What Is Fair Pay for Me/What should I demand

Discussion in 'Employment' started by DCK1981, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    If you were forced to sign the non compete form under duress you may want to contact an attorney for a legal opinion. Your thread reads like you may have been taken advantage of over the years by this employer.
    I believe mistakes were made by both parties. If the non compete clause is legally binding you may have to relocate where you can start on your own.
    easy-lift guy
  2. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    In many states it is hard for an employer to enforce a non-compete once the person leaves the company. Most states you just simply need to show that you can't find other work, this is often as simple as just saying "I've been doing this work for 8 years, it's all that I know". Where the non-compete comes into effect is if you actively market his customers. If the see your add driving through town or in the paper they can call you, but inmost cases you can't go directly to his customers and knock on the door saying "hi I'm joe, I used to treat your lawn while working for abc lawn care, I started my own company and can do your lawn for $xxx.xx. The non-compete also protects the company from you working for a competitor or on your own while working for him, in that case he may be able to fire you without and you may be denied unemployment for breaking company policy. Once you are out the door, if you don't actively go after his customers you should be fine. I don't know about Indiana in particular, but that's how many states are
  3. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,269

    You would be in the lower range of what we pay per hour for a fertilizing tech.

    If the techs meet a certain threshold for hours worked per year they are eligible for health and our simple retirement plan.

    Check with your local DOL agency on the OT - the FLSA is pretty clear on how you pay OT. Don't know if I understand your circumstance based on your description though?

    My guess is that that the "non compete" is really a non solicit. They don't want you going on your own and marketing their client base with the intimate knowledge you have of the pricing. Non compete would never hold up in any state for a fertilizing tech.

    What other things do you bring to the company that show value? I could care less on the length of time employed - your skill set, and job availability, determines your pay scale. Can you sell, manage other techs, negotiate with vendors?

    In my opinion - you only make 18k per year because you work in a seasonal business, not because you are grossly underpaid. I would love to keep all my people employed year around - can't make it work and still meet our target profit margin. Some budget for the winter off, some work a temp job, some collect unemployment, some rely on snow removal and some, who show the most value, stay on year round.
  4. memphis.landscape

    memphis.landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    If they threaten to hold you to the non compete then threaten to sue them for loss overtime wages.
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  5. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    I concur. The businesses is paying 20-22 a hr for you to work. Your truck needs to make over $400 a day to show a profit and that's not including chemicals. So I would think your truck needs to make over $550 in a 10 hr day to show a profit. If you know the app prices I would consider those numbers and if your truck is making over 2.5k in a 40 hr week, then I think you need to negotiate new terms.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. DCK1981

    DCK1981 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    My goal is always $100 gross per hr, and most days I hit that if not more. I would say gross in a weeks time MOST weeks I do between 3500-5000 gross if the weather is good. and i COULD manage other techs, I just get no one working with me. I also will do most estimates that are in my region, so i also can estimate and sell to potential customers, so i stay pretty busy for 8 months a year. I feel like I SHOULD have some help as I manage 389 of our company's 630 accounts pretty much alone, but it is what it is. I counted last night to get an accurate total, and since we do 4 treatments a year I figure I'm doing approx 1500 apps a year on customer lawns. I dont really know what the average app price is that we do, but I would estimate its between $60-70 so just low balling it 60 x 1500, I'm probably doing in gross sales myself 90k a year and thats probably low. I just did an app the other day that was $550 and it was less than half a day, like 2 hrs max, so i figure my labor cost was $31+ and the fert was about $150, so not a bad profit at all for us.
  7. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,269

    Go ask your employer to share financials with you - check back if they are willing to share. I think you will be surprised on what really goes to the bottom line.
  8. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,572

    I agree with this post. Things aren't always what they seem to be when you work for someone.

    Just go out on our own with all your qualifications. You'll quickly realize how fast your gross goes away.

    Also, what he's doing for overtime is illegal. Period. You cannot with hold overtime for any reason
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. eggy

    eggy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,085

    If it makes you feel better I am in Indiana and in the same boat. Working for a small company half million a year revenue and underpaid by about 10k from average ....
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,109

    Go out on your own...you have the expertise and know-how...just do it and prove to your boss he needs you more than you need him.
    P.S. I went to a wedding once in your town...back in the 90s

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