Tough Decision: Do I Allow Seasonal Unemployment?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jbell36, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Messages: 1,416

    yeah it sucks that unemployment favors the kind of people that take advantage of it...and technically i think you can collect unemployment if you are under 32 hours...if you gave them say 20 hours a week in the off season and they regularly get 36, for example, then they can file for the other 16 hours, if i'm not mistaken...each state is different
  2. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    Instead of asking us, why don't you contact the labor dept?
  3. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Messages: 1,416

    now there's a ******* bright idea...

    i really hate comments like that...this is a thread for other employers to share what they do, different ideas, what the rules are for other states, etc...i'm not asking you to do the work for me...thanks for stating the obvious tho :bday:

    ...i couldn't find a thumbs up, so i figured i would throw this in there
  4. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I do al that with Quickbooks enhanced payroll. It direct connects to the state for suta / futa and to the UE offices. Files the forms and pays the money. I have to fill in few items like my NCIS number the country and stuff. other wise it takes about 2 min. I send in the payroll taxes on or about the same day as the checks are written.
  5. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    So your solution to avoid paying high UI premiums is to pay the employees all winter when you have no work for them? Here's the problem with that. Top UI rate here is 6.9 the lowest rate here is 1.9 so the punishment for not having work in the winter and an additional 5% on my payroll. Now my partner and I do not pay on ourselves so that 5% is just on employees. The top guy makes about 30k the other one about 20k so 50k a year x 5% costs me additional $2500 so they can sit on there butts all winter. Now to avoid that Id need to pay them what 40 hours a week for 10-12 weeks each about an average of about 15 an hour here so 1200 a week or $12,000-$14,400 to avoid paying $2500.

    That's the part that sucks yes were getting screwed but its cheaper to just pay the higher premium. Also that premium is currently about double what it would be if Obama wasn't in office and we had lower unemployment. When fewer are on it the rates are lower when your states been at 8% forever your rates reflect that.

    I see a lot of southern and Texas guys talking about trying to work them year round must be nice. Here the season is about to end for us in 10 more days or so we will start getting ready for spring around the first week or so of march and those 10 weeks or so in-between I have nothing for work. Oh but you could do snow work yes we could and 2 years ago it was 2-3 storms a week the entire month of January and last year it was 4 storms the entire winter. I'm guessing there would be a lack of work there.
  6. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    We pretty much shut down from Christmas to mid-Jan because the guys are taking vacations. Some of them would take a whole month or more. It is getting harder and harder to let them be gone that long.

    If you have commercial clients the work does slow down but you are paid year round and there is always a little something to do. There is trash pick up out of the beds, major irrigation inspection and repair for pre-spring start up.

    We also spend about a week just getting the shop back in order. It also ways seems to be a mess at the end of the season.

    I know your region is different but there has to be somethings you can do.

    If you send them to some sort of training you can pay them minimum wage while in training. If you are a small business there is often cost sharing on training programs.

    You do not have to pay the full 40 hours to keep them off UE.
  7. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Messages: 1,416

    yeah we are finishing up clean ups of my employees has been cleaning trucks to fill in for the lack of clean ups this week...will start cleaning the shops and the rest of the trucks and equipment next week, then it looks like i will tell them to file for UI...we have quite a bit to do at our shop tho, it's crazy how much stuff can accumulate in there
  8. norsky

    norsky LawnSite Member
    from MN
    Messages: 52

    very good idea....find out what you are suppose to do to be legal. then you can find out what others are doing to be legal or illegal.
  9. Horizon Jay

    Horizon Jay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    Newbie to the site here but.... I would find out what they are eligible for $ wise (or have them find out). As it turns out, in the great state of Indiana, our legislators have decided to change the unemployment laws and the way the payout is calculated. So my employees (and other lawn co I talk to) are finding that their benefits have been chopped in half (in some cases more). The call back date no longer applies and their benefits are based off of total income (currently from July 2011-june 2012) Divided by 52 and multiplied by 0.47. Basically taking what used to be a decent check for 3 months and stretching it out to a years worth of little checks (regardless of how long they claim, even if they come back to work in March). This in turn makes the checks laughable and in a lot of cases under $100! Obviously they cannot live off of that. So back to your question... Have them find out what they are eligible for cause as is the case with my employees, they arent getting enough! ( a drastic change from last year) They HAVE to look for jobs now. We do snow removal but if it doesnt snow... Also on the flipside, if it does snow and they get jobs, I dont have any workers! So, good luck!
  10. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,157

    In New Jersey the employee and employer pay into the unemployment fund.
    Their unemployment check is 60% of what their average annual income is. so if they are making $500 a week average then they receive $300. It is nuch more affordable to pay into unemployment then to keep paying them if you dont have the work. We could only pay a week and a half of payroll for what our annual contribution is.

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