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Employees answering their phones

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by ygim, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. ygim

    ygim Member
    Messages: 81

    Does anyone have workers that don't like to answer the phone when you call them? I try to call them I know they here the phone ringing, but they don't feel like answering. How to deal with them other than that great worker.
  2. Northeastsnow

    Northeastsnow Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    When we call our employees and they do not answer we have a 20 min return call policy, if they are unable answer they must return call with in 20 mins or they are docked an half hour of pay. If they do not return call within hour they will not be called for next storm resulting in bigger loss for them, 3 no call backs without really good excuse will result in possible termination.:gunsfiring: This of course is not our most popular policy but it works great.
  3. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    Tell them to answer their phone or they're fired.
  4. MikeA5150

    MikeA5150 Member
    Messages: 57

    Yes I know exactly what you mean but slightly different circumstances, up until last year I was a supervisor for the highway department and had to deal with this to some degree every time it snowed especially if it was a holiday or super bowl sunday . I didnt think that type of bs was in the private sector too. If I was able to fire someone for being a weasel when we needed them the most I wouldve done so.
  5. Northeastsnow

    Northeastsnow Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Holidays including Super Bowl Sunday are the worst for us, we came up with an incentive program to help with this, Holidays all employees including subs will get double time, plus if they work a holiday will will cook steaks for everyone out plowing or salting, we will pull everyone into home base and feed them for and hour just to show we couldnt do what we do without them... For the most part we have really stopped this trend but still have one or two that will push the rule to the breaking point.
  6. abbottfarm

    abbottfarm Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 108

    This is fair^, you get a lot further by rewarding them, then you do by docking there pay...I understand the frustration, but I also know that some of my guys have to be out of the truck shoveling for longer then 20 minutes at a time, and when its snowing hard, I don't expect them to have there phone on them, and risk getting it wet/lost in the snow.
  7. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,681

    Are you paying for their phone? If it is their own personally phone I don't see why they would have to answer it. Also pretty sure it is illegal to dock their pay for this. Now if you provided them a "work" phone and they are ignoring it then I can see you having a problem with them not answering. If the guy I sub for told me to answer or I would be docked, I would be gone. He isn't paying for my phone and I will choose when I answer if I do at all. I also don't carry my phone when I am out of the truck, so I could be away from my phone for more than 20 minutes if I am helping walk crew or repairing one of his trucks.

    Now needless to say a good employee will answer or call back when he gets a chance but still think that docking an employee for not answering his personal phone is just wrong.
  8. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    I was thinking the same thing, but i think he is more talking about calling them to go out? i could be wrong. if he is talking about docking their pay during working hours, after their blade hit the pavement, then he risks getting his rear end sued off his body.
  9. Northeastsnow

    Northeastsnow Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    you are right.... and the other person is right we supply a phone to all employees for winter, we use it to call them out to plow, salt, shovel whatever... we have dedicated sidewalk crews so the plows should never be outside of there truck shoveling snow. Sidewalk crews have a area supervisor who has a phone for his crew. Now I know that there are those rare occasions were he may be getting something to eat and left it in truck and if he explains that we will let it slide one or two times, however if he makes a habit of it then we begin docking pay and so one and so forth.
  10. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    so you assume he is not working? what do you do if he says he was working, just simply did not answer for whatever reason?
  11. Northeastsnow

    Northeastsnow Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Working? ? ? I understand what you are saying but they do not have to answer the phone right away they just have to call us back within 20 mins to see what was need from us. We are not just calling them to say hey whats up, we are calling them to go PLOW snow... if they call back in 20 mins no harm no foul, however if they do not call us back and we need to call them again then there become the problem...most guys want to go work in the winter and plow snow so they are calling our dispatch people and asking when they can go...
  12. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,681

    The FLSA requires that employees receive compensation for all time worked.

    You may be better off with a warning and then termination if they don't start answering. Docking someone's pay can just open you up for all kinds of trouble. Now you are allowed to reduce their hourly wage.
  13. Northeastsnow

    Northeastsnow Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    I cleared this with all gov offices prior to implemtation and they stated that is was ok as long as we supply the phones. Technical phone is provided as a convenience to employee and us, and if the answer phone they begin getting paid right away, if the chose not to answer. It is considered be late to work and therefor we can legally dock there pay for 30 min ( law states 1 hour max if no more than 30 mins late) in accordance with Ohio law.
  14. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    Until the Feds get involved.

    Since Federal labor law supersedes state laws in these kinds of situations, whether we like it or not.
  15. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    That's quite an assumption that the employee knows you are calling him, and he chooses not to answer. How on earth would you know this to be fact other than him telling you so?

    If this is the case, and it's the initial call to begin your snow outing, it's a no brainier...you fire him unless there is a real good reason for him to do this that you are not disclosing.
  16. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    Now everyone is an labor attorney on here. Northeast snow, I agree with your policies. Even if you don't call the day before a storm hits (in sure you do), this is their job and the need to be aware that when it snows, you will be calling.
  17. Northeastsnow

    Northeastsnow Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Thanks glad someone agrees with me, getting tried of being on trail with this thread
  18. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    Never said I didn't agree with him.
  19. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    chuckles. now you know how i feel on PS

    I had a guy not answer once. needed him to go salt a place. i guess he just crashed from lack of sleep and was out cold. guy we work for was ticked but i havnt herd anything from him about it since we got ahold of him the next day. other than this he has been very reliable. if i need help this summer he will be the first i call
  20. gafred

    gafred Member
    from Boone
    Messages: 36

    The states you are based in what is the law on answering phone while operating motor vehicle in motion?

    hands free required?
    or ?