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I own a landscaping company and we used to pay our laborers…

Customer Question
I own a landscaping...

I own a landscaping company and we used to pay our laborers by the day until the Dept of Labor audited us and told us we had to go to hourly. With the laborers in this industry, they have now figured if they are paid hourly, with overtime, they will just take longer and longer to do the job and ride our clock. After years of payroll costs killing our bot***** *****ne when we know it shouldn't, I want to know how I can setup a pay schedule like the laborers do in auto body shops where they are paid by the job for the labor hours approved. For example, if they have 20 stops and each stop may pay .5 labor hours then they would get paid for 10 hours that day, even if they finish in 8 or 12. How can I legally do this?

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed this wage-and-hour issue with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

I own the company and we don't have a lawyer

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?

We are in Texas so yes we are an "at will" state and have "at will" employees. No they do not belong to a union

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don't think so

Submitted: 25 days ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
5/31/2018
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 25 days ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,457
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
Ok, let me know when you have an answer.
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 25 days ago

Thanks very much for your patience. So, the DOL requires that you pay employees for all hours worked. Legally, you can pre-determine the hours that someone is going to be paid. The only trouble is that federal law would require you to pay them if they worked over those hours, but if they worked less, you can pay them for the entire time. So, for example, if the job is supposed to take 10 hours, but they're not done, you can demand they stop working and not pay them anything else. If they keep working past hour 10, they must be paid. If it takes 8 hours instead of 10, you can choose to pay them the 10 hours if you want, but that's not required becuase they didn't actually work those hours.

Because I value your input, I would like to know what other questions did you have for me today that I can help out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
This basically means that I am stuck. They can work as slow as they want and I have to end up paying them.
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 25 days ago

Sort of. But keep in mind this law applies to every employer in the U.S. and this is a common issue they face. What typically works is that you can tell them that you won't pay them for any more than X # of hours so they need to finish during that time and you won't be offering any more hours after that.

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
We've tried that; they will just stop working and not finish the service and then we get fired from the property so that doesn't work either.
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 25 days ago

I see. Are there other companies in the area that you know of who have managed this at all? Like former colleagues or vendors who have faced the same issue with hourly employees?

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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