Employees doing side work

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Mdirrigation, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,702

    Stopped in 1 of my local distributors late last friday. There were about 6 latino guys inthere with 2 different company shirts . Both companies are my competition , they all showed up in same truck. Not a company truck. They were pickingup supplies . When it came time to pay , they laid down a big wad of cash. I asked the guy behind the counter whats up with this. He tells me they come in every friday and they do side work on the weekends.

    After a bit of discussion , I found out that the distributor is giving them contractor prices , even though they are not a legal business . I was pisssed .

    I informed him that he is basically helping these guys steal work that would have gone to their employeers .

    They lost my business .

    Messages: 18,668

    Great conversation topic. Can't weigh in now but will later.
  3. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    Tough situation.

    Your wholesaler's job is to sell product. He's moving product and getting paid for it. I don't see where he is doing anything wrong.

    On the other hand, I can understand your position of not wanting him to help out the scrubs, but that really is your concern not his.

    I get choked because every summer this city fills up with idiots operating out of pick up trucks. By fall, they're gone and their customers are screwed with bad systems, no service, often times their installer didn't even put in a provision for a blow out, etc. Around here, it seems that the Hunter rep doesn't have a problem selling them product. Every time I see a Hunter valve in the ground, its a 50-50 chance that the system is crap.

    But, at least they're installing decent parts...they could be loading up their trucks at Home Depot instead....
  4. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Its nobodys business but thier own what they do on the weekends, whether play golf or work.
  5. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    1. If they are doing work on the side they are taking potential money away from me.
    2. The possibility of using a 'few' extra materials out of my truck costs me money.
    3. Using my tools is a possibility and lost or broken tools costs me money.
    4. Buying materials at my suppier at my price is a sure way for that supplier to lose a large amount of my business.
    5. Makes me wonder how much of their time is spent scouting out new work.

    End result - Those employees are no longer employed by this company.
  6. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Stuff like this bugs the crap out of me. In fact I carry a digital camera to record
    scrubs when I encounter them.
    Why should I, with a labor intensive to acquire irrigation license blindly look away when people are charging for commercial work, are unlicensed and buying the material at what would be my cost?
    Should the sale's people not care, you can bet I will and I sure as hell won't purchase my $60K/yr materials from him.
    Something else, my employees know if I suspect theft of irrigation parts I 'll come down hard. And if you are doing work off of the books then you are fired!
  7. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Well basicly they are working on their own independent time, it does not matter if they lay bricks , do landscaping or whatever, they know irrigation so it figures thats what they will do in their own time, an employer does not own somebody 24/7.

    Now how are they getting these jobs ? through word of mouth from friends ? lines ads in the paper ? other avenues thats o.k,,through folks approaching them on the jobsite ? this would be a grey area IMO , its not their job to be salemen for the company simply install irrigation or whatnot,,,folks may approach them for an off the books cheaper job, there never stole the job from the employer it was never the employer job to begin with, but its still a grey area.

    I agree some aspects leave a bad taste in ones mouth, they need to get licensed or pay the retail price at the shop, but at the end of the day if they want to work at irrigation on they own time i say good luck to them, its only greed that gets employers upset, "my company could have got that job " etc
  8. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Well if they want to do irrigation on the side, then it will become a full time occupation for them as they will not be working for me any longer.

    if they want to work at Wally world or whereever that's fine. But when it comes to my employees taking a job doing the same thing that I do, the issue comes up as to why we weren't informed of it? We would be glad to give them a bid.

    "When you ride for the brand, you ride all the way."
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,374

    ....and if the side-working employees damage something, while wearing your company shirts, I'd wonder what a slick ambulance-chaser lawyer could make of that.
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Take it to civil trial... If I'm on the jury the company sure as hell would NOT be held liable since they didn't have anything to do with it. :)

    Brings up an interesting concept though. How many of you contractors have your employees sign a "contract" specifically stating that side jobs in the same field are not acceptable (cause for discipline) and if they are doing something off work with their company shirts on there will be consequences?

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