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Old 08-02-2012, 07:03 AM
DVS Hardscaper's Avatar
DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Originally Posted by vtscaper View Post
Good advice. However there is company strategy behind the trucks. We live in Vt most of our jobs are FAR from the shop. Both of my foreman live in the city which we do most of our work. So once the job is set up, they hit the ground running at 6 am picking up materials, equip, at the job earlier, i save big on fuel and the time i would pay them to drive back and forth to the shop everyday an hr each way. They feel good about having something thats theirs, they save on fuel etc.

In terms of overtime we HAVE identified that the overtime doesn't make a ton of sense for some of the hourly guys. Thats why i am trying to figure something else out aside from just hiring more. I am big on the commitment i make to my full time guys that during the season they will ALWAYS have at least 40 hrs. So unlike most contractors who hire heavy and cut hrs when needed we tend to run too lean on help. I know its a problem...

I would be really like to talk to any of you who have a salaried employee to see what has and hasn't worked. PM me.

Ok, in that case, no more brand new trucks, except for the one you drive.

Buy only used.

All that money on new is nothing more than you working for the banks.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:02 AM
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Gilmore.Landscaping Gilmore.Landscaping is online now
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Originally Posted by muddywater View Post
I know one landscaper in Atlanta that did not pay overtime because his business license was landscaping that falls under agricultural. Dep of labor went after him for not paying overtime, he got a lawyer and won because his business license fell under agricultural. Agricultural guys are not required to pay overtime.
I company around us was trying to pull that scam for a while. They ended up having to pay huge fines and various back charges because according to agricultural rules they were required to work only on agricultural properties. I don't know the details but there quotes are much more on par with the rest of us now...

I know the nurseries around us are registered agricultural (and so they should be) but a few guys were pretty upset when they found out they weren't going to get overtime hours.
Truck, Mower, Trimmer, Blower.....same as everyone else.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:29 PM
SDLandscapes VT SDLandscapes VT is offline
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Great post Chris

To your defense--99% of people on here cannot possibly begin to imagine the fragmentation and distances involved in what we do--the big money homes are all scattered apart--with a few exceptions. To put numbers to it in Minneapolis during graduate school our vehicles logged roughly 6000 miles per calendar year (landscaping/snow) I ve put 47000 on one truck in three years with little to no winter work/driving--And I have a shop that is somewhat centrally located. Anything to reduce mileage

To the unemployment Chris--how many of your guys collect during the winter?

The system here is so abused with people paying unreported cash for snow work so workers can still collect--as a result snow rates are well lower than other markets--to a point where you have to have exactly the right accounts and equipment combinations in conjunction with an incredible client relationship--there are some very very interesting plow/seasonal maintenance pricing schemes here.

I am developing a salary style system for everyone--probably will take a back burner till winter and I need to find at least 2-3 more people.....
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:43 PM
cecilmac cecilmac is offline
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Really 401 k matching brand new truck free fuel, and still wants more... there has to be a point where it stops .. btw a salaried here in nj is not aloud to wrk in the feild.. but look at it this way no more raises.... pay them a bonus such as 10 cash for every hr they beat the target job hrs .. some ppl do not know how good they have it ...
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:47 PM
SDLandscapes VT SDLandscapes VT is offline
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True salary is not allowed in the field--however you can take and estimate labor hours for the season

and then divide evenly for 52 weeks--gets paid weekly all year works for 30ish weeks. Overtime must be added to the weekly check and the checks must reflect more than minimum wage for hours worked not including overtime
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:49 PM
SDLandscapes VT SDLandscapes VT is offline
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A true salaried employee cannot be performing the same tasks of those he manages over a certain percentage of the work week.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:06 PM
muddywater muddywater is offline
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Originally Posted by SDLandscapes VT View Post
A true salaried employee cannot be performing the same tasks of those he manages over a certain percentage of the work week.
is that enforceable?
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:38 AM
SDLandscapes VT SDLandscapes VT is offline
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Posts: 579 grad school employer paid all crew leads true salary and they received a fine and had to restructure the pay
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:39 AM
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Meredithrjc Meredithrjc is offline
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Here are a few items from the HR point of view and remember these are NC might have to look into it for your individual state.

Re: businesses being agriculture...we have a nursery and landscaping business all under the same roof. We can technically NOT pay our nursery workers overtime because they are working in a single location, on a farm so to speak and they are working with products that are 100% propagated and raised on OUR "farm". If any materials coming in from another nursery or farm, you have to pay OT...thats the way I understand it. The landscapers do NOT fall under that same umbrella.

Re: Salaried vs non-salaried...somewhere on your states dept of labor website you should be able to find info on "tests for exemption." Simply put, this is a list of guidelines your employee would have to fall under in order to qualify as an exempt employee. NC says the following for Executive Employee Exemption:
#1 compensated on a salary basis at a rate of at least $455 per week
#2 Primary duty is management of the enterprise in which the employee is employed or of a customarily recognized department or subdivision thereof
#3 Customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more other employees
#4 has the authority to hire or fire other employees or whose suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or any other change of status of other employees are given particular weight.

I know thats all very wordy but I hope it helps...
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:13 PM
vtscaper vtscaper is offline
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Thanks guys!

there seems to be some grey with the law around salaried employees here in VT.. Ill have to do some more reading..

Does anyone pay there guys throughout the winter no matter what. Say 40 hrs a week wether it snows or not??
Chris di Stefano
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