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Paying help for windshield time

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Lawn Tek, May 8, 2003.

  1. Lawn Tek

    Lawn Tek LawnSite Senior Member
    from u s a
    Messages: 457

    Years ago when I worked construction , we would meet at a spot , and ride to the construction site . Thats when pay began . Were driving 30 minutes one way to a job now , and I was paying when they got in the truck . Now I think pay will begin upon arrival at the first job we go too .What are you pros policy on when pay begins and ends ?
  2. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 949

    I pay my workers from the time they get to my house from the time they leave. It is all work. Yes you aren't bringing in any money when they are in the truck but that is not their fault.
  3. CMerLand

    CMerLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    Lawn Tek,

    Its not about our policies regarding pay, its how your labor board in your state figures it. Im sure in most states you are required to pay them from the moment you tell them they are supposed to be at work. If your work day starts at 8 then you start paying them at 8. If you want them to meet you at the job site at 8 and start paying them you could do that (MAYBE), however at the end of the day you still have to drive them all back to get their cars.

    Windshield time is a cost of doing business and should have been figured into you bid. Your guys sure arent going to like to hear from you that although they came to work at 7:30 and got back at 5:30 that your only paying them from 8 to 5 o'clock.

    Best of luck

  4. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    That is the perfect reply

    The "Portal to Portal" Act is thick with vague wording


    But if they do ANY Thing related to getting things ready before or after the "Normal Work Day" .... you better pay em ..... cause if a &*% off employee call the Dept of Labor or you get audited you could be held responsibel for ALL hours of ALL employees from day ONE plus interest of-coarse

    So in others words YOU or Employees on Salary are allowed to load at start or unload at end .... if you go to the gas station n ask one of the guys "off the clock" to grab a bag of ice .... he's on the clock !

    Also if you have employees .... get a time clock !! That's the type of documentation DOL or even IRS like to see !!
  5. WildMowMan

    WildMowMan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Travel time has to factored into general overhead costs.you can't stop the time clock in between job sites till you get to the next one right? Nobody would work for you. If the 1/2 hr in the morning and 1/2 hr in the evening is a killer then you need to re-negotiate your customer man/hour rates to accomodate the payroll. Customers might not like it, but that the harshness of the business. We are all in the game to make money...why should you take the loss......if it takes 1/2 hr to get to the first site you may also want to step up the efforts to seek clientele closer to the shop. Or tell your guys to stop wasting time at the deli in the morning or get breakfast before they get to the shop provided that they still show up on time. Maybe even designate 1 guy to take breakfast orders while the rest of the crew gases up and gets the equipment ready. There is always a way to utilize and shave time here and there.
  6. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Certainly you have to pay your employees from the start of the day (when they begin working, typically when loading the truck and the travel to the first job), but you can also write your employee policies to cover yourself to some degree.

    For instance, our lunch time is 1/2 hour unpaid. If the crew foreman and crew determine they want a longer lunch that's on them, but it's unpaid. So sometimes they'll take 40 or 45 minutes, particularly if they decide not to pack that day and they need the extra time to buy lunch. I do not pay them to travel to buy their lunch. They are paid to drive the route, not go outside the route to buy their lunch on their time. Therefore if they leave the route to buy they're on their own. This goes for breakfast or break stops. They're taking a break and clock out. Once this was explained they rarely stop for a "break" as now that 20 minutes is their time and they aren't getting paid.

    We do pay our guys right from the start to the very end of the day and we're generous when we round to the benefit of the employee. They're haven't been any complaints since we're open and fair about the policies and everyone knows the system before they're hired.
  7. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Messages: 949

    Well I guess I'm in a different boat. I drive to get my guys at their houses. We then go to the jobsite, that's when we start the clock. When we take about a half hour for lunch they are still on the clock while we eat. Most times they take less time to eat than that or we eat while I drive to the next job. I pay these guys well and give them an $80 a month bonus if they work with me through November.The clock stops when we finish on our last job for that day and then I drive them back to their houses it's usually on the way back to my house. None of my guys have drivers licenses or cars. I always take them to the bank and sometimes to the store.They work hard and so do I, and everyone is happy. Works for me.
  8. drobson

    drobson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237


    Not sure about your state, but in MA any employee working 8 hours or more is entitled to 2 15 minute breaks "Paid" by law. And a 1/2 hour unpaid lunch.

    I'd be carefull and check with your state if your not paying your employees for their breaks (not meaning lunch).
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    this is how we do it...since we drive so much in between job site and we stop now and then to get something to drink they don't get a set lunch break. I figure that they probably get around 2 hours of break during the day just driving around from site to site. I have never had an employee complain at all. The way they look at it is the quicker that we get the work done the earlier they can go home.
  10. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    Are you going to stop the clock between jobs too? I've worked for people that think like that. Take care of your employees and you'll all be happy. The day begins, the day ends. Although labor is a large burdon for a P&L, if you have quality people don't mess it up. Try getting their help on the producing end with incentives. Incentives can be as creative as your mind will allow. This is back breaking work and an employee that knows you care will do it for you.

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