you this idea. What if you have worked 8 successful hours with out a break and you have to work 2 more hours because something unforseen, would you be better off since haveing a lunch break within 4 hours or 8 hours of continuous work (all things being equal). So ponder this, and you really don't need to reply because I am finish with this post.

yardguy28
09-06-2010, 08:19 PM
Well junior it is like this. I do construction and some lawn care. And yes if you have some window time between jobs work output doesn't suffer. If you are hanging drywall all day and do not take a break your output will suffer your body will suffer and so on. I know several contractors that have the same theory as you and so be it. I can prove that a rested person does more work than a tired person. So run your business as you see fit, I don't care I was just throwing some ideas out there for someone to think about. But since I lost you on my previous post, let me give you this idea. What if you have worked 8 successful hours with out a break and you have to work 2 more hours because something unforseen, would you be better off since haveing a lunch break within 4 hours or 8 hours of continuous work (all things being equal). So ponder this, and you really don't need to reply because I am finish with this post.

never seen someone get there panties in an uproar because someone didn't understand what they were trying to say in a post.

so as to not upset you any further i will refrain from posting my reply.......

gene gls
09-06-2010, 09:15 PM
:confused: you sure lost me big time with that :confused:

i never said you can't offer breaks to employees. i said it's not right to force them to take breaks, especially by docking there pay whether they actually take a break or not.

i say it's up to the individual. i know there are many days that when lunch time rolls around i'm just not hungry and just don't feel i need a break. so i keep on working. if i hire someone and they wanna do that too, fine by me. whether that means we get finished early or just get more work done in a days time. if they work 8 hours they will get paid 8 hours. if they work 7.5 hours they will get paid 7.5 hours. if they work 8.5 hours they will get paid 8.5 hours. none of this "you didn't take a break this day or that day but your still not getting paid for that half hour you worked" sheot.

You need to call the labor board in your state and find out just what you need to do in reguards to brakes for your employees and abide be the law not what you want to do or your employees. Because, one of these days a disgrunted employee will call them and put the hurt on you, big time.

yardguy28
09-06-2010, 09:21 PM
You need to call the labor board in your state and find out just what you need to do in reguards to brakes for your employees and abide be the law not what you want to do or your employees. Because, one of these days a disgrunted employee will call them and put the hurt on you, big time.

i'll start worrying about that the day i hire an employee. for now i'll stick with what i've been told by previous employers. and whether i want to even go the legal route when hiring someone. theres always under the table. then i can make whatever rules i want.

gene gls
09-06-2010, 09:26 PM
i'll start worrying about that the day i hire an employee. for now i'll stick with what i've been told by previous employers. and whether i want to even go the legal route when hiring someone. theres always under the table. then i can make whatever rules i want.

Education cost money, one way or another and some folks just need to attend the school of hard knocks. I guess you are one of them.

txgrassguy
09-07-2010, 10:52 AM
regardless employee's aren't required to take breaks unless your younger than 18 which is what the post i was commenting on said wasn't it??? :confused:



i think making a rule that you HAVE to take break is wrong. unless your state by law requires it. not everyone needs or wants breaks. and i think if an employee puts in 8 hours no breaks he should get paid 8 hours, not docked half an hour because he should have taken a break.

i won't work for anyone that forces me to do anything i don't want to do. if i want to work through lunch every day i'll work through lunch.

if i ever hire someone they won't be forced by me to take breaks. in fact the only breaks they will be allowed to take are lunch breaks unless it's an extremely hot day, then i'll leave it up to them.

This is an extremely good way to get in trouble with future employees.
Rules exist to set boundaries of accepted behavior, adherence indicates willingness to pay attention, implementation of the rules indicates an employer's attitude of compliance.

The less guidance provided to the employees directly equals more issues with them, be it from either non comprehension or insubordination which has a tremendous impact of productivity as well as the employment lifespan of the employee.

An employee will adopt attitudes and behaviors of their employer and I, for one, will not tolerate an employee with an attitude of "I'll do whatever I want".

I will disagree to some respect that current labor issues are generational in nature - it is more of a communication factor. When one considers who, in general, becomes an employee laboring for an LCO - one has to realize the manner of communication which means the employee actually understanding what is expected, is where the owner earns their pay.

Unless you, as a business owner, is dealing with a really sharp employee as yes some do exist, the more open ended and nebulous you as the owner leave to the employee's discretion, the more variables in production and quality will result - and this plays absolute havoc with production scheduling, continuity of results, and some really weird behavior by the employee.

Do yourself a favor and adopt a fixed series of rules/regulations - hell call it underwater basket weaving tips if you want too - but adopt a stringent schedule to include breaks as this is the most effective form of communication to an employee and will really help in avoiding future issues with the employee(s).

yardguy28
09-07-2010, 01:38 PM
This is an extremely good way to get in trouble with future employees.
Rules exist to set boundaries of accepted behavior, adherence indicates willingness to pay attention, implementation of the rules indicates an employer's attitude of compliance.

The less guidance provided to the employees directly equals more issues with them, be it from either non comprehension or insubordination which has a tremendous impact of productivity as well as the employment lifespan of the employee.

An employee will adopt attitudes and behaviors of their employer and I, for one, will not tolerate an employee with an attitude of "I'll do whatever I want".

I will disagree to some respect that current labor issues are generational in nature - it is more of a communication factor. When one considers who, in general, becomes an employee laboring for an LCO - one has to realize the manner of communication which means the employee actually understanding what is expected, is where the owner earns their pay.

Unless you, as a business owner, is dealing with a really sharp employee as yes some do exist, the more open ended and nebulous you as the owner leave to the employee's discretion, the more variables in production and quality will result - and this plays absolute havoc with production scheduling, continuity of results, and some really weird behavior by the employee.

Do yourself a favor and adopt a fixed series of rules/regulations - hell call it underwater basket weaving tips if you want too - but adopt a stringent schedule to include breaks as this is the most effective form of communication to an employee and will really help in avoiding future issues with the employee(s).

well in my opinion it is completely acceptable behavior for employees to work through lunch not taking breaks.

do employers tell employees when to take a leak or sheot? do you even make them use the bathroom during the day?

i never said i wouldn't rules if i hired someone but i will not be forcing employees to take breaks.

txgrassguy
09-07-2010, 04:17 PM
Fortunately your opinion doesn't count in the eyes of the law.

Have you ever heard of the Fair Labor and Standards Act?

How about OSHA - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration?

Both of these organizations become involved when an employee is injured while on company time, regardless of the type of employment as well as your individual state's employment commission.

Don't have a set break policy and experience an injury = you'd better have one heck of an attorney on retainer. All one of these agencies has to imply, not prove but imply, is that employee fatigue was a contributing factor in an accident. God forbid they actually prove negligence on your part too.

And before you say " I don't have accidents - I work safe", I'll say after over twenty years in the Agronomic field accidents requiring medical attention happen all of the time. From a piece of flying debris from a hand trimmer striking a laborer in the eye, to some one being struck by a mower, an employee rolling a machine and injuring themselves, an unintentional fire when refueling a machine with a hot exhaust - all of which had operator fatigue as a contributing factor.

The employee who suffered eye damage related he was "tired" as there were not set breaks in place, same with the guy driving the mower, the dude who flipped the mower and seriously injured himself was too tired to hand trim the slope and the guy who burnt the machine, trailer and nearby building was too tired as he "had to get back to work".

See the common theme - and it isn't dipshit employees either. All accidents were caused by fatigued employees. And the kicker is the employees didn't call the law, the E.R. did - they have to report all injuries involving employees to their respective state's employment commission and health bureau's.

I know from first hand knowledge the companies that had an enforceable break policy in place came out much better than the one's that didn't. Why? As the break policies were implemented to avoid a preventable accident and the fact the employee choose to dismiss the policy in order to keep working was found at fault and not the company.

And No, none of these accident occurred with my company, several of which occurred with company's I was a Superintendent at, others where an attorney contacted me for specific information regarding specific duties a laborer was expected to experience in a specific work environment.

Run as loose as you want, it's no skin off my ass but it sure will be yours without a written or at the least a known set of guidelines/regulations in place when you get sued for malfeasance. Not to mention suffering the indignity of a governmental bureaucrat who couldn't last a quarter of the time in the field doing what we do daily saying labor laws were broken and you as the business owner are culpable.

Regarding the remaining comments of your last post about restroom use, etc your lack of maturity is becoming all too apparent.

I'm done with this thread.

yardguy28
09-07-2010, 04:35 PM
i don't recall in a single post of mine every saying i wouldn't offer breaks. especially in the extreme heat.

all i said was i was not going to FORCE employees to take breaks. just like when i was an employee at places i was never FORECED to take a break. i've worked plenty of days in my life with no break, no lunch. just a straight through shift trying to get the job done. could i have taken break? sure could have. did the employer dock my pay for the break time i didn't take? nope. the breaks have always been there if i needed or wanted them just not FORCED.

there's a BIG difference in having breaks available/offered and forcing the employee to take them. and all i would have to do in court is prove i offer breaks and it was the employee's own negligence not to take them.

my maturity level has NOTHING to do with the bathroom comments. it's an example that relates very closely to the very thread we are posting in. i grew up with parents in the medical field and my sisters are in the medical field so not using the bathroom when needed can cause medical problems. so use your osha and other law examples if something happened to the employee all they have to imply is you didn't have a bathroom policy.

bradseabridge
09-07-2010, 04:41 PM
damn, yardguy is cutting you all up.

MR-G
09-07-2010, 10:38 PM
I have an enforced policy - a minimum of .5 hour for lunch plus two 15 minute breaks during the day. One at 0900 and the other at 1400. Period, no questions.
The lunch is an unpaid break only.
I have one set rule, it is inviolate and nonnegotiable - I own the company therefore I set the rules, play by the rules and you have a job - try to jack around with the "I missed lunch/break" or the "I know better than you/why aren't you out here all of the time" bullshit and you are out on your ear.
Do I know it all, Nope - not a chance. Do I care? Sometimes.
But what I do know works very well for me as I have a continual six to eight week backlog of both new clients plus existing "add on" work for long time clients.
What you get when you work with me is a guaranteed paycheck each Friday, a safe working environment and if you have two brain cells firing together a bunch of on the job training including correct irrigation and chemical application - in short a bunch of skills.
What you won't get is unrealistic performance goals, crappy pay, cobbled together equipment and occasional work.
I'm not playing baseball, there isn't three strikes and your out and I am sure as hell ain't Wendy's - the only one that gets it their way is the client and only if they have a proven payment history.

I ABSOLUTLEY AGREE !!! well put indeed...

bradseabridge
09-07-2010, 10:43 PM
thank god I don't have to work for txgrassguy, we would be nose to nose the first day. Whether he likes to admit it or not, he needs employees more than they need him. FACT.

MR-G
09-07-2010, 10:46 PM
we give our guys 6 hrs a day worth of work....if it takes them 5 or 9 hrs they get paid the same...i dont care if they take extra breaks or not....45 minutes for lunch is mandatory ...we pay based on productivity but mainly on a percentage....they pretty much get to work at their own pace....they ALL like it better this way.....99% of the time they are done in 7hrs...and still get paid for 8+ hrs....

stan the man
09-08-2010, 06:13 AM
mr-g that is a deal good for and your workers

MarcSmith
09-08-2010, 06:50 AM
we give our guys 6 hrs a day worth of work....if it takes them 5 or 9 hrs they get paid the same...i dont care if they take extra breaks or not....45 minutes for lunch is mandatory ...we pay based on productivity but mainly on a percentage....they pretty much get to work at their own pace....they ALL like it better this way.....99% of the time they are done in 7hrs...and still get paid for 8+ hrs....

so you give them six hours of work, pay them for eight... and your happy about it...
Sounds like a union shop....

Mark Oomkes
09-08-2010, 11:37 AM
Some of you guys need to read, reread and rereread Marc Smith's posts.

That is the voice of knowledge + experience = wisdom talking right there.

Good posts Marc. :drinkup:

Fireguy97
09-08-2010, 02:18 PM
we give our guys 6 hrs a day worth of work....if it takes them 5 or 9 hrs they get paid the same...i dont care if they take extra breaks or not....45 minutes for lunch is mandatory ...we pay based on productivity but mainly on a percentage....they pretty much get to work at their own pace....they ALL like it better this way.....99% of the time they are done in 7hrs...and still get paid for 8+ hrs....

Well no wonder the like that better. Getting paid for two hours that they don't do a thing. Sounds like they are running the company.

Mick

kilgoja
09-08-2010, 04:53 PM
i think the legal way is you have to pay them by the hour..not sure...but i work alone so i only get paid by the job lol

93Chevy
09-08-2010, 06:26 PM
i think the legal way is you have to pay them by the hour..not sure...but i work alone so i only get paid by the job lol

That's not true...kind of.

Employees receive base pay for performing their jobs. Base pay is recurring; that is, employees continue to receive base pay as long as they remain in their jobs. Companies disperse base pay to employees in one of two forms: hourly pay or as a salary. The Fair Labor Standards Act established criteria for determining whether employees should be paid hourly or by salary.

Compensation professionals refer to skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions factors as compensable factors because they influence pay level. Compensation professionals use these compensable factors to help meet three pressing challenges: internal consistency, market competitiveness, and recognition of individual contributions.

There are four mainstay pay systems.
1. Seniority pay systems reward employees with periodic additions to base pay according to employees' length of service in performing their jobs.
2. Merit Pay programs assume that employee' compensation over time should be determined, at least in part, by differences in job performance.
3. Incentive pay or variable pay rewards employees for partially or completely attaining a predetermined work objective. Incentive pay is defined as compensation that fluctuates according to employees' attainment of some standard based on a preestablished formula, individual or group goals, or company earnings.
4. Pay-for-knowledge plans reward managerial, service, or professional worker for successfully learning specific curricula. Skill-based pay, used mostly for employees who perform physical work, increases these workers' pay as they master new skills.

-Strategic Compensation, 5th ed. Joseph J. Martocchio

Basically, landscape laborers are required to be paid a base hourly rate...and the employer can give incentives for performance in any manner he sees legally fit.

So, you are correct to say that employees need to be paid by the hour. This is true because they must earn minimum wage for the hours worked every day. However, management can add incentives into their pay structure to reward employees in addition to their base rate.

The poster in question, while his logic may be arguable, is in legal standing, so long as the previous criteria were met.

yardguy28
09-08-2010, 06:30 PM
thank god I don't have to work for txgrassguy, we would be nose to nose the first day. Whether he likes to admit it or not, he needs employees more than they need him. FACT.

yeah i'm glad i don't work for him either. i'd never make it past 9am on the first day. if i'm gonna take breaks i take them when i need them, not when someone tells me to take them. i think its bad enough to force employees to take breaks but he's also dictating when they have to take them. complete and total bullsheot.

93Chevy
09-08-2010, 10:47 PM
TXgrassguy, please don't take this the wrong way. I admire your business model and respect your position. How is your turnover? You don't have to answer, or you can PM me if you don't want to disclose. But what I'm betting on is that your turnover rate is better than somebody without set rules. Thank you.

txgrassguy
09-09-2010, 09:01 AM
What turn over rate? Are you referring to employee retention or client loss?

Regarding employee turn over - prior to adopting a stringent policy buttressed by a written/signed employee handbook my Employee Turn Over rate was approximately 40% per year. I tracked the problems to three areas:
1. Insufficient training prior to the employee operating with less supervision
2. Lack of employee comprehension regarding daily/weekly tasks and
3. Lack of consistency regarding break periods, how to categorize down time between job sites and the thought I was acting favorably towards specific employees - I wasn't but that was the perception.

So - with thirteen employees running as four separate crews were I was grossing about $890K per year I sat everyone down and implemented the policy as first posted.

Retention rate went to near 100%, efficiency went from 11% profit (industry average is about 7%-14%) to almost 16% in the next fiscal quarter yet only averaged out to 11.75% due to being implemented late in the fiscal year - then the economy tanked and along with it approximately 60% of my immediate contracts.

Fast forward approximately one-year and I have three permanent positions, my per annum gross is down to about $275K however I am operating much more efficiently - right now at about 31% which means my net take home declined only a little.

Of the three guys with me right now, two have almost 9 years apiece and the third was recently hired maybe three years ago. So my turnover rate is a big, fat ZERO! In fact it is a standing bet among the crew and I how many times per month I'll get people applying for work. Not the dregs looking to keep their unemployment checks coming but qualified people seeking professional employment. Last month it was nine so I won the case of Fat Tire Ale - the month before my lead guy won the case of Corona's.

I have no client turn over, my average estate residence owner has been a client in excess of eight years. With the exception of the declining municipal accounts I suffered through as a result of the loss of tax revenue, my commercial accounts have averaged right at 4 years. None have dropped and I am fielding requests for new clients about 3X monthly. Remember though my estate residential monthly average is right at $1000.00/contract. The commercial side has slowed but averages around $1500/month per contract.

Enough of an answer? I am running a business - not a day care, not a democratic process but a BUSINESS.

And to those of you whom are laboring under the impression I need employees more than they need me - grow up and learn how to operate a business as you are completely wrong. The mere fact you even think this way means you have no earthly concept of business organization, management skills, fiscal projection capabilities - in short you are in a continual crisis response mode and not in a position of strength meaning acting from a planning mode.

Mark Oomkes
09-09-2010, 09:20 AM
And to those of you whom are laboring under the impression I need employees more than they need me - grow up and learn how to operate a business as you are completely wrong. The mere fact you even think this way means you have no earthly concept of business organization, management skills, fiscal projection capabilities - in short you are in a continual crisis response mode and not in a position of strength meaning acting from a planning mode.

:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:

I got a chuckle out of that comment as well.

I've had employees that think the same thing. Funny thing is, none of them are working for me anymore. :drinkup:

93Chevy
09-09-2010, 10:54 AM
Thanks, txgrassguy. My suspicions were confirmed. A business owner/manager is more likely to retain employees if the employees know what is expected of them, are able to meet the expectations in a reasonable manner, and are treated with respect and dignity. Thank you for your post.

txgrassguy
09-09-2010, 11:01 AM
No problemo.

yardguy28
09-09-2010, 08:25 PM
Enough of an answer? I am running a business - not a day care, not a democratic process but a BUSINESS.

And to those of you whom are laboring under the impression I need employees more than they need me - grow up and learn how to operate a business as you are completely wrong. The mere fact you even think this way means you have no earthly concept of business organization, management skills, fiscal projection capabilities - in short you are in a continual crisis response mode and not in a position of strength meaning acting from a planning mode.

if your not running a day care why set specific times employees have to take breaks?

sure sound like a day care to me. "ok kids, nap time is at 9am every morning" :sleeping:

i'd kill myself before i'd work for someone who not only told me i had to take breaks during the day but also told me when i had to take them. yet another way this country becomes less and less a free one each day.

93Chevy
09-09-2010, 08:41 PM
i'd kill myself before i'd work for someone who not only told me i had to take breaks during the day but also told me when i had to take them. yet another way this country becomes less and less a free one each day.

LOL, how can you compare a successful private business operation to the decline of politicians following the constitution?

There's a reason you operate your own business. What you do has hopefully made you successful, and I hope your success grows every day as you do what you love. When you have multiple employees, however, everything changes.

yardguy28
09-09-2010, 10:26 PM
LOL, how can you compare a successful private business operation to the decline of politicians following the constitution?

There's a reason you operate your own business. What you do has hopefully made you successful, and I hope your success grows every day as you do what you love. When you have multiple employees, however, everything changes.

yes things may change but forcing breaks and what times those breaks are taken are very unnecessary.

i'll give in on making employee's take breaks if the law states employees have to take breaks or penalties will apply. but i highly doubt any law in any state says you have to have specific times the breaks are taken.

you might as well call your operation a day care because thats what it is. day cares and baby sitters tell the kids when they are gonna eat, when they are gonna take a nap, when play time is, etc.

it's enough to tell them they have to take a break. but it's crossing the line saying you have to take your break at 9am then eat lunch at 12pm and take another break at 2pm. thats ridiculous.

i'm an adult. i'll take my breaks when i'm tired and need them and i'll eat lunch when i'm hungry not when some @sshole employer who can't get off his/her high horse tells me i need them.

bradseabridge
09-09-2010, 10:36 PM
true **** yardguy, I'm a grown man. If I don't want to eat at 12 then I wont. Not to mention I'm a diabetic, my **** isn't on a schedule. I take a break when I want to and feed my face when my BODY needs me too.

Mow Man
09-09-2010, 10:49 PM
Hey knuckleheads-So many of you are absolutely clueless about what this thread was about to start with.

Simply put-Granted my guys work hard and I am thankful to have them. Fact is, law states they have to have a break in an 8 hour day, they are not as honest as I wish they were when it comes to filling out their time sheets, I know they take lunch breaks b/c they brring lunch boxes and I see all the lunch trash in their trucks when they return to the shop, I actually don't care if they look at the clouds for a half hour or eat lunch, but for safety reasons and business reasons I want them to have a rest and I am the boss.

It is that simple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I am very generous in many ways, am I too pay for their rest/lunch period ? They do get plenty of other paid rests through out the day-I don't beleive in slavery

bradseabridge
09-09-2010, 10:55 PM
ever thought they might be eating on the way to another job? You even said all the trash is in the truck. Sounds like they are telling the truth about not taking a break. If they are eating on the way to a job in the truck, that's not a break in my book it's good time management.

Mow Man
09-09-2010, 11:03 PM
I figured that you would be the first knucklehead to reply to that!!

When you have as much as I do to be concerned with (both financially and liability wise) maybe then you will re think your hard headed close minded views.

Just trying to keep it simple for you!!

Mark Oomkes
09-10-2010, 07:57 AM
Fact is, law states they have to have a break in an 8 hour day,

I would say many, not most. This is a common fallacy that continues to be perpetuated.

For the OP:

http://www.llr.state.sc.us/labor/wages/index.asp?file=faq.htm

Q. Does my employer have to provide me with breaks and time for lunch/dinner during the day?

A. There is no requirement under South Carolina law for an employer to provide employees with breaks or a lunch period.



Things that make you go, hmmmmm.

Mow Man
09-10-2010, 08:08 AM
HMMM....
Have you heard of OSHA?

Mark Oomkes
09-10-2010, 08:32 AM
HMMM....
Have you heard of OSHA?

Sure

So is it safe to assume that either SC does not have a state version of OSHA or you have enough employees that you fall under OSHA's enforcement?

How many employees do you have?

Mow Man
09-10-2010, 09:00 AM
Pro active or Reactive

Am I the one that has everything at stake, or is it my employees.

Am I the one that looses my shirt if I don't properly manage my company

You guys are being so close minded

Mark Oomkes
09-10-2010, 10:14 AM
Pro active or Reactive

Am I the one that has everything at stake, or is it my employees.

Am I the one that looses my shirt if I don't properly manage my company

You guys are being so close minded

Didn't answer the question.

How many employees do you have?

Mow Man
09-10-2010, 12:35 PM
varries from 6 to 12-13 etc.. depending on the time of the year


In the grand scheme of things, dose that really make a difference?

Mark Oomkes
09-10-2010, 12:57 PM
varries from 6 to 12-13 etc.. depending on the time of the year


In the grand scheme of things, dose that really make a difference?

Yes, it does. At least for me.

I can't remember right now, but companies under a certain number of employees are not required to follow (federal) OSHA but must follow state OSHA regulations and so on. I think it is 20 for Michigan.

So I do not have to abide by an OSHA regulation that says I have to provide lunch\coffee\meal breaks because I have less than that number of employees.

So it is possible that despite your insistence that it is state law that employees take breaks, it may not be, depending on the number of employees. And obviously this applies to at least some SC employers because otherwise I wouldn't have found it on SC DOL website in black and white.

So yes, it does matter. Because some joe blow starting his company might read what you say is law when it isn't.

yardguy28
09-10-2010, 05:10 PM
HMMM....
Have you heard of OSHA?

yeah and OSHA does not regulate whether breaks are taken or not. OSHA is for hazardous materials like gasoline and whether you wear safety equipment.

the law is what regulates whether breaks are provided and whether they have to be taken.....

get a clue knucklehead.......:hammerhead:

txgrassguy
09-10-2010, 05:59 PM
yeah and OSHA does not regulate whether breaks are taken or not. OSHA is for hazardous materials like gasoline and whether you wear safety equipment.

the law is what regulates whether breaks are provided and whether they have to be taken.....

get a clue knucklehead.......:hammerhead:

Nope, you are wrong once again.

OSHA mandates a very specific and very stringently observed program for work place safety which includes break intervals. The program is industry specific with some occupations requiring more frequent yet less time intervals.

The purpose behind actual employee headcount is for the feds to administer both the FLSA and OSHA regs however the way the regs are implemented depends upon the respective state and wether or not that particular state has an unemployment commission or equivalent and how that state's employment commission operates determines the level of direct involvement by the feds.

I have worked quite closely for a number of years in the Agronomy industry with both OSHA and the FLSA personnel and know first hand if you, as the employer and this includes legitimate 10-99 subs on site as well, suffer an accident with an injury requiring hospital attention - the lack of a formal break policy will cause even more scrutiny from the feds resulting in much harsher penalties if appropriate. OSHA does not solely identify with hazardous materials.

OSHA sets a minimum standard for work place safety a state's unemployment commission must address - lacking a specific reg by that state and OSHA trumps. Have an accident with an injury requiring hospital attention and OSHA trumps. This doesn't mean the state won't get involved as they most likely will but thanks to people like Eugene Debs and the great Pullman strike from the 19th century OSHA is here to stay.

One last point for those of you whom insist traveling from job site to job site constitutes a break - under OSHA and FLSA guidelines it isn't. Have an accident with an injury requiring hospital attention while you and the crew are in the truck underway while eating and aside from the local tickets you'll get OSHA will come knocking. I've seen it repeatedly happen which is why I do not allow "truck or windshield time" to serve as a identified unpaid break period.

yardguy28
09-10-2010, 06:14 PM
i just want to say thanks to all those who have posted in this thread whether they have sided with the thread started or are against the thread starters point.

i have learned a lot and found even more reasons to keep my business a one man operation.

it seems having employee's is the biggest headache in the world with some of the stupidest laws to follow.

i refuse to hire help if that means i have to force them to take breaks. laws either changed after my last jobs before i started my business or the places i worked didn't follow those laws because i've never worked for an employer that has forced or required the employees to take a break. they were always offered but there were many days when i worked a full 8 to 10 hours without a single break, not even stopping for lunch. hell most days i work now i never stop for lunch or a break. only on the days it gets in the upper 80's or hotter.....anything cooler and i usually just work straight through the day.

i consider the time spent driving from job to job my breaks. if i decide to eat lunch at all i do it while driving from job to job. and i see no reason to expect any less if i were to hire an employee.

but after reading all these posts whether they are true or not it just seems hiring employee's is not worth it.

Mow Man
09-10-2010, 07:33 PM
Nope, you are wrong once again.

OSHA mandates a very specific and very stringently observed program for work place safety which includes break intervals. The program is industry specific with some occupations requiring more frequent yet less time intervals.

The purpose behind actual employee headcount is for the feds to administer both the FLSA and OSHA regs however the way the regs are implemented depends upon the respective state and wether or not that particular state has an unemployment commission or equivalent and how that state's employment commission operates determines the level of direct involvement by the feds.

I have worked quite closely for a number of years in the Agronomy industry with both OSHA and the FLSA personnel and know first hand if you, as the employer and this includes legitimate 10-99 subs on site as well, suffer an accident with an injury requiring hospital attention - the lack of a formal break policy will cause even more scrutiny from the feds resulting in much harsher penalties if appropriate. OSHA does not solely identify with hazardous materials.

OSHA sets a minimum standard for work place safety a state's unemployment commission must address - lacking a specific reg by that state and OSHA trumps. Have an accident with an injury requiring hospital attention and OSHA trumps. This doesn't mean the state won't get involved as they most likely will but thanks to people like Eugene Debs and the great Pullman strike from the 19th century OSHA is here to stay.

One last point for those of you whom insist traveling from job site to job site constitutes a break - under OSHA and FLSA guidelines it isn't. Have an accident with an injury requiring hospital attention while you and the crew are in the truck underway while eating and aside from the local tickets you'll get OSHA will come knocking. I've seen it repeatedly happen which is why I do not allow "truck or windshield time" to serve as a identified unpaid break period.


Thanks again tx ! Wisdom takes time and experiences. I think that many of the guys and girls that are giving me such a hard time honestly sound like me many years ago. Thats fine, I just hope that they too at some point realize that they are not invinceable and have to eventually conform to rules and regulations and common sense. It's not all that bad, rules can be bent/ some regulations can be worked around and at the end common sense should prevail. A good business person learns how to work it! Yes, that is the challenge!

yardguy28
09-10-2010, 07:39 PM
Thanks again tx ! Wisdom takes time and experiences. I think that many of the guys and girls that are giving me such a hard time honestly sound like me many years ago. Thats fine, I just hope that they too at some point realize that they are not invinceable and have to eventually conform to rules and regulations and common sense. It's not all that bad, rules can be bent/ some regulations can be worked around and at the end common sense should prevail. A good business person learns how to work it! Yes, that is the challenge!

nope, not me.....

instead i'm just gonna keep my operation a one man show.

i will refuse until the day i die to hire employees when i have to force them to take breaks. i'm sorry but it's just not something i believe in.

i treat people the way i want to be treated whether thats in my personal life or my work life. and by now we all know i don't want someone forcing me to take breaks or telling me what times i have to take my breaks. so why would i do that to someone else.

if i can't hire an employee and let them decide when or if they take breaks then i just won't hire help. because i have no problem working straight through from 8am until quitting time and would have no problem if the employee i hired felt the same way.