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Employee's, when to turn hourly to salary

Discussion in 'Employment' started by WarriorLandscaping, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. WarriorLandscaping

    WarriorLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    Hey guys,

    Next year will be year 5 for us and year 4 with employee's,

    When did you guys go salary mode for your employee's?

    Are their pros and cons to salaried employee's vs hourly?

    I'd like to provide for job security for my long standing guys.

    Also, would you put a new employee on salary or make them earn that after a few seasons?

    Tara Ann likes this.
  2. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,488

    Understand the regulations of salaried employees before you go that route.
  3. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    Salaried laborers are still eligible for OT pay after 40 hours.
  4. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,396

    they are? i thought that was the whole reason businesses pay salary....so they don't have to pay overtime. maybe the rules have changed over the years i dunno.

    i always hated the idea of salary because of that. that means you work more hours without any extra pay. :/

    i never heard of anyone on salary working 32hrs a week or 36hrs....it's always 45 or 50hrs or more.
  5. Mumblingboutmowers

    Mumblingboutmowers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 936

    If I were to hire employees (which I am not), I would pay a standard hourly wage for labor work in my area. Which isn't very high imo. However I would have weekly bonuses. Employees work hard and make me money and are careful and don't break things that cost me money, then they make more. You got to give people "incentives" to work hard and to care about how the business does just as much as you do.
  6. Tara Ann

    Tara Ann LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 988

    If they are non-exempt, they are entitled to overtime pay. If exempt, they are not entitled to overtime pay.

    Strongly second this statement.
    sjessen and hort101 like this.
  7. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    There are certain positions that qualify as exempt but none of them would be described as a labor position. Just because it's not legal doesn't mean a laborer never agrees to a salary though, this is the kind of thing that is only enforced if the employee complains.

    I understand, I was just cutting straight to the point when it comes to a dealbreaker most of the time when someone is considering this.
  8. walkinonwater27

    walkinonwater27 LawnSite Senior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 534

    I have had a helper 1-2 days a week for the past two years. I pay him a percentage of profit per property but we work together all day, I’m never breaking even or losing money that way. Huge incentive to work hard. If he’s spraying for ticks while I treat the lawn we generally finish at the same time. I give him 50% of tick spray profit. I make more per hour wen he comes honestly. In the summer I had him hand canning , weeds, crab, nutsedge and fungus as I ferted the lawn. Paid like 25% profit per house and saved a ton of time. It’s a tough structure but we’re both happy. Not to mention we almost get two days of work done in 1 day. I even get home before 5/6 wen he comes. Worth every penny. Personally I’d stick w hourly + incentives vs salary.
    sjessen, That Guy Gary and hort101 like this.
  9. AlohaMowing

    AlohaMowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    Is your workload so consistent that you are keeping people productively employed 40 hours/week (or close to it) year-round? Or do you want the flexibility to add and cut hours?

    I think going to a salary for those who have proved themselves reliable, and especially those who are in supervisory roles, is a good way to reward and motivate. But if work is seasonal or inconsistent, you cannot tell the salaried employee that they need to take time off without pay. (Well, maybe you can, legally, if the employment contract so provides, but whether it is a good idea is something else entirely.)

    My wife formerly worked at a company that put her on a profit sharing plan in addition to a generous salary. The amount she would receive under the profit sharing was calculated annually. That was a good motivator for her. But if offering a profit sharing arrangement you might have increased accounting expenses to provide documentation to support the amount paid out as the employee's share of the profit.

    Lot of issues to run past a labor law attorney.
  10. SS Lawn Care

    SS Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 329

    My first year in business, I paid my helper a percentage of the value of each lawn we did. It seemed to work out as long as it is a part timer who will be there temporarily. I think for full time adults, they need to know what they will be making on a consistent basis for bills, etc. I pay hourly wages currently, but offer bonuses for finishing extra landscape jobs or busy weeks with extra pick ups. At my modest level, I've never been able to offer a salary. I think talks of salary are dependent on skilled, reliable, and loyal employees who express and show long term interest in growing with the company. Searching for one of those now.

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