Paying by the job

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,120

    If you pay employees by the task as opposed to by the hour, are you at risk of violating our nations overtime laws?

    For example, say you pay your crew $xx.xx per lawn that they mow. If the crew works 50 hours in a week and you don't increase $xx.xx by 50% for those last 10 hours, are you in violation of overtime law?

    Very few employers that I know of pay employees by the task. There must be a reason for it.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,433

    Thats an interesting question and i dont know how the laws are in the rest of the coutry but in KS we are not required to pay overtime in the lawn care industry and thats probably why i dont have an answer to your question. Ive never had to think about it.
  3. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Hey DFW

    Are you going to collect unemployment again this winter?

  4. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,120

    ++++Hey DFW Are you going to collect unemployment again this winter?++++

    Me? I'm not entitled because I own the business. I was thinking last winter that I would be entitled, but because I own a majority of the business, I'm not entitled. At least thats the way its been explained to me.

    Besides, I haven't even drawn a paycheck from my LLC since I started in January of '03. All I've been doing to this point is collecting "loans payable to shareholder" for personal income.

    My employee should be entitled to collect unemployment benefits over the winter if he files.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    that is a gray area that uncle sam is cracking down on.
    if you set thier hours (tell them what time to start), use your equipment, and your supplies. they are an HOURLY employee.

    you can pay per lawn as long as thier hourly rate does not avreage below minimum wage in a pay period. you must also account for overtime also.
  6. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    Maybe you should ask this question to your accountant or better yet, ask your state DOL. Labor laws vary alot state to state. Hate to see you get yur a@# in a sling listening to a sh%$house lawyer. In the automotive repair industry, paying by the job is how most dealers pay their techs. Its called "flatrate". Usually the flatrate hourly pay is higher than the normal hourly pay. Works ok, except someone else says how long it takes, and if you dont get the car count for the day, you lose money. So if you were in the auto repair business you'd be in luck, but most states have a clause of what is customary and reasonable. So in the grass cutting biz, it may not fly. Texas, like my state of NC, is an AT WILL employment state, which pretty much means you have free will to do most anything as long as you dont violate a federal law. Like I said, talk to someone who knows handsdown yur state DOL laws.
  7. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    what I did was pay a base hourly pay. Lets use 7 bucks/hr. Then you can pay them a set price per job as a bonus. So lets say that the guy makes 7 an hr and you paid him 5 bucks per job and you complete 8 jobs per 8 hours work. He comes out with 12 bucks an hr. Now when he hits overtime he makes 10.5/hr and 5 bucks per job which come to 15.5 / hr.
    Now if you was paying a straight 12/hr it would cost you the same until he hit overtime which it would be 18/hr.

    This method is not to get you out of paying him more but more of a incentive for him to work faster. You need to set it up so that he can make good money when working hard but also save you a little when it is raining, windsheild time, etc.
  8. musselman

    musselman LawnSite Senior Member
    from utah
    Messages: 301

    I dont use a full time guy any more, but when I did I set him up on a salary instead of hourly...basically he did the same work every week and I paid him the same amount every week. We had an understanding that if something went wrong (down time) he could go home untill I got it solved or help me out so he could get his work done for the week, he was a great guy and always helped. If I had extra work he helped me with then I paid him extra. I teach school now and I put in more than 40 a overtime because Im on salary.
  9. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    You would be paying them a commision. If they make IE $5 a lawn and did ten lawns a day they would make $50 but if they busted there butt and worked longer hrs. and did twenty lawns in a day they would make $100. But you can't set there starting time or quitting time, but you can let them know that you expect so many lawns a day to be done or they could be replaced. :D

  10. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    the mechanic example is a good example. They do have to pay them a minimum of minimum wage though.

    for thier work period the pay they recieve cannot be less than minimum wage.

    they work 40 hours thier pay has to equal 40 X minimum wage.

    as far as nc being slack-- not really.
    do you not have that big worker laber law poster???
    has to be viewable by employees. it spells out alot of the specific labor laws.

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