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Question concerning Foreman wages


LawnSite Member
I am a bi-lingual, spanish fluent non-hispanic (american) who has been working as a Commercial Maintenance Foreman for a large landscape company in the Raleigh NC area for almost a year now. I currently run a 4 man crew, and stand as the lead person in translating to the nearly 98% hispanic staff. I am versed in almost every facet of the industry, from flouroculture and install to turf maintenance and IPM.

Despite being considered a 'salary' employee after my original 90 days, I am required to work no less than 40 hours every week, or I am docked pay for hours not worked. I am also expected to work overtime, but am paid in 'chinese overtime' once I pass 40. Last week I had 61 hours total, (21 overtime) and only earned 90.00, which seems a bit outmif kilter.

I am curious to know what other companies are offering in salary or an hourly wage in comparison to what I am earning, as well as what is typical for overtime wages?

I am not looking for another job, as much as I just want to know where I stand in the industry, and if Monday needs to be the day to sit down and chat with my personnel person.

Any guidance would help...



LawnSite Bronze Member
Pinckney, MI
What the heck is "Chinese overtime"? I would familiarize yourself with the federal laws concerning OT. I think I would also be looking for another employer.


LawnSite Member
Ok, this is a better explanation...

This method is called the "fixed salary for fluctuating workweeks" form of computing overtime; this is the method that some companies in the past used to refer to informally as "Chinese overtime". Many employers favor it because it results in a diminishing regular rate, and thus diminishing overtime pay, the more overtime hours there are in a workweek. For the same reason, many employees do not like this method. Moreover, the regular rate varies under this method from week to week, so some employers and employees do not like the unpredictability of this way of computing overtime pay.


LawnSite Gold Member
I would start my own company. Knowledge is a large part of the game. It takes years to gain good knowledge. An understanding of accounting practices would be a good place to start so you can figure out what you will need to spend on equipment and what you will need to bring in to break even or be profitable in the early stages of self-employment. I won't lie, it's tough working for yourself but it can be rewarding..


LawnSite Bronze Member
I think it is time for you to go to the US Department of Labor site and do a little researching.


LawnSite Senior Member
With you background and knowledge you should have a little to negotiate with and if your boss doesn't come off the $$$ then he can learn to speak spanish