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oOTurfmanoO
04-22-2011, 10:04 PM
For the past 5 years, we have been on a weekly pay period.The work week ends Thursday evenings and checks are issued Friday for that week. We are in the process of switching payroll processing payroll companies forboth convenience and $$ purposes. In doing so, we learned it is less expensive to switch to bi-weekly pay check vs. weekly in terms of the amount that we would be charged.

The part I need help with is the decrease of pay or overtime opportunity.

Follow me with this---> On a weeky (40 hour) pay period, if you work 50 hours you earn your hourly rate for 40 hours plus overtime rate for the remaining 10. Good money depending on yur hourly rate right!

Now switch to a bi-weekly (80 hour) pay period.You get rained out a day or two plus forced to quit early due to rain. You end up finishing the pay period with 60 hours (no overtime) and obviously not you full 80 hours. You just earned less workin these 60 hours then you did the 50 hours with the weekly pay period.


I need suggestions on how to handle this. Unless I'm missing something, there is a substantial decrease in the dollar amount of a pay check right?

Ok, this would never be an issue an issue for a new hire, they don't know any different. How do you (or can you) handle this with your main team member that has been wth you for 4-5 years?

"Hey, your doing a great job, you have more responsibilities this year. We are switching to a bi-weekly pay check and as a result you'll be receiving smaller checks."

So what if I increased his hourly rate so it pans out so te dollar amount is the same if it was 40 hours plus 10 overtime or 50 of 80 hours worked?

I need strong feedback on this.

RedSox4Life
04-22-2011, 10:28 PM
I'm pretty sure anything over 40 hours in a week is overtime... regardless if issueing checks weekly or bi-weekly.
Ask your payroll guy, thats what he's for.

zturncutter
04-22-2011, 10:43 PM
Red Sox is correct.

ffemt1271
04-22-2011, 10:47 PM
anything over 40 hours in a week is overtime, you cannot "average" over the 2 weeks

oOTurfmanoO
04-23-2011, 12:29 PM
Ok, so what I'm gathering from this is although the checks are issued bi-weekly, there are still start and end days within the pay period?

For example, it we do a mulch job at a college campus for 3 days back-to-back totaling 36 hours in these 3 days then work an additional 2 days at 10 hours a day, we just worked 56 hours in the 1st week.
(this given week went from Monday and hours concluded the following Sunday evening.)

Next, we work from that Monday morning through Saturday and total 47 hours.

The check for that period is Regular Pay for 80 hours and OT for 23 hours?

Is this correct?

Thanks for the input thus far!

knox gsl
04-23-2011, 12:36 PM
Ok, so what I'm gathering from this is although the checks are issued bi-weekly, there are still start and end days within the pay period?

For example, it we do a mulch job at a college campus for 3 days back-to-back totaling 36 hours in these 3 days then work an additional 2 days at 10 hours a day, we just worked 56 hours in the 1st week.
(this given week went from Monday and hours concluded the following Sunday evening.)

Next, we work from that Monday morning through Saturday and total 47 hours.

The check for that period is Regular Pay for 80 hours and OT for 23 hours?

Is this correct?

Thanks for the input thus far!

Yes this is how it's done. The only downfall for the employee should be making his money last 2 weeks without wanting you to advance cash all the time.

seabee24
04-23-2011, 12:53 PM
In that example. You would have 40 hours of regular pay,16 of o/t. Plus 40 hours regular pay and 7 hours o/t. Equals. 80 hours regular plus 23 o/t. Which doesn't save you money.

Things you can do to save o/t.

1. This works for me, may not for you.....we do not, do not ever schdual work for Saturdays. Saturday is a make up for rain days, or projects that ran behind. As a result, if we are working on a Saturday, it more than likely means the whole crew is already on over time. So I now start my pay week on Saturday. And as a result, we are not on over time. Now this can just make the next week worst, ....but what I do is, "lighten up the schdual" for the following week. So maybe I will give them Monday off or something to keep hours low.

2. hire more people, get the job done faster.

3. Put people on salary that qualify for it.

4. Let the salary people or your lowest wage person come in early and fuel mowers, load things

5. Some people work for beer money

6. If you do a lot of projects, have them meet you at the job, so you don't have to pay travel. Doesn't work with mowing crews, but it does with construction.

7. Stop taking on so much work....spread it out. Eitther A. Your so busy all season long that you need another crew, or B your really only busy in the spring time, and you just need to learn how to spread the jobs out. Example...I tell half the customers, wait on mulch until may, this way the April showers wil not wash it away, and we can mulch after we trim your bushes....well late may turns to June.

Or patio and retianing wall, I explain that having a dry soils ground is a big benefit when it comes to the life of your patio. I tell them the job will be better if completed in the middle of summer.


Just a few examples

Bottom line,

Fuels is up, thanks to unemployed we have tins of new competition who's prices are down. If you are priced compedativly that means your margins are tight, adding over time, I bet your making very little on those jobs. I'm not in business to make very little
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seabee24
04-23-2011, 12:58 PM
Yes this is how it's done. The only downfall for the employee should be making his money last 2 weeks without wanting you to advance cash all the time.

Tell them that you don't write the checks, and that you pay a service like apt or intuit or an accountant, and that they only run the checks twice per month, and it cost $75 bucks each time for them to run the batch. If they want a pay advance it's going to cost them$75 bucks.....your time is worth something to, and that's just more paperwork for you.

They will vary quickly learn to manage their own money...heck i have to manage mine...why can they do the same
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snomaha
04-23-2011, 04:09 PM
ditto on the previous reply - overtime is based on anything over 40 within a 7 consecutive day period.

oOTurfmanoO
04-23-2011, 09:35 PM
In that example. You would have 40 hours of regular pay,16 of o/t. Plus 40 hours regular pay and 7 hours o/t. Equals. 80 hours regular plus 23 o/t. Which doesn't save you money.

Things you can do to save o/t.

1. This works for me, may not for you.....we do not, do not ever schdual work for Saturdays. Saturday is a make up for rain days, or projects that ran behind. As a result, if we are working on a Saturday, it more than likely means the whole crew is already on over time. So I now start my pay week on Saturday. And as a result, we are not on over time. Now this can just make the next week worst, ....but what I do is, "lighten up the schdual" for the following week. So maybe I will give them Monday off or something to keep hours low.

2. hire more people, get the job done faster.

3. Put people on salary that qualify for it.

4. Let the salary people or your lowest wage person come in early and fuel mowers, load things

5. Some people work for beer money

6. If you do a lot of projects, have them meet you at the job, so you don't have to pay travel. Doesn't work with mowing crews, but it does with construction.

7. Stop taking on so much work....spread it out. Eitther A. Your so busy all season long that you need another crew, or B your really only busy in the spring time, and you just need to learn how to spread the jobs out. Example...I tell half the customers, wait on mulch until may, this way the April showers wil not wash it away, and we can mulch after we trim your bushes....well late may turns to June.

Or patio and retianing wall, I explain that having a dry soils ground is a big benefit when it comes to the life of your patio. I tell them the job will be better if completed in the middle of summer.


Just a few examples

Bottom line,

Fuels is up, thanks to unemployed we have tins of new competition who's prices are down. If you are priced compedativly that means your margins are tight, adding over time, I bet your making very little on those jobs. I'm not in business to make very little
Posted via Mobile Device


This is great feedback, thx!
When I mention saving $$ on payroll, I am referring to the dollar amount I am charged by our payroll processing company. For example-->weekly checks cost $45.00 where bi-weekly cost $35.00, a savings of $10.00.

We are similar to your company with the Saturday work. We do it if it is necessary, maybe rained out during the week or fell behind on something. My intentions are not to work Saturdays.

What would you consider "qualifying" for salary? Right now I would only b able to pay salary during the working season, they collect during the winter months. Any ideas?

I currently have two employees, my main man and his brother. His brother has worke for us in the past part-time and has returned for an available full-time position this year. But.. he dosen't drive, he rides in with his brother (the main guy). So if we knock off early or something, I can't send somone home and have the other prep for the next day or similiar. (Did you follow that?)

I not in a position where I can bring on a 2nd crew but I also ned to brig in enough work to keep us busy an profitable (I'm in a tough spot)

We are not a design/build company, we do maintenance and lawn apps. I see your point!

I obviously hate paying OT but anyone and everyone loves earning it. How do you avoid it?

Good stuff, thx!

seabee24
04-24-2011, 02:49 AM
Salary, I believe they have to be a manager, supervisor...a "crew leader" might count.

Try starting you pay week on Saturday....if you end up working a sat. Then while the guys are working, sit down and lighten up the work load for Monday if possible.

How many hours of o/t per guy are you talking? How often is this happening? Spread your work load out more, and hire maybe 1 extra guy......either have a slightly larger crew expecting that they will get the jobs done faster....or send your crew out as is...add the extra guy in, and give people days off. Sometimes that's kinda nice too.
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oOTurfmanoO
04-24-2011, 10:11 AM
I see your point with Saturday start dates, I think Sunday works out to be/do the same.


Mid-season, we do a pretty good job at not straying far from our 40 hours, Occasionally, there will be OT but not much and not often. Right now it's an easy 10 hours ot/man.

This could be because of my planning too large of a work load so close or maybe I'm missing the mark on bidding job times. For example, I track all time spent at a property for a given job, I know that we used 6.5 yds of natural mulch the last 2 years and spent 9 total hours doing the clean-up, mulch prep and install. Now, for these last 2 years, I was part of that team so naturally our speed was good. This year I simply explained the job, go he mulch and the 2 guys rock. They went a little over the expected time and I talked to my guy about it. We actually ended up exchanging words; he claimed I lost trust in him when I asked why/what took so long. he then went on to explain that it was his brothers first mulch install in 2 years, of course he was slow. But...the next mulch jobs he'll better understand and the speed will increase (point well taken!)
Getting back to it, if I'm not on site, how can I be confident that only the allocated time is being spent? While they are doing maintenance, i am making fert apps, meeting with new and existing clients and trying to stay on top of the duties of running business.

Guys love OT, bottom line! I've always paid it so they are accustomed to receiving it. Well...that has to change. I've grown as a business owner and have had my eyes opened to many things, both good and bad. I can put myself back into the field, speed up the jobs, lower our OT and rely onthe phone ringing to book our next job. (?) If this were the case or my desire, I would go work somewhere else while still having the same responsibilities of selling jobs OR slinging mulch but none of the responsibilities of of owning, running or growing a business.

Now what?

snomaha
04-24-2011, 10:15 AM
Try a search on paying salary and you will get a lot of misinformation. Best idea before paying a salary is to contact the dept of labor for compliance questions and guidelines.

LawnsRUsInc.
04-24-2011, 10:30 AM
If your margins are there on your crews and you are booking to much over time add another crew. If you dont have the funds to dish out another $40-50k try to work it like this 3 guys, 1 crew, 10 hr days, for 4 days thats 40 hrs. Then you can have another 3 guys work lets say fri.sat.sun for 10 hrs thats 30 hrs. no over time and you didnt need to buy more equipment. On sunday you can do commercial properties

As far as you going out and helping them to cut down on overtime, thats not a great idea. On my day to day schedule I go out and visit job sites to see the guys and see where time is being lost. I put out daily fires and make decisions. If you want to grow stay out of the field!

We changed to bi weekly pay and the only downside to that is you will have a large! amount of money coming out of your account every other week. You will save $150 a week tho on bi weekly.

doyles
04-24-2011, 10:37 AM
if your switching some guys over to salary to get out of paying overtime you better be careful i read on hear a couple months back that companies are getting sued for that same reason if they say the lawyers are getting rich of it

oOTurfmanoO
04-24-2011, 11:38 AM
If your margins are there on your crews and you are booking to much over time add another crew. If you dont have the funds to dish out another $40-50k try to work it like this 3 guys, 1 crew, 10 hr days, for 4 days thats 40 hrs. Then you can have another 3 guys work lets say fri.sat.sun for 10 hrs thats 30 hrs. no over time and you didnt need to buy more equipment. On sunday you can do commercial properties

As far as you going out and helping them to cut down on overtime, thats not a great idea. On my day to day schedule I go out and visit job sites to see the guys and see where time is being lost. I put out daily fires and make decisions. If you want to grow stay out of the field!

We changed to bi weekly pay and the only downside to that is you will have a large! amount of money coming out of your account every other week. You will save $150 a week tho on bi weekly.

Good stuff, thx! Honestly, I'm not sure what too much OT is. 2 hours or 10 hours. There has to be some small amount that is to be expected right? Nonetheless, paying it is tough.
I like the idea of adding a pt employee and scheduling where I need him/her. But....the money you save on OT gets spent during the training period correct? Refer to my previous post about hiring the family member and more time was spent due to lack of experience.
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LawnsRUsInc.
04-24-2011, 11:55 AM
Turfman are you mainly just doing lawn maint? Also here at work we had to work on our OT as it was killing us 2 years ago we had $72,000 paid in overtime I stopped that real quick!.. Its also a fine line for hiring family. I have 2 family members that work for me and have for 5-6 years full time. I can say we have never ever put out an add for employment. Its just hiring guys that other emp. know. Dont forget tho a 2 man crew will always be more productive on lawn maint. at resi. and smaller com.

For our larger properties where it takes 10-43 man hrs to cut i do a different approach. ( I wont tell the world how we do it as when i ask questions all i hear is crickets) Email me jason@lawnsrus.com and I will help you on the numbers/hours for doing those larger projects.

Even though 2 man crews are the most productive at the majority of properties we still have 3 men on those crews reason being if one calls in sick or that crew is behind its easier to catch up. If that lawn maint. crew is ok then we will put them over onto another crew or send them out with the landscape crew to help speed that up.

As far as mulch jobs and other services like that we put down the hours they can spend there to do the project. We usually shave the hours so they hustle on productivity. We do throw them one job a day that isnt shaved so the emp. moral is there. We will praise them on that job and ask everyone on that crew WHY and WHAT? Why did those jobs take longer than expected and what can we do to be more productive at that job. (makes them feel like part of the overall team and allows them to think not just clock in and out.)

oOTurfmanoO
04-24-2011, 06:17 PM
Turfman are you mainly just doing lawn maint? Also here at work we had to work on our OT as it was killing us 2 years ago we had $72,000 paid in overtime I stopped that real quick!.. Its also a fine line for hiring family. I have 2 family members that work for me and have for 5-6 years full time. I can say we have never ever put out an add for employment. Its just hiring guys that other emp. know. Dont forget tho a 2 man crew will always be more productive on lawn maint. at resi. and smaller com.

For our larger properties where it takes 10-43 man hrs to cut i do a different approach. ( I wont tell the world how we do it as when i ask questions all i hear is crickets) Email me jason@lawnsrus.com and I will help you on the numbers/hours for doing those larger projects.

Even though 2 man crews are the most productive at the majority of properties we still have 3 men on those crews reason being if one calls in sick or that crew is behind its easier to catch up. If that lawn maint. crew is ok then we will put them over onto another crew or send them out with the landscape crew to help speed that up.

As far as mulch jobs and other services like that we put down the hours they can spend there to do the project. We usually shave the hours so they hustle on productivity. We do throw them one job a day that isnt shaved so the emp. moral is there. We will praise them on that job and ask everyone on that crew WHY and WHAT? Why did those jobs take longer than expected and what can we do to be more productive at that job. (makes them feel like part of the overall team and allows them to think not just clock in and out.)


Yep,we are a maintenance company. landscape maintenance,lawn maintenance, lawn care and snow and ice management.

Right now these two guys are responsible for everything,basically all of the work! I had a part-time guy last year and it worked well. He knew he had at least 20 hours coming to him per week but was available for additinal hours if I had them. I asked him to return this year, he replied by asking for a $2.00 increase in pay. I told him to go ask his full-tme employeer (TJ Maxx Warehouse for that)

That would be an ideal set up moving forward as well. We have enough work for the current staff but having a man "on deck" may also be a good idea. Right now,if someone dosen't show, guess who rides the cart?

Check you email Jason.

LawnsRUsInc.
04-24-2011, 11:50 PM
Dan i dont know sorry my phone died....

oOTurfmanoO
04-25-2011, 08:36 AM
Dan i dont know sorry my phone died....

Awesome conversation, thanks Jason!

I have your #, you'll hear from me. You have my email address, I'm sure I'll hear from you!

WheatBookkeeping
04-28-2011, 08:12 PM
The payday frequency change should have no effect on the overtime rules in place for where you are doing your business. (I assume Penn)

If an employee accumulates 10 hours OT for the work week he will not lose it because his payday has changed. The work week stays the same. The frequency of paydays is the only thing changing. The day checks are issued is changing to biweekly but the checks should still reflect the OT accumulated during each of the two work weeks being paid.

The dilemma about how much OT to pay your guys is a tuff one that I donít envy. All I can say is that there will be an OT threshold when your crews start complaining about exorbitant withholdings. That may factor into your decision.

oOTurfmanoO
04-29-2011, 12:28 PM
Yep, we figured it out. The switch was new to me so there was gray areas. We switched our pay period start and end days, everything makes $ense now.

thanks for the help!!

Mark Oomkes
04-29-2011, 12:53 PM
1. This works for me, may not for you.....we do not, do not ever schdual work for Saturdays. Saturday is a make up for rain days, or projects that ran behind. As a result, if we are working on a Saturday, it more than likely means the whole crew is already on over time. So I now start my pay week on Saturday. And as a result, we are not on over time. Now this can just make the next week worst, ....but what I do is, "lighten up the schdual" for the following week. So maybe I will give them Monday off or something to keep hours low.


Let me get this straight. Your work week starts on Saturday every week, correct? Not just the weeks where you run into OT?

This is great feedback, thx!
When I mention saving $$ on payroll, I am referring to the dollar amount I am charged by our payroll processing company. For example-->weekly checks cost $45.00 where bi-weekly cost $35.00, a savings of $10.00.

We are similar to your company with the Saturday work. We do it if it is necessary, maybe rained out during the week or fell behind on something. My intentions are not to work Saturdays.

What would you consider "qualifying" for salary? Right now I would only b able to pay salary during the working season, they collect during the winter months. Any ideas?

I currently have two employees, my main man and his brother. His brother has worke for us in the past part-time and has returned for an available full-time position this year. But.. he dosen't drive, he rides in with his brother (the main guy). So if we knock off early or something, I can't send somone home and have the other prep for the next day or similiar. (Did you follow that?)

I not in a position where I can bring on a 2nd crew but I also ned to brig in enough work to keep us busy an profitable (I'm in a tough spot)

We are not a design/build company, we do maintenance and lawn apps. I see your point!

I obviously hate paying OT but anyone and everyone loves earning it. How do you avoid it?

Good stuff, thx!

Try a search on paying salary and you will get a lot of misinformation. Best idea before paying a salary is to contact the dept of labor for compliance questions and guidelines.

This is the best advice.

The biggest issue that most don't understand about salary is whether that employee is exempt from overtime or not. You can pay pretty much anybody salary, but they may be owed salary depending on the type and amount of work they do.

I posted this in another thread, but there is a rough formula used to determine exemption from OT. Do NOT quote me on this, but I think it is around 80\20. At least 20% of their time can not be actual field work. Something along those lines. Check with DOL or a labor attorney.

seabee24
05-01-2011, 09:48 AM
Yes our work week starts on Saturday. We don't normally work Saturdays unless we fall behind. If we do end up working Saturday ....then, I will try to lighten up the work load for the MON-FRI. We also try not to work on mondays. 4-10 hour days seems to work best.
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Superior L & L
05-03-2011, 11:20 PM
We do 4 12 hour days. Mon-thurs. And use Friday or Saturday for make up if we have rain. Our guys typically get 45-48 hours a week. Overtime is overtime weather it's worked in 3 or 7 days. But by work four days I feel we are most productive
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oOTurfmanoO
05-04-2011, 09:06 AM
Overtime is a tricky thing...I think! Let's say your team is accustomed to working 10 hours OT per week for a total of 20 hrs OT per pay period (if your bi-weekly). All of a sudden, you say "Nope, no more OT", your team may look at this as a decrease in pay correct? In return, they may come to you asking for an increase in $$.

Thoughts?

knox gsl
05-04-2011, 11:47 AM
Overtime is a tricky thing...I think! Let's say your team is accustomed to working 10 hours OT per week for a total of 20 hrs OT per pay period (if your bi-weekly). All of a sudden, you say "Nope, no more OT", your team may look at this as a decrease in pay correct? In return, they may come to you asking for an increase in $$.

Thoughts?

I don't think I would sa no to OT overnight, I would work it down over a 6 week period and maybe give a small raise in there to keep good faith with your guys.

seabee24
05-04-2011, 11:47 AM
Good point, I would give them some o/t. But cut them off at a certain amount. If your giving them that many hours per week odds are they are getting burned out. If your over 50 every week, Odds are by the end of the week, their production has dropped so now your not paying 1.5......... It's more like paying 2x.

When ever they ask me for more money... I say well, my customers rant going to pay me any more, so...if you want a raise I guess you need to show me that you can do more billable work in less time.....so I can charge more, so I can pay you more. Pick up the pace
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