1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum .

    Dismiss Notice

has anyone worked for trugreen?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by lyndont, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    I wasn't kidding, I simply had not ever heard it referred to as chinese overtime. However, I have read about certain companies that lure bottom level employees into thinking if they work chinese overtime they will get a better position/permanent position/etc, but know it as fluctuating work pay. I guess people are scared to say Chinese overtime for fear of being racist
  2. JMEllis

    JMEllis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Believe it or not, even the lawyers use the phrase "Chinese overtime." Not the best terminology, but I guess it has stuck.

    I can't say for sure if this is the angle the lawyers are going to attack, but Chinese overtime is base pay divided by total weekly hours worked x 1.5. The problem is that Scotts and TG are factoring overtime at base pay divided by total hours worked x 0.5. They don't even pay out Chinese overtime. It is a step below that, typically 30% or so less. I'm not exactly sure why Scotts does this but the reasons must be that they think technicians work under one of the exception clauses of the Fair Labor Standards Act or are considered salaried employees.

    I know of a few senior TG employees who left in early 2012 after TG sold them they would be working 40 hours, 4 days a week maximum. They began to make a lot less money than in years before the lawsuit. If the change in TG's work week was due to anticipating the lawsuit, suing TG can backfire. They pretty much said, "Fine you want to get time and a half? Well we'll technically allow it (at least I think they do), but we'll never actually let you get there." Some of these employees came over to Scotts, took $20,000 pay cuts, and went without benefits and vacation for a year.

    As far as me personally opting in, let's just say this: from the people I have talked to the only people who are not opting in are those who have worked a very short time for the company since the collective action only goes back three years. Everyone else said they would opt in and have been eagerly awaiting a lawsuit like this for some time. The stakes are high. For senior service technicians who work a lot of hours, the pay out could be around $60-70,000 if the lawyers get what they are asking for. You get more if you can prove these companies willfully broke the law.

    With that said, everyone I talked to seriously doubts anything will come of it. Scotts could settle, but no one thinks that will happen either. I believe Scotts has been sued before over overtime pay and no one has ever won. Looking at the website of the Kennedy Hodges, they have never won a case even close to this magnitude.

    I hear a lot of people saying, "C'mon Scotts and TG aren't stupid. They wouldn't pay the way they do if they know they were breaking the law." Maybe so, but I have experienced Scotts purposely break countless laws that go under the radar. On a daily basis the EPA could hit Scotts with a litany of fines. Scotts knows this, but refuses to act. The way they run their business is unethical in a number of ways from the market manager on up. The upper management knows this is all about numbers and as long as they don't see exactly how the sausage is made, I'm not sure they care.

    If Scotts is paying its employees according to the law, I have no serious beef with them. But the technicians have always suspected that this is not right.
  3. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    JM, are you still with the company?
  4. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    I have witnessed Scotts spraying a lawn in my neighborhood around dusk (IMO too dark to see) and to me that's just not right.
  5. JMEllis

    JMEllis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    I've heard that TG settled the overtime lawsuit, but I can't find any news of it. Did they actually do that?
  6. Banksy

    Banksy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    A TG salesman came to my house yesterday. He was pushy! He told me how my lawn was not so great (there are a fair amount of weeds but each year my fescue gets thicker and nicer) and that I surely had grubs! Plus, he said this was the last week for Pre-M's and I needed them now! Hmmm...I put Crabgrass Pre-M's out in early March and I thought that was late.

    He promised the world, $30 per treat and I could cancel anytime. I told him over and over that I prefer to do my own lawn care. The guy just wouldn't quit!

    I looked up their reviews and there are endless complaints of no shows, destroyed lawns, unauthorized treaments, and horrible collections/billing practices. I already knew that for the most part but I try to be polite and just kept telling him no thanks.
  7. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    when i worked for trugreen i had to do that alot.. i'd knock on the door and ask the customer to turn the flood lights on because its time for next treatment.. lol. The policy at our branch was hit your goal or you don't go home. sometimes they just had outlandish numbers that needed to be hit.. if your goal was 800 per day, you may have been required to do $1400 a day that week so we could hit the monthly branch goal. sometimes it was pretty easy, sometimes it didn't seem possible because of to much run around. I used to love when they wanted me to do 1,000 in a day, but would only give me 1,000 in invoices, and 5 people didn't even authorize us to be there, then i get back in, and i was "in trouble" because i only did 800.. idiots.

  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,717

    It is called the "Half time for overtime system". The government publishes a table. When I worked for TG --I learned about this pay system it was originally used for agricultural workers. If I remember, it required that workers always be paid for 40 hours--even if it rained all week.

    However, work at over 40 hours was paid less per hour the more you worked. When I switched companies and became a manager I explained it to my new boss--he began to use it for all our non-salary employees. They were not happy.
    It is, I think, calculated like this:
    40 times Rate, plus 40 over total hours, times Rate times Ot hours.

    If the rate is $8 per hour. And the hours equal 60.
    Pay is 8 x40 =320
    Plus 40/60 times 8, times 20. Equals 106.66
    Added together: $426.66.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  9. RyanLeo

    RyanLeo LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 29

    I'm pretty sure if you worked 60 hours they would divide that by your weekly salary. So if you were paid 600 weekly they would divide 600 by 60 which would come out to 10 a hour. Then they would take that 10 and divide by two which is 5. You would then be paid 5 an hour for those extra 20hrs. $100 dollars on top of your weekly salary.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,717

Share This Page