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Gerneral Employee Questions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jlouki01, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. jlouki01

    jlouki01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    I started my lawn business a few years ago. Since then it's been me and one other person part time for cash. This year we did all the insurance stuff, Workers comp etc.. Having never worked in the lawn industry for someone I am lost on a few things.

    Rain outs?
    Are the hourly guys still on the clock in most places?

    Weekends ( mainly Sunday ) what are you expectations for playing catch up after rain outs?

    Anyone ding the workers for broken stuff that is obviously neglect?

    Since this is sometimes seasonal work.. what do you do with the guys at the end of the season? Layoffs? Do you hold any back to make sure they have a last check in Dec?
  2. salandscape

    salandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 168

    The wprk is weather dependent, if they are hourlt they are out of luck when it rains, you would only have to pay if they are salary, You can't legally dock them for neglect. If you have some sort of bonus or incentive plan you can take repairs out of that fund but not their hourly pay. End of the season you layoff and they can collect umemployment which means your rates will go up. I believe you must also give them the info on how to collect, not have them figure it out on their own.
  3. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    If an employee breaks something do to neglect you can't deduct it from their pay or make them pay for it but if they like working for you ask them if they would pay for part or all of the repair and if they refuse, fire them. Rain depending on how booked up you are is either a wet mowing day or none at all.
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    I try to watch the weather channel and remind them call me before they leave the house on days where it looks like it might be a wash out. Then they have a whole or partial day off based on my judgement and it gets made up with later hours or saturday work, as needed.

    I never schedule maintenance on Saturdays as that would be our normal overflow day. Occasionally, if a client HAS to have a special project done, I will schedule that for a saturday with the understanding that they pay more as I will be paying overtime. This usually gets them to work with my schedule.
    Sundays, Almost never. Just more catch up / longer hours the next week.

    No, that is illegal. What you can do is set up a bonus program that states that each employee qualifies for $25 a week (or whatever amount you want) if there are not operator error damages to equipment. Bonus to be paid monthly. Set it up so each crew is jointly responsible for the equipment. Then if they damage, lose, break destroy something the money to fix it comes out of the group bonus.

    example: crew #1, 3 man crew, each has the potential of $25 a week or $100 in a 4 week month in bonuses. So total crew bonus would be $300. Say in June, no equipment gets ruined or damaged. So in the first check for July everyone gets an extra $100.

    Crew #2, also a 3 man crew, backs over a line trimmer and ruins the shaft. $75 to fix.
    At the end of June, their $300 group bonus is reduced by $75 to $225.
    So each person gets $75 in bonus in the first check in July.
    It doesn't matter who ran it over. It doesn't matter who had that day off, if you are in crew #2 you are responsible. It is a crew thing. All are equally responsible. Make sure they know that ahead of time and reinforce it often.
    If you do, they will be self policing.
    Perhaps more importantly, you have already budgeted the expense (bonus) so you have no new expense.
    The way I do it is offer less in hourly rate to compensate. Say you would normally pay $10 per hour, Just reducing that to $9.37 gives you the $25 for the bonus (in a 40 hour week). With the turn over we all experience, it shouldn't be long before all employees are starting at $9.37 and the bonus system.
    In Florida it isn't that seasonal, can't really help you there, but I would imagine withholding current checks would be illegal, unless set up very well.

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