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Archive for the ‘Steve Cesare’ tag

Time for some time off

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I got a call from a reader yesterday asking for some help. He’s reworking his employee manual, and wanted to know industry standards for time off. I didn’t have anything ready at hand, so I asked our resdient HR expert Steve Cesare for his insight.

I thought it might be a question other contractors had, so I’m sharing it here.

The current standard is one week of paid vacation time and three paid sick days per year for non-exempt employees at and above the rank of Foreman (and all office staff), after they have completed one year of continuous service to the company.

The current standard is two weeks of paid vacation time and three paid sick days per year for exempt employees, beginning on their hire date.

These “standards” don’t really apply to very small (i.e., fewer than 15 employees) landscaping companies.  Those companies typically do not allocate paid vacation time to any employees.  Moreover, they typically only grant unpaid sick leave to their employees.

You can read Steve’s insight into HR matters every month in our print edition. If you have a burning question you need answered right away, email him at


November 28th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

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Top 10 OSHA violations

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Steve Cesare sent us this list of OSHA’s most frequently cited workplace safety and health violations for fiscal year 2011. This list applies to all industries, not just landscaping, but as the government starts discussing tighter restrictions on the use of cell phones by drivers, it’s a good time to start thinking about your company’s approach to safety.

The top 10, starting with the most frequent violations are as follows:

  1. Fall protection in construction,
  2. Scaffolding in construction,
  3. Hazard communication,
  4. Respiratory protection,
  5. Lockout/tagout,
  6. Electrical wiring methods,
  7. Powered industry trucks,
  8. Ladders in construction,
  9. Electrical general requirements, and
  10. Machine guarding.

Steve is a PH.D. in industrial psychology and an HR expert with the Harvest Group. His series, on the top 10 HR mistakes landscapers make, ran for a good portion of 2011. And, he’s back in January with a new column, House Calls, in our print edition.

Here’s his July piece on how to prevent and respond to OSHA violations.


December 15th, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Weekly round-up

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Here’s a round-up of some of the best stuff we found on the Internet this last week.


November 28th, 2011 at 7:10 am