1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Start and Stop times for emplyee's?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Elite Property Services, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Elite Property Services

    Elite Property Services Senior Member
    Messages: 230

    Do you guys pay your employee's from the time they leave your shop with your equipment until they are done and get back or on site working only?
  2. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    They get paid from the time they punch the clock in till they punch out. I dont care if we have an hour of prep time prior to going out they are getting paid. You need to include all that down time in your bids. To reduce the wasted time, generally following the storm, all the trucks are fueled up, cleaned out, fluids checked, sidewalk trucks loaded with salt, the trucks we run bagged salt are filled, and the two vboxes are filled up so during the next storm, we show up and roll out. We have a heated shop so the salt is ok in the boxes. But again yes, they are all paid for drive time.
  3. SteveR

    SteveR Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    I pay all of it as well. I was considering cutting travel time to one way on summer work however, I heard that if thye are in your truck you have to pay them. Maybe this thread will help clear that up for me too..
  4. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    That is true. Unless you let them take the vehicle home. If your talking about installs and have like your foreman driving a company truck, then he would be unpaid once he leaves the site. Although I doubt you do that.
  5. BSDeality

    BSDeality Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    as required by the DOL... if they are an employee you pay them from the moment they arrive at your shop until they go home (punch in-out). If they're driving your truck, using your equipment, working your job under your direct instructions they are your employee! You CANNOT pay them for just billable time as an employee. If you are using a subcontractor, (not just paying them as a sub as many people do) THEN you can pay them for just billable time as thats all they're billing you for. (you do have invoices to prove that right?)
  6. NW Snow Removal

    NW Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 532

    I pay per lot /. per job. hourly leaves too much room for error. One amount per lot encourages fast work and can enable a driver to use his skills for his benefit!!!!
  7. ford550

    ford550 Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    From the time they punch in and then punch out at the shop. Our schedule is too full for them to even have time to f**k around. They don't want to be out any longer than we have too after working the hours we do. When you start seeing bees (imaginary), you just want to go home :sleeping:
  8. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    this is true , however IF you are looking to save some money,...heres a few things that can kinda work around that, obviously a signed peace of papper might be best to have verifiing the worker understands this

    for guys in the "landscape construction" industry. know its common practice for construction workers to show up dirrectly to the job site. Union workers show up to eht road or building site dirrectly.

    So, what you can do is tell them , look you can either meet me at the first job site, or to save your self gas, you can meet me at the shop and ride with me. If you do this, be honest, and have all your equiptment ready to. the guy shouldnt have to do any loading or fueling...it should simply be get in the truck and you give him a ride. first site.....hes on the clock...

    i have seen it done, and its a boarder line way around that law.

    you cant fire someone for refusing to fix a peace of equiptment that he/she broke out of the workers pocket...but you can tell them " well, i cant really afford to keep people around that keep bringing my equiptment back broken at the end of the day...., maybe you or a friend know a way to get it fixed?" ---- not one that i have used,
    but i have heard it by more than one person....(on a problematic worker, that seems to bring alot of things back broken)
  9. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,246

    I pay punch in to punch out.
  10. BSDeality

    BSDeality Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    you're right that you can say 'if you want a ride you can ride with me' and then pay them for time on-site if thats the arrangement, however you can't have them do anything before they "clock-in" on site. Also once they're "at work" they don't clock out until you're heading home. You don't get to skip paying them for drive time between your sites in the middle of the day. Once the truck is running and they get in and you go. they don't throw a couple shovels or bags of salt into the truck, they do that and they are working.

    There are lots of employers that do try to skirt the law and many think they get away with it until they fire that one guy who is going to hold a grudge. When the DOL investigates you for labor law violation you better have some KY ready cause you're about to get boned. The fines are HUGE when it comes to compensation for work time. this is the same reason I hire out my payroll service, let someone else be responsible for all the record keeping and tax requirements, etc. I met a DOL employee who explained all this to landscape business class I took in college. There are a lot of variations of 'employee vs sub'. many guys think that if they have a piece of paper saying their employee is a sub they can be done no wrong but thye're going to be in a for a big surprise down the line and the back taxes and unpaid wages and fines are going to really catch up with them.

    Besides, if you can't pay your guys for drive-time while they're plowing... YOU AREN'T CHARGING ENOUGH! our white services are the most profitable of the year.
  11. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    you are correct, they cant throw 1 single shovel into the truck. there are ways around this and it is legal to do. you can give them a ride. while snow is a very profitable time of year, consider that REALLY large companies with the number of empoyees they have and how much travel time costs them. they didnt get to be large by always being the nicest guy on the street im sure of that.

    a know of a landscape company that does this in the summer- which is where i got info from. the crew leader is paid a fixed salory posistion and they are made fully aware it is there sole job to come in early and fuel and load the trucks up in the summer time. The workers are given the option of meeting them at thee first site or riding with, but either way there work day doesnt start till they get there. However i do belive they are paid for travel back home, since driving back to the first site to drop them off is kinda out of the question in most cases.

    as for snow removal. and subbing- its common practice. in fact having them drive there own car to your site is truely considered one more reason that they are a sub. courts look at the following to determine a sub, 1. are they being dirrected as to when to start and stop work, if so what mannor?2. tools and transpertaion provided by? 3 are they given a choose of work, can they choose not to complete a task.....there are way more.

    but if you tell the guy, look 1, you need to drive to the site, i need it shoveled by 7 am, and you have to bring your own shovel.... odds are thats pretty close enough to be called a sub.

    of course like you said one a$$ ex worker can say what ever you he wants , so things like this on papper will help- but no it cant just state that ..."you are a sub contractor"

    anyone know why donimos pizza doesnt carry the 30 min rule any more? its got to do with this
  12. SteveR

    SteveR Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    I agree that you nee to charge for this travel time but what happens is that if you want 8 work hours you get into OT with the travel..Seems stupid to me to pay OT for travel
  13. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    We pay punch in and out times, however that becomes a slightly different issue with our salaried employees, and we pay our subs with their own trucks for travel one way. When they're released from their last job they're done getting paid....
  14. BSDeality

    BSDeality Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    my guys make 1.5x time anyways on snow from the time they clock in to the time they clock out... so, your guy makes an extra 1hr in OT on the ride home for example.. that costs you? $20? $30? $40? How much did that one man just gross for you in those eight hours? pretty sure it will pencil out.

    elite1, Another thing the courts will look for is the guy actually a business. DBA? llc, insurance? does he have other work? if your "sub" is only working for you its a lot harder to prove he was not an employee. a guy with a plow truck is easier to prove than a sidewalk crew guy who uses his own shovel and puts down ice melt you provide... thats where it gets fuzzy.

    FedEx is also getting boned by the IRS and DOL for calling their employees subcontractors when in fact they were not.
  15. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,448

    Whew, nice to see someone with a clue.

    OP, tell you what, if you're a gambling man, why don't you try it your way and save all that money that you are not paying them. Put it in a really good investment because once you have a disgruntled ex-employee, you are going to need every dime of that money plus penalties and interest that you will be paying them and the gov't.
  16. albhb3

    albhb3 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,505

    personally im working for a guy that I go to know over the summer {share the same shop}. Personaly I usually dont start my clock till I get in his truck its usually only 10 min. Enough to get the skid started and get the truck out. Then I dont clock out until I get in my truck back at the shop at the end of the day. It works out well for us. I know I know not by the letter but:whistling:
  17. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,448

    May or may not be stupid, but it's the law.

    As was stated, if one hour of OT is going to break the bank for you, you aren't charging enough.

    After all the long hours in crappy weather and being ready at a moment's notice 24/7 for 4-5 months are you really going to ***** about a few bucks in OT?
  18. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    In my opinion this is a no brainer clock in when you get to the shop, and leave the shop, or if the guy will be only on one site, then the time he gets there and leaves there......the only area it gets a little gray for me is when you got a guy claiming that he preplowed in his sleep for two hours before coming in, and then post plowed for 4 hours after he got done, does he get paid between bed and the shop AND between the shop and bed, just one way, or not at all?
  19. Allor Outdoor

    Allor Outdoor Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    For years now I have told every laborer who has ever worked for me that they are more than welcome to drive their own vehicle to the jobsite, OR they can drive to the shop and ride with the crew leader. 100% of the time, the opt for coming to the shop and driving with the crew leader.

    If you come to the shop and punch in, your are getting paid, and 99.99% of the time you will help the crew leader to load trailers, fuel up equiptment, etc. I DO NOT pay for the return trip back to the shop. Once the day of work is over, everyone except for the crew leader (driver) is OFF of the clock. They obviously drive back to the shop in the company vehicle, get in their personal vehicles and leave.
    Because I am giving the option of driving directly to the jobsite, and therefore having the option of leaving directly from the jobsite, I do not feel the need to pay for the return trip.
    I have had a few laborers get upset that they are not paid for the return trip, I just merly tell them "you can meet us at the jobsite, and leave when the work day is over" they realzied real quick that they are still getting the better end of the deal.
  20. Mass-hole

    Mass-hole Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 35

    I have a time clock, guys punch in and punch out at the shop. It's not worth the risk of a lawsuit or fines to nickle and dime employees on hours. If that's the difference between you losing money and making money, work on your business model.

    However, I do keep my hourly wages low and then offer bonuses. Most of my hourly guys are only getting $10-$15/hr. Double that when bonuses are included.

    Here are my typical bonuses: Show up to the shop on-time $xx, finish all jobs within the book time $xx, no complaints from clients $xx, use the least fuel per mile traveled $xx (you should see the guys compete to win this one), no damage to my equipment or anyone else's $xx. I have found this to be a great system. My lawyer has blessed it, employees like the recognition, clients like the service, and turnover is low.