ALCC news center
Are you making money at being green? Email
News
Monday, September 22, 2014 02:14 PM

Recycle bins


What is our industry doing to take advantage of growing environmental awareness?

Not much. The green industry is way behind other industries when it comes to promoting and marketing green. That’s partly because no one is asking us for the service. It is also because when we do provide a naturally green product or service, we fail to promote it or to think about related opportunities.

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New retirement account for small business employees Email
News
Monday, September 22, 2014 02:14 PM

Piggy bank

 

The Small Business Administration is promoting a new retirement savings account which will allow owners of small businesses to provide a simple, safe and affordable way to help employees start saving.

The program – “myRA” (“My Retirement Account”) - will be initially available only through employers and the investment held in the account will be backed by the U.S. Treasury.

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What are the odds you'll be audited Email
News
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 02:14 PM

It's not a random roll of the dice. According to the numbers from ALCC’s recent poll, chances are about 50/50 that your payroll or tax records will be audited by the federal government, state government or a local jurisdiction.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of all respondents said they had not been audited by any agency during the last 4 years – and a number of companies have never been audited. Still, 30% of respondents said that they have been audited by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) – and the overwhelming majority of them were audited during 2014. Many are still waiting to learn the outcome.

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How to avoid DOL violations Email
News
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 02:14 PM

 

Landscape companies are frequently found in violation of labor laws due to a variety of pay practices and scenarios. The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the number of FLSA investigations is on the rise.

In fact, in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Data Enforcement website, landscape companies were the third most commonly investigated sector in Colorado, only behind child care services and full-service restaurants.

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Best flower picks for cool-season color Email
News
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 02:14 PM

 

PansyOne pansy and one viola had a 100% survival rate during the 2014 Cool Season Trials conducted October 2013 through April 2014 reports Colorado State University’s James Klett.

Trials involved 66 plants and at the end of the observations, six plants were selected by the Annual Trial Garden Committee as the top-rated performers.

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How do you get to the Top 100 List? Email
News
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 02:14 PM

 

“The only thing that will be the same is that we always change. It’s complicated – and it’s simple.” says Terracare’s Dean Murphy about the firm that is among Lawn & Landscape magazine’s Top 100 landscape companies nationwide. Murphy spoke openly about change and the internal workings of Terracare when he was featured in a recent L&L webinar.

Embracing a culture of change will make you succeed in the future, says Murphy. One example: They blew up the company’s safety program and quit counting days without accidents. Now they reward people on the spot when they are found doing things right.

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Time/overtime costly in DOL audits Email
News
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 02:14 PM


Staff exiting truck

“I thought we were going to owe $30,000 in back overtime,” said one owner of a metro Denver design-build firm.

When the US Department of Labor auditor came back after interviewing several workers, he told the owner they could just estimate an average of 5 hours per week per person for back overtime pay owed to all employees. The owner’s response? “I ran the numbers and told him $30,000 would put us out of business.”

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