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Paying Employee??

Ol Dull Blade

LawnSite Member
Whats the best way to go about paying a guy who will be a supervisor over a crew?..would it be best to pay a percentage of whatever is made that day ??..and if i have another employee..who will mostly be trimming .would it best best to pay by the hour?..How do u guys pay your crew leaders and employees???..do they get more work done payed by a percentage?..the more they mow the mor they make????


LawnSite Member
Hardwick, MA
I pay everyone by the hour. If they do well and get ahead of the schedule, ca$h bonuses for everyone on that crew. If they're EXCEPTIONALLY ahead of the (ever-changing) schedule, a paid day or two off.

DFW Area Landscaper

LawnSite Silver Member
++++As of now I have 1 full time employee he is paid a salary we don't have to keep track of every hour we work that way and I am on all jobs to supervise.++++

Be very careful with that. If you're working that guy over 40 hours per week, he can come back years from now and demand overtime and I think the department of labor can assess penalties. Here's a link on who and who doesn't qualify for salary without overtime:


Here's another scary link:


And an even scarier one:


Just be careful. And realize that if you abide by the overtime laws, you only pay 10% more if your employees work 50 hours per week and 16% more if they work 60 hours per week.

DFW Area Landscaper

Team Gopher

LawnSite Platinum Member
Hi Ol Dull Blade,

Another thing you will see in posts every once in a while is incentive bonuses offered if staff members sign up new accounts as they are out in the field. Just something to consider.


LawnSite Silver Member
hourly rates are best. that way-at the end of the day, have a pience of paper back at teh shop for then to clock in and clock out. keep the sheets for your records.


LawnSite Senior Member
I pay one salary. But he stills clocks in. If he goes over forty we have to pay him time and half. Its the law from what I was told. As far as bonuses I set a period of time when I think all jobs should be completed. If any jobs do get completed earlier I pay a bonus. Because hey I am paying less out anyways to the hourly guys if the job gets completed faster then expected. From what I have found though is when you first give him that bonus opportunity that for the first two months they kick in and really start working the guys. But after that it kind of faded away. But every now and then he does get the jobs completed faster and I get him the bonus. For the most part though I think the whole bonus thing is over rated. I think a better way of doing it is per job like saying. If we can get this job done by the end of the week you will get this as a bonus. I think that would be more effective. Its like they need a continuous reminder about the job, if that makes any sense.


LawnSite Senior Member
What's the point in paying a worker salary if he's going to be paid overtime after 40 anyways?

So, basically you will be paying this employee if he misses a day of work, but overtime if he works over 40. To my knowledge, unless the worker has a true management position of hiring and firing, then that worker is actually just an hourly worker, imo. You get into the area of being exempt and non-exempt. So if your paying ot with salary, you might as well keep them hourly.

Can someone explain the reasoning behind this?

AND yes, YOU are required by law to pay OT after 40 to your guys, even if they ALL agree, for whatever reason, that straight time pay would be fine just to work more hours. I know a good friend that got BURNED by this because he did it for years until 1 person reported it. He had to repay all employees, fees/fines, and eventually filed for the big B. Not worth it.


LawnSite Fanatic
my managers get guarantee pay, so it's almost like salary. They are guaranted 32 hours a week from April to November even if they only work 31 hours or 25 hours. It's a way that I hang onto the good workers