travel time with pay

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jslandscapecompany, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. jslandscapecompany

    jslandscapecompany LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Two questions come to mind before we start another year. I have heard of companies not paying employees for travel time or excessive travel time and about not paying overtime we generate 80 % of our income during 8 months of the year.
  2. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 392

    Any employee not on the clock can do whatever they law, you can't tell them to do anything until they are clocked that means, you finish a job, load up in the truck, clock your employees out until you reach the next job...on the way, you stop at a store, they decide for whatever reason to shop or look around, you can't tell them to load up...and if you fire them for such reasons, they can use the law to put a world of hurt on goes with the territory...if you're concerned about travel time with your employees, put them on a salary...:blob1:
  3. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,648

    Technically according to IRS rules you cannot put them on salary as their position does not qualify them for salary type work. A salaried employee according to IRS guidelines is an on the road sales person or very upper level management. Also, you have to read up on the guidelines on the pay structure for per diem based employees. It boggles the mind. Right now we are trying to convert to a per diem based pay system for one of our companies but with the IRS rules, I am not sure that we can.

    Simply, If you give them a route, tell them which lawns to cut on which day, give them a vehicle, you have to pay hourly. They are not considered subcontractors or salaried employees.
  4. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    I probably pay thousands in travel time and while I'm not entirely pleased to pay my guys for time they didn’t work ask your self would you work for someone that didn’t pay you travel time I was once offered a job with some guy years ago and that came out he did not pay for travel as I questioned him yes when you are as good a foreman as I was you can shop around. As I continued my questioning it became obvious there was no way in hell I would ever work for someone with his lack of integrity when dealing with his own employees. The 17 an hour I was offered at the time which was going to be a pay cut for me got a whole lot smaller when it became clear I would be losing 10-15 hours of pay a week in drive time.

    Is it legal I doubt it but it could be way I see it they have no say where their going or when they will get home when your driving the truck so although they aren’t working they are at work and its little different then waiting for a machine to stop a cycle and put a part in and restart it basically they are on call and ready to work when you stop.

    Your call but I would guess your have a lot more employee problems if they feel your out to cheat them any chance you get.
  5. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 621

    There are a lot of companies in the green industry which do not pay "glass time".

    You have to consider your particular situation.

    If you are talking about maintenance routes, then I would say no. Very hard to gain and retain employees doing it this way.

    Design build, then I would consider it. But, we always had to load or unload at the end or beginning of the day. How do you address this issue? Better yet, just have your guys drive their own vehicles to the site. I have never liked this idea, but some companies do it.

    Some of my guys do not have driver license or let alone transportation. Most of my crews have one driver, who gets paid for drive time, because they are working. they pick up the other guys and drop them off every day at the same spot. Providing them with this service is a trade for not paying them "glass time". If they want to stop at the c-store for something I have no problem with that. Before when I did pay everyone "glass time" it stressed me out to see on of my trucks stopped at a c-store for twenty minutes while one guy was inside getting smokes or bsing.

    We work all over Arizona. Some of our drive times are 2 1/2 hours each way.

    Right now all my guys get paid for lunch. No time is deducted for lunch time. However, we are changing that in 2004.

    As for overtime in Ohio. Unless you are considered an agricultural business, like a nursery as a primary business, then you must pay overtime. The seasonal angle does not work either. When I was in college I worked at a country club in Medina, Ohio and they told us no overtime because they were seasonal. A year later they were turned in by the famous "disgruntled employee"to the labor board. All the employees got back pay with interest. The CC was also gone over with a fine tooth comb. I'm sure you do not want that.



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  6. GlorifiedLawnBoy

    GlorifiedLawnBoy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    They are on the clock the minute they show up for and are ready to work until they clock out and are ready to leave and are free and able to do so. Plus salaried employees are also to be compensated for hours worked over the 40 hour work week. That is law most companies give out bonus's and don't tell you the reason for the bonus is that they don't want to get in trouble for violating labor laws which carry stiff penalties. Don't think you can hire some one as a salaried employee to get around not having to pay overtime. You do or you must pay enough bonus that said employee will not raise the question. If he does he will be awarded time and a half for all hours over 40 he can show he worked for and was not compensate for all in a lump sum by the government. You will have to pay the government that money no appeals and they will sell your house to get it.
    Best to pay your employees for the work they do and sitting in the truck between j0ob sites is your problem not theirs it is your responsibility to charge your customers enough to cover that driving time. And if you don't feel that your employees are worth the money then hire employees that are.
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

  8. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 488

    Legally you do not have to pay travel time at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day, if the employee is not required to do any work before you leave for the job site and is not required to do any work after they get back. That means the drive must be paid, and the no paid employees can not help load the truck or unload, or anything like that. Actually I don.t think you can even require them to ride in your vehicle. It is up to them to show up at the job site. You providing the ride is a courtesy, but not part of the job In our area, several general contractors who travel out of town for long term jobs do not pay travel time, but they have a job trailer at the site, where all the tools and equipment is stored etc.

    Austreim Landscaping
  9. jslandscapecompany

    jslandscapecompany LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Do you mean that as long as I load their equipment and check everything out for the morning, they actually do not go 'on the clock' until they reach their first job and they are off the clock as soon as they get back on the road to return to the shop?
  10. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,648

    If they are in your truck going to where you tell them to go , they are on the clock. If you loaded the truck and then brought it to the jobsite, where they met it, then they are not on the clock untill they get in the truck.

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