Paid breaks? Employee breaks in general

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by CK82, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. CK82

    CK82 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    I am looking for some insight on employee breaks and how you guys go about them? My guys take gas station stops/breaks at least one per day. I understand they have to use the bathroom and what not, but its on the clock. Our lunches are generally a half hour which I also have no control over because I am not with them. They record there time for lunches on the daily worksheet and it is later deducted from there workday.

    I guess I just would like some ideas on how you guys go about your lunches and breaks during the day? Any ideas or input would help.

    Thank you.
  2. Lovingreen

    Lovingreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Don't be too stiff, or you'll piss them off and they'll milk the clock every day in every way possible.
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    We dont sweat our employees,

    I'm sure in WI. It doesn't get hot. But around here. every 45 to 1 hour. you better take a BREAK. if you dont you will DIE.

    We pay for lunches. YES that includes the price of the meal. work starts here at 7:00 AM
    and were off at 3:00 PM. that = 8 hrs. <----- Notice the period

    your going to loose about 2 hrs a day 8 per week for breaks.
    If you feel your NOT making what you should go up on your prices.
    You Simply cant treat people like Dogs.

    And the funny thing is, We are allways answering the phone from Quaility People WANTING to work for us.

    theat them well my friend, and you will be a wealthy man
  4. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,645

    Give them a paid 15 minute break, and a non paid half hour lunch break. If it get hot tell them to a 5 sometime. If they dont write down time for a lunch break, take a half hour out anyway.
  5. CK82

    CK82 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    Im pretty good to my guys. I'm sure from company to company the way things are done will vary quite a bit. I am just looking for some industry norms and ideas from other contractors. If anyone would be willing to share how there company operates it would be much appreciated!
  6. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,096

    Is it legal to pay a day rate or per unit rate instead of by the hour. If done this way everyone knows what the payroll would be and would keep down recording times and keeping up with work hours. Its also a good incentive to get the job done and go home as well. I personally would never work a job that paid by the hour, haven't done that in 7 years. I always will take performance based pay over by the hour, more productive.
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Yes it is. It's called salerey. However. you may find that an employee will sometimes be working for less than min wage.

    Per unit rate. Is like a commishion. here in TEXAS we can do this. it falls under the heading of sub.
    it too is a pita
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,128

    Grand idea.

    You do realize it is illegal to not pay an employee for time on the clock? Without being authorized to deduct?

    Piss one employee off and they catch this and go to DOL and you will be in big trouble.

    Whatever you do, make sure it is legal. Because contrary to popular opinion, lunch and\or coffee breaks are not required in all states. Most of the time it has been negotiated by unions and then thought to become law.

    Here's some reading for you. Page 7, middle paragraphs:

    Lunch Breaks and Rest Periods. It is recommended, but not required, that each adult worker be allowed a meal period of at least 30 minutes during each shift of six or more hours. The employee must be paid for an on-duty meal period, that is, one in which the employer does not provide at least 30 minutes free from work or does not allow the worker to leave the premises. Meal periods should be granted reasonably close to usual meal times (6 a.m., noon, 6 p.m. or midnight) or near the middle of a shift.
    Breaks during working hours are not required, but the Wisconsin Administrative Code states that rest periods of short duration, running less than 30 minutes, are common in industry and that they promote the efficiency of the employee. If granted, rest breaks must be paid as working time. Rest

    State law does not require that brief rest periods, or coffee breaks, be provided to employees. Such matters are to be determined between the employer and the employee directly.

    Rest periods or breaks of less than 30 consecutive minutes each shift are considered work time, and employers may not deduct from a worker&#8217;s wages for them.

    Employees under 18 years of age must receive at least a 30-minute duty free meal period when working a shift greater than 6 hours in duration. Breaks of shorter duration are not required. If an employer provides breaks of less than 30 consecutive minutes in duration, the break time will be counted as work time. Wisconsin law does not require that employers provide brief rest periods, coffee breaks or meal periods for adult employees, although the Department recommends, in Chapter DWD 274.02(2) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, that employers do so. Employers are encouraged, but not required, to provide breaks of at least 30 minutes in duration at times reasonably close to the usual meal period. Such matters are to be determined directly between the employer and the employee.

    Enjoy, at least you can make decisions based on legal facts instead of guessing and getting in a big heap o' trouble.

    Sure, as long as they make minimum wage.

    Gets pretty technical when they get into OT as well. Just make sure they are making minimum wage.

    Trying to figure out how to explain the rest simply. It's rather complicated.

    Commission or per lawn is what you are asking about, see above warnings.
  9. CK82

    CK82 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    I allow my employees a half hour lunch. Lots of times it runs over which is fine, although there are not paid for the lunch break. They are able to go whereever they choose with the truck as long as they stay near the 30 minute lunch break time period. I have nothing set in stone but we all take breaks as needed, especially when its hot out. I've been buying the guys gatorade and they take breaks as needed throughout the day.

    Anyway, thanks for researching the labor laws and what not.

  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,128

    Like someone else said, Google is a business owner's best friend.

    I posted it because I got into an argument with another member about what his state's laws were regarding breaks and he still didn't like it\believe me even after posting his state's laws.

    My policy is no paid breaks. They can choose to take lunch or not. If they do, they are required to note it on their time cards. Company vehicles are not to be used to pickup lunches, either. Brown bag it, it's worked for years.

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