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Disgruntaled employees

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by KenP, Jan 6, 2003.

  1. KenP

    KenP Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    I have a small but growing construction company 3 full timers, me and my two partners. Today the guy who's been on the payroll the longest hands me the keys to the dump and says he's no longer going to plow! Plowing is a large part of our income over the winter months. The rest of the years he's a pretty good employee, although he likes to sleep in every so often. What would you guys have done? I would like to add that before I bought the dump truck in the fall he was told this was going to be one of his duties and that he would be able to use the truck for driving to and from work. He has a cell phone with unlimited minutes for work and personal use and we gave him a two grand loan toward buying his house. So I think we are more than reasonable with him
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2003
  2. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    did he give a reason for not wanting to plow anymore? maybe he feels underpaid/overworked? talk to him and see what he says
  3. KenP

    KenP Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    Under paid, well frankly he is for this season, but I explained this to him in the fall. I told him he'd be getting a lower rate this year, because we laid out a nice chunk of change for this truck. I also told him that he could use it for his daily traveling to and from the job. Over worked, well we've only plowed four storms this year and he takes off a day after he's done.
  4. citybobcat

    citybobcat Junior Member
    from NYC
    Messages: 18

    I don't think you should have lowered his pay. If you needed a new truck for the business it should have came out of your pocket. The only way you would have lowered my pay is if you gave me a piece of the business.

    DYNA PLOW Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    This is my opinion on your thread, i have experience with employees as i ran my own c-store for a # of years.
    my rule that you broke is the fact that you bought a new truck for YOUR COMPANY not for him and then you cut his wages on top of it. An employee will look at this situation and say you must be makin money cause you can aford a new truck then why am i gettin my pay docked because of it. it don't matter that you told him he could use it to go to the job.Other than this situation it seems you treat this individual quite well but keep in mind employee's forget these things pretty easily( the extra things i mean)
    if you admitted that he is under paid ( and you did) fix that problem imediatly.
    don't forget that the company owns the truck and bought it, he did not.
    good emplyees are hard to find, if you have a few pay them well,it makes your job that much simpler.( my motto)
  6. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    Ken I feel if you laid everthing out for him and he knew that this was to be what was expected of him i see no reason for him to quite like that.You guys sound like you treat him prety good and let him get away with alot of liberties .
  7. Sndun

    Sndun Member
    Messages: 56

    I agree with DYNA PLOW 110%. I have worked for some horrible employers and I can understand your worker's point of view. (Not referring to you as a horrible employer.) He feels that he (his pay) should not be affected by the purchase that your company made to benefit your company.

    This is only my opinion. Ignore it if you like.
  8. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    I can see where yout employee might think that he is underpaid, and i agree with what dyna plow said. However, you gave him a $2000 loan, did he repay this in full? if not then theres his paycut. If you bought the truck for the benefit of your company, the funds used for it should not be diverted from an employee's pay, instead they couls be diverted from another company expense account. Spend less in tools or cut back the overtime even. It just doesnt seem right to me. Unless he was the reason that you needed to purchase a new truck.....
  9. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    can`t do that in my state.lowering someones wages.that only works if you demote him.he can go to the labor board if he wants and you could get in some deep SH**.big deal you gave him a truck to use for personal use.do you think he wants a dump truck with a plow in front of his house??? thats nice that you did that but really cutting someones pay because you wanted a new dump truck???? i wouldn't work for you.i would take a dump on that truck.or should i say leave a Dump....lol.but you have been good to him.helping him out getting a house and offering to use that truck for his personal use.it also sounds like hes the"push me im coming" type.but make sure you cover your A**.because he may turn on you and go to the labor board.
  10. a palustris

    a palustris Member
    Messages: 74

    If the guy is tired of plowing, and is a good employee... let him take the winter off. Some people need the winter off to get themselves re-charged for the spring rush. After all, plowing snow is blood money, maybe this guy's priorities in life have changed? Stranger things have happened.
  11. KenP

    KenP Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    I never cut his pay rate. If he's plowing during normal work hours he receives his normal wages. But if he's plowing during off hours he receives a different rate per hour, which is only 5.00 different then his normal daily wage. The truck isn't new it's a 95, but I do understand that point. I guess my position is that I've given him enough and I want to get a little back. On the loan topic, he hasn't paid one dime of it back and I haven't asked for it. After I spoke with him last night, he said he he doesn't like to be at "my beck and call when it snows". I think the guy just doesn't like the long hours of plowing, but plowing is a new aspect of our work and we're not going to stop, in fact each new employee will be told when hired that plowing and related duties are part of thier new job.
  12. KatWalk

    KatWalk Member
    Messages: 83

    Ken, how is he during your normal working days? Is he a tradesman like a carpenter or an electrician?? I operate a small Landscape company and find it hard to find a person that is willing to cut grass three days a week and do install work on the other days. I think some people just like to be numb in the head and stick to one thing and one thing only. If he is making you money on the construction end, I would look for an on call driver that would probably like to earn some extra cash and would not know that he was working for $5 less than his normal wage. Option #2....pay him his regular wage even during plowing. Good luck. Ryan

    DYNA PLOW Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    KenP, your 2nd post sheds a little more light on the subject,but my ? is are you paying him 5.00 more or less for after normal work hours plowing snow...if it's less why? isn't he still the same guy ? don't take what iv'e been saying as being on his side it's just that over the years iv'e learned real hard not to make foolish decisions on employee related things.
    on the other hand like i said earlier, employee's tend to forget real quick all the special things you do for them. i applaud you for lending him 2000.00 for a down payment as that is something i would not have done. I only hope you can recover it.
    you need to decide wheather or not this chump is important for your business or not, i can't and won't make an assumption on that.
  14. KenP

    KenP Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    I just did some figuring, when plowing off hours he makes $0.62 cents less per hour. However I never really got the impression that if I paid him more per hour he'd like it any better. I think the going rate around here for a driver is roughly $20.00 per hour. Now I laid that out for him at the start of the season and it was sort of a trade off. He was going to work this season for $15.00 per hour and next year we'd bump him up, but he would have the use of the truck on a daily basis. That is a pretty big perk for an employee in my eyes. Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know. I did tell him that I thought he was being pretty damn ingrateful and if he thought he could do better somewhere else, to get stepping. He salted his route last night and didn't have the same bitchy tone in his voice, maybe he's turning the corner. I'm not looking for him to blow sunshine where it don't shine, if you get my point, but we gave him a job when A: he didn't have one and B: Early on in his recovery process. It sort of frosts my little ones when I get this attitude.
  15. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Your Business, Your call

    I want to start by saying that this is just my two cents, and with the legal parts in the other threads, it is your business. I was just wondering if you had considered offering him other options as well? Maybe overtime at regular rate toward what he owed on the loan, or maybe other benefits that he may suggest. Again, it is your company and I for one am not trying to tell you how to run it. I know when I was in charge of work crews, I got much more quality and quantity when they were happy. This did not mean that I went way above and beyond, but if a crew had done 12 hours of work in 8 hours and it was all done right, it might mean that I sprung for lunch the next day or some other perk. If he uses the truck for only to and from work, that just means he can start earlier instead of having to drive somewhere to get the truck then start, if he can use it for any personal as well, then I would have to agree, it's a perk... IMO.. Good luck..
  16. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    Maybe he just doesn't like plowing but since he's into you for two grand he figures you can't afford to give him the boot.

    DYNA PLOW Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    Ken, just wondering how you made out with the situation?

  18. KenP

    KenP Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    After discussing this topic further with the employee and with several other people, we've determined that there were a few other problems.

    A: He doesn't like plowing, but will do it for more money.

    B: He's worried about tax liabilites. As of Sept. 1 he's getting a 1099, which he wanted!

    So what we're going to offer him is a pay increase of roughly $3.10 per hour, to off set his tax woes. Along with that he'll be required to pay us back the loan we gave him, his attitude will have to improve and he'll be required to give us a solid 8 hours a day not including lunch. If he can't get along with that, I'll be showing him to the door:nono: :waving:

    I really think we treat each of our employees extreamly well. If they need off they get it, If they need money they get it. We give them winter gear to work in, summer gear, if they need tools we buy them, yada, yada, yada. All I expect is not be taken advantage of, not much pisses me off, but when I feel like I've been taken advantage of, stand by, cause I'm come'n and I'm come'n heavy:realmad:

    Thanks to all for your opinions, they were very useful.
  19. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    You do all that for them... Wow, wish I had a boss like that when I worked for the man. I said that I had given Perks before, but even the owner would have never approved that much kindness. IMO You have already gone out of your way...

    Good post. :nod:
  20. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Did you say that as of 9-1-02 he getting a 1099 for his wages. That means you are trying to classify him as a subcontractor, and being that he is driving a co truck, and working by the hour for your company and you are directly telling him where and how to perform his work, the fed and local dept of labor will still classify him as an employee. You will still be responsable for his tax liability and workers comp. You better take a closer look at this situation before you are blindsided.
    All this doesnt matter if he wanted it this way or not. He also will need his own liabilty insurance.