Register free!

Click for Weather
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-10-2013, 09:04 PM
Will P.C. Will P.C. is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 875
I wasn't kidding, I simply had not ever heard it referred to as chinese overtime. However, I have read about certain companies that lure bottom level employees into thinking if they work chinese overtime they will get a better position/permanent position/etc, but know it as fluctuating work pay. I guess people are scared to say Chinese overtime for fear of being racist
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2013, 12:19 AM
JMEllis JMEllis is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 22
Believe it or not, even the lawyers use the phrase "Chinese overtime." Not the best terminology, but I guess it has stuck.

I can't say for sure if this is the angle the lawyers are going to attack, but Chinese overtime is base pay divided by total weekly hours worked x 1.5. The problem is that Scotts and TG are factoring overtime at base pay divided by total hours worked x 0.5. They don't even pay out Chinese overtime. It is a step below that, typically 30% or so less. I'm not exactly sure why Scotts does this but the reasons must be that they think technicians work under one of the exception clauses of the Fair Labor Standards Act or are considered salaried employees.

I know of a few senior TG employees who left in early 2012 after TG sold them they would be working 40 hours, 4 days a week maximum. They began to make a lot less money than in years before the lawsuit. If the change in TG's work week was due to anticipating the lawsuit, suing TG can backfire. They pretty much said, "Fine you want to get time and a half? Well we'll technically allow it (at least I think they do), but we'll never actually let you get there." Some of these employees came over to Scotts, took $20,000 pay cuts, and went without benefits and vacation for a year.

As far as me personally opting in, let's just say this: from the people I have talked to the only people who are not opting in are those who have worked a very short time for the company since the collective action only goes back three years. Everyone else said they would opt in and have been eagerly awaiting a lawsuit like this for some time. The stakes are high. For senior service technicians who work a lot of hours, the pay out could be around $60-70,000 if the lawyers get what they are asking for. You get more if you can prove these companies willfully broke the law.

With that said, everyone I talked to seriously doubts anything will come of it. Scotts could settle, but no one thinks that will happen either. I believe Scotts has been sued before over overtime pay and no one has ever won. Looking at the website of the Kennedy Hodges, they have never won a case even close to this magnitude.

I hear a lot of people saying, "C'mon Scotts and TG aren't stupid. They wouldn't pay the way they do if they know they were breaking the law." Maybe so, but I have experienced Scotts purposely break countless laws that go under the radar. On a daily basis the EPA could hit Scotts with a litany of fines. Scotts knows this, but refuses to act. The way they run their business is unethical in a number of ways from the market manager on up. The upper management knows this is all about numbers and as long as they don't see exactly how the sausage is made, I'm not sure they care.

If Scotts is paying its employees according to the law, I have no serious beef with them. But the technicians have always suspected that this is not right.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2013, 10:13 AM
Hissing Cobra Hissing Cobra is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: On a green lawn
Posts: 616
JM, are you still with the company?
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2013, 07:06 PM
smallstripesnc smallstripesnc is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 670
I have witnessed Scotts spraying a lawn in my neighborhood around dusk (IMO too dark to see) and to me that's just not right.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2014, 08:47 PM
JMEllis JMEllis is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 22
I've heard that TG settled the overtime lawsuit, but I can't find any news of it. Did they actually do that?
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:46 PM.

Page generated in 0.06014 seconds with 7 queries