Welcome to our company! We are excited to have you on our team, and we want you to enjoy working here.
This handbook has information to assist you in becoming more familiar with the policies, procedures, and culture of Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc.
I trust you will take the time to read through the material and access it when needed.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask your crew leader or a member of management.
Good luck for success and satisfaction in your new job!
Jacob Godar, CEO
Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc.
Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. was founded by Jacob Godar in April 2014.
It started as a one-man, part-time venture in Springfield, Illinois, but that didn’t last long. By the end of the 2014 season, Jacob had acquired 20 lawn maintenance accounts.
In the spring of 2015, Jacob quit his day job in the auto body field to operate the business full-time. By the end of 2015, Jacob was operating all commercial professional equipment and had more than tripled his client list.
In January 2016, the business was incorporated under the name Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc.
In 2018, Scooter’s Lawn Care won “Best Landscape Designer – Jacob Godar” and “Best Landscape Company,” among other local awards and nominations that year.
In January 2019, the company relocated to a commercial location with client walk-in access, a vendor showroom, and expanded room for equipment and plant storage. The company operates five to seven crews full-time.
What has made us such a success?
From the beginning, Jacob used his knowledge of small business operations and previous professional landscape experience as tools for success. He has built Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. to be a rapidly growing landscaping company with a stellar reputation. Currently one of the leading lawn care and landscaping companies in central Illinois, Scooter’s is expanding exponentially while maintaining its small business values.
Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. is currently engaged in all segments of the professional lawn maintenance and landscaping industry, specializing in high quality landscaping and hardscaping installations. Other services include weekly lawn care, fertilization and weed control, property clean ups, and more.
We prioritize unmatched customer service, convenience, and high-tech solutions.
Plans for the future of Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. include the growth of clientele, specialization of high quality services, and continued expansions to new locations.
We at Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. pride ourselves on our high quality and experienced professional work. We have developed professional, meaningful working relationships with our customers. Our mission statement is a testament to the commitment we have to our customers:
“We care for yours as if it were ours”
Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. is dedicated to meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations with the highest quality products and services, produced in the timeliest fashion, by the finest lawn maintenance professionals.
As an employee at Scooter’s Lawn Care, your future can be as bright as you want it to be.
We are always looking for shining stars on our crew: team members who want to grow personally and professionally, train for management positions, and potentially relocate to new branches. We value open, honest communication; please don’t hesitate to discuss your goals with the company with us.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
It is your responsibility to stay up-to-date on all company policies.
Introduction: Company Culture
Equal Employment Opportunity
Alcohol, Drug & Tobacco Use
Classification of Employees
Licensure Reimbursement Policy
Time and a Half for Overtime
Care of Equipment & Company Property
Internet & Email Usage
Uniforms & Equipment
Correct Address & Home Telephone Number
Criticisms & Grievances
Introduction: Company Culture
At Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc., we are a family. We take care of each other and our clients. We love what we do, and we each bring our unique energy to the team every day. Our atmosphere is high energy and positive. We provide the very best service every single time.
We proudly nurture every member of our team. We want you to grow personally and professionally and always be the best you can be. Please read through our values, and consider internalizing them in your day-to-day life. It is expected that the list below will be a guideline of your behavior and attitude while at work.
- Integrity: We have succeeded thus far because we prioritize integrity. We do what we say we’ll do. We show up when we say we will. Every customer knows how important they are to us because we treat them like our friends and family: with courtesy, dignity, and respect.
- Respect: Respect is a fundamental, mandatory aspect of our customer and employee experience. Everyone you encounter in your day-to-day work (customers and team members alike) should be treated with respect.
- Pride: Every small detail and interaction of your work and relationships are important. Take pride in your work. You are changing lives.
- Teamwork: When we work together, we accomplish more and produce higher results than when we work alone. We are only as good as the weakest member of a team, so we should always work to build each other up. We are responsible for more than our own job; we will accomplish the goals and tasks of the team. The success of the company is dependent on all of us.
- We Change Lives: In all we do, we improve the quality of our customers’ lives. We make their lives easier. We have a passion and pride for our work.
Equal Employment Opportunity
It is our policy and intent of our company to provide equal opportunity to all qualified persons. This policy prohibits discrimination. The company’s policy applies to all phases of the personnel process, including recruitment, hiring, placement, training, promotion, benefits, compensation, company sponsored social activity, and all other terms and conditions of employment.
We are committed to maintaining a working environment free of harassment and intimidation. Racial epithets, ethnic slurs, unwelcome sexual advances, request of sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature is considered to be in conflict with company policy on Equal Employment Opportunity. Violations of this policy on the part of any employee may be the cause for termination of employment.
If you feel you have been a victim of harassment, immediately report such activity to a member of management.
The company maintains personnel records about every employee. We have established guidelines about information in this file concerning the types of employee information that will be collected and maintained and who may have access to it.
Our basic guidelines concerning your personnel file provide that the company will:
Collect and maintain information about you only for employee relations or legal reasons.
Limit internal access to those with legitimate reason to know.
Provide you with the opportunity to review or make copies of your personnel file in the presence of the owner, supervisor, or management. If you disagree with any information in your record and the company does not change or remove it, you may submit your comments in a written statement to be inserted in your file.
The personnel records are routinely checked in order to verify dates of employment or current last position. Medical, counseling, insurance, security and other investigative records or related personal information are also treated confidentially and generally not disclosed, except where required by law or when legally permitted.
Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco Use
Your reputation and health, as well as the reputation of Scooter’s Lawn Care, could be seriously damaged by your possession of illegal drugs, being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, and using illegal prescription drugs while on duty.
Let it be clearly understood that our company policy strictly prohibits the possession and/or use of illegal drugs, the illegal use of prescription drugs or alcohol on company premises, personal vehicles while on company parking lots, company vehicles and/or equipment and/or job sites. Also, reporting to work under the influence of illegal drugs, the illegal use of prescription drugs, or alcohol is strictly prohibited and may be cause for immediate termination of employment.
Please note that smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or any other form of tobacco use is strictly prohibited while at a job site. Smoking of tobacco is allowed during travel to and from job sites. Please do not litter. Any and all fines from littering will be the responsibility of the employee.
Guidelines for functioning in an electronic world are the same as the values, ethics and confidentiality policies employees are expected to live every day, whether you’re Tweeting, talking with customers or chatting over the neighbor’s fence.
Your responsibility to represent Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. doesn’t end when you are off the clock. For that reason, this policy applies to both company sponsored social media and personal use as it relates to Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc.
What You Should Do:
Disclose your Affiliation: If you talk about work related matters that are within your area of job responsibility you must disclose your affiliation with Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc.
State That It’s YOUR Opinion: When commenting on the business. Unless authorized to speak on behalf of Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc., you must state that the views expressed are your own. Hourly employees should not speak on behalf of Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. when they are off the clock.
Protect Yourself: Be careful about what personal information you share online.
Act responsibly and ethically: When participating in online communities, do not misrepresent yourself. If you are not a vice president, don’t say you are. When posting images, videos, or text online, you are responsible for the consequences. If you post images, videos, or text admissions of yourself partaking in illegal or discriminatory activities that could affect the reputation of Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc., please understand that this can result in immediate termination of your employment at Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc.
Honor Our Differences: Live the values. Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. will not tolerate discrimination (including age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability, or marital status or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state, or local laws, regulations or ordinances).
What You Should Never Disclose:
The Numbers: Non-public financial or operational information. This includes strategies, forecasts and most anything with a dollar-figure attached to it. If it’s not already public information, it’s not your job to make it so.
Promotions: Internal communication regarding drive times, promotional activities or inventory allocations.
Personal Information: Never share personal information about our customers. See the Customer Information Policies for more information.
Legal Information: Anything to do with a legal issue, legal case, or attorneys without first checking with management.
Anything that belongs to someone else: Let them post their own stuff; you stick to posting your own creations. This includes illegal music sharing, copyrighted publications, and all logos or other images that are trademarked by Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc.
Confidential Information: Do not publish, post, or release information that is considered confidential.
Basically, if you find yourself wondering if you can talk about something you learned at work — don’t. Follow our policies and live the company’s values and philosophies. They’re there for a reason.
Just in case you are forgetful or ignore the guidelines above, here’s what could happen. You could:
- Get fired (and it’s embarrassing to lose your job for something that’s so easily avoided)
- Get Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. in legal trouble with customers or investors
- Cost us the ability to get and keep customers (which will directly affect our ability to employ our team)
Remember: protect the brand, protect yourself.
Regarding posts, images, and promotional materials shared by Scooter’s Lawn Care:
As part of our brand, we proudly post members of our team at work and at events. As an employee of Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc., you understand that your image may be used in social media ads, website images, promotional materials, and other marketing materials.
You understand that your image may still be used should your employment at Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc., end, and you agree to release all images and video during and after your employment at Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc.
If you still have questions please contact your leadership.
Employee Development: Classification of Employees
Introductory Seasonal Employee (Probationary Period):
An employee appointed to a seasonal position by the company shall be considered introductory for a period of one hundred and twenty (120) days. During the introductory period, an employee may be terminated from employment at any time without the right of an appeal. During the introductory period, a performance evaluation will be performed at or around 30, 90, and 120 days.
Regular Full-Time Seasonal Employee:
An employee who has successfully completed the probationary period shall be considered regular full-time seasonal employee. Such employees are full-time if they are regularly scheduled to work an average of 40 hours per week during the season; however, field positions are seasonal and will ultimately be dictated by weather and need. When applicable, unemployment benefits will be available to Regular Full-Time Seasonal Employees during lay off periods.
Regular Part-Time Seasonal Employee:
After completing the introductory period, an employee will be described as part-time seasonal if employed to perform work which can be accomplished on less than a full-time weekly schedule.
Basic Training & Cardone University
At Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc., we believe it is to our mutual benefit to provide the very finest job preparation. The training will be on-the-job under the supervision of an experienced person. You will acquire the skills and knowledge to use tools and equipment that are essential to the position to which you were hired. The training process will be ongoing (hands-on) and will enable you to learn the operation of more advanced equipment and new techniques in the field.
Crew leaders, administrative staff, and other team members may be added to Cardone University training. This training is an exceptional way to gain personal and professional knowledge, as well as improve your career skills and financial expertise. Team members added to Cardone University may be expected to test a minimum of three videos daily (Monday through Friday) to be eligible for additional incentives or benefits, applicable by your position.
In some cases, additional outside workshops, seminars and clinics will be necessary to attend. These sessions will sharpen your skills, update your knowledge and provide a deeper understanding of your job and the lawn maintenance industry in general.
Licensure Reimbursement Policy
Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. supports the education of our employees. Towards that end, we have established a reimbursement program for expenses incurred through relevant licensure education courses.
If you are a regular full-time seasonal employee and have been employed for at least one (1) year, you are eligible for participation in this program as long as the courses are job-related. The course is subject to management approval.
Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc., will reimburse up to a maximum of 80% of licensure fees for courses related to becoming licensed in the lawn maintenance field (i.e. chemical application certifications if not required by your position). You must secure passing grade or obtain a certification to receive any reimbursement. Expenses must be validated by receipts and a copy of the final grade card or certification must be present to show hours or certification received.
Contact management for more information.
The ability to do your job well is critical. Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc.’s philosophy is one of continuous quality improvement in the work that we do, services we provide, and professional working relationships that we maintain. You should continuously evaluate your performance, and your manager or department head will do the same. If you ever have questions about your performance or opportunities for improvement or professional growth, talk to your manager or department head.
We conduct formal performance reviews at least once per year; generally, quarterly or more often as needed. Generally these reviews will take place on or around the employee’s anniversary date. New employees will be given an oral evaluation at the end of the introductory period and then again at the employee’s anniversary date. You may request a written copy of your introductory performance review. A performance review may also be conducted in the event of a promotion or a change in duties and responsibilities. Should any employee’s performance indicate a need for improvement, a follow-up review will occur after a period of time to allow for that improvement. When a written appraisal has been prepared, you will be allowed to review it and add any comments you wish. It is your responsibility to take advantage of this process and to develop the skills necessary to perform your job satisfactorily.
While job satisfaction is made up of many factors in addition to the amount of your paycheck, salary is important. Our salary policy is designed to reward good performance and to compensate employees on a fair and equitable basis.
Our salary structures are established by means of comparison with equal and similar positions in the lawn maintenance industry in the local area. As an employee of Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc., you understand that direct deposit is mandatory. Paper checks will not be written. Failure to provide a valid bank account to accommodate direct deposit may be cause for immediate termination.
You will receive your paycheck every week on Friday. There are fifty-two (52) possible pay periods per year. The pay period starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday.
The most common salary actions result from the following:
This program is designed to recognize and reward individual performance. The amount of merit increase, if any, follows internal guidelines used by a supervisor or the owner. These guidelines indicate the percent of merit increase that you are eligible for based on your performance rating.
Promotional increases, if applicable, may occur throughout the year and are directly linked to changes in job responsibilities.
While infrequent, salary decreases can happen. Usually this will occur when your job duties and responsibilities are reduced, an anticipated promotion is not successful, or performance is unsatisfactory.
There are payroll deductions. The company is required to make a deduction from each paycheck for your contribution to federal, state and local governments, and Social Security.
Time and a Half for Over-Time
Time and a half will be paid to hourly employees for over forty (40) hours per pay week of actual time worked (the 40 hours cannot include paid time off and/or holiday pay).
Regular Full-Time Employees will be eligible to receive benefit time. Benefit time will be accrued and used as follows:
1a. Vacation Time (VT)
After one full year of Regular Full-Time Seasonal employment, employees will be given five (5) days of paid vacation time. Vacation must be requested at least seven (7) days in advance by completing an online employee time off request form. Approval of paid sick time is at the discretion of management. Approval of paid vacation time is at the discretion of management. Unused days at the end of each calendar year will be paid out 50%, and benefit time will restart on the first of each year.
1b. Sick Time (ST)
After one full year of Regular Full-Time employment, employees will be given two (2) days of paid sick time. Approval of paid sick time is at the discretion of management.
1c. Unpaid Time (UT)
Unpaid time is used when an employee has an excused absence. This includes any time off taken before one full year of employment, in the absence of accrued benefit time, or by all probationary, regular part-time, or seasonal employees. This is to be used in case of emergencies. Employee must communicate absence with supervisor at least one (1) hour prior to shift start time to be an excused absence. Repeated absences will be cause for discipline or termination.
Scooter’s Lawn Care will be closed on the following summer holidays. Employees are eligible for paid holiday if: they are a regular full-time seasonal employee currently working (and not in a lay-off period) and if they attend applicable workdays before and after the day of the holiday, or use accrued paid time.
New Year’s Day*
*Black Friday, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve may or may not be paid holidays, and you may or may not be expected to work on these days (dependent on management discretion each year).
Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. is dedicated to the safety of its workers. The utmost care must be taken at all times to ensure that safe work practices are utilized. This means using all guards on equipment, wearing head and eye protection and leather top work boots, safe use of chemicals, no smoking near flammable materials and cautious and courteous driving. Failure to maintain or obey proper safe work practices may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
With assistance from the field, we can utilize our resources to identify and control work-related hazards. All employees are encouraged to actively participate by notifying your supervisor or company owner of any needed safety improvements.
If any injury or accident occurs, these procedures should be followed:
Report all accidents to your supervisor immediately, regardless of nature or severity;
Seek medical assistance if the situation warrants. Failure to receive treatment may result in serious complications and may jeopardize your eligibility for medical benefits under our workers’ compensation policy;
An Employer’s Accident/Injury Report on all employee accidents must be completed within 24 hours of the accident/injury and turned into your supervisor.
Failure to report an injury or accident immediately is in direct violation of an important company procedure and may be cause for termination.
In no area do we have more employees than our needs require. This means that when an employee is absent, it may cause a change in other employees’ work schedules or cause jobs to go undone. Therefore, a conscientious effort should be made by all employees to be prompt and on the job when they are scheduled to work.
If you are going to be late or absent from work, notice of at least (1) day is required or notice as soon as practical and possible. Unreported absences or tardiness are considered unacceptable conduct on your part and will lead to disciplinary action or termination. A reasonable absence or tardiness will be acceptable if prior notification is given and approval is given. Notification of tardiness or absence after shift was due to begin will lead to disciplinary action or termination. For sick days, a physician’s statement will be required to verify the illness.
Rules for salaried employees are subject to the terms agreed upon in the employment agreement.
Care of Equipment and Company Property
It is the duty of all employees to take due care with regard to company equipment and property. Part of the pride you have in the company is shown in the manner you treat its property. Any breakage that occurs to any equipment should be reported to a supervisor immediately. This will eliminate unnecessary down time for that piece of equipment and allow for proper and timely completion of the job.
It is understandable that equipment will break under normal operating conditions, but carelessness and abuse in using the equipment will make that user responsible for repair or replacement of that equipment or property. The repair cost or replacement cost will be shown to the employee, and the cost may be deducted from their check, in accordance with federal and state wage and hour laws. Willful or careless destruction and damage to company property will not be tolerated and may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Company vehicles are to be used for company business only. Company vehicles are to be used to and from work only. Any other use is prohibited. Only specified drivers may drive company vehicles. All state and federal driving laws must be followed while operating or riding in a company vehicle. If you disobey a traffic or other law (including the use of seat belts) and are ticketed by police, you are responsible for the subsequent ticket and/or all fees; additionally, it is considered unacceptable conduct on your part and will lead to disciplinary action or termination.
Company cell phones and devices are to be used by employees only for company business only. Please do not use a cell phone or device while operating a vehicle or equipment.
Internet and Email Usage Policy
Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc.’s e-mail and Internet system are intended to be used for business purposes only. Use for informal or personal purposes is prohibited. As a condition of initial and continued employment, all employees acknowledge Scooter’s Lawn Care’s right to monitor, review and/or disclose e-mail message and Internet records, when appropriate, without notification to or permission from the employee sending or receiving the messages. Employees should always ensure that the business information contained in e-mail/Internet messages is accurate, appropriate and lawful. Specifically, usage related to pornography and racially derogatory, discriminating, threatening or abusive communication is prohibited. Abuse of the email or Internet systems, through excessive personal use, or use in violation of the law will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Uniforms and Equipment
Field staff is required to wear a uniform. Presently, this uniform consists of an orange Scooter’s Lawn Care t-shirt (or hooded sweatshirt, if weather dictates) and either grey Carhartt (or similar) work pants or a pair of jeans without holes or damage. Grey Carhartt (or similar) work shorts may be allowed. Hats are optional. Do not cut, tear, or otherwise purposely destroy any company clothing.
Appropriate shoes must be worn. Sandals are not allowed.
Upon start of employment, Scooter’s Lawn Care will provide you with three (3) t-shirts. All replacements and hooded sweatshirts must be purchased.
Our public image is very important, so it is mandatory that you be in uniform when you are at work. Wearing an incomplete uniform or not meeting appearance standards is unacceptable and may be cause for termination of employment.
As an employee of Scooter’s Lawn Care, you are required to abide by certain Standards of Conduct.
Along with the others already listed, the following list is not all-inclusive and represents just some examples of unacceptable employee conduct:
Not following instructions of supervisor
Harassment or hostility to supervisor, co-workers, clients, or the general public
Improper or inadequately performing duties
Incorrect cash handling or security procedures
Leaving work without permission
Falsification of company records
Theft or attempted theft
If you have any questions concerning the Standards of Conduct, it is your responsibility to ask your supervisor.
Personal cell phones are prohibited from use by field workers on the job site; however, it is a responsibility of every crew leader to maintain reachability and regular contact with the administrative staff. Cell phone use may be acceptable during travel to and from a job site and on your lunch break. Personal cell phones are prohibited from use by office staff during scheduled working hours, except on lunch breaks. If you have any questions about appropriate cell phone usage, ask your supervisor.
Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. may, in its sole discretion, issue cell phones to certain employees. It is our expectation that cell phone use be conducted in the same manner as the use of any other company property or equipment, including regular telephones. Cell phones should be used with care, and use should be limited to business purposes. Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. will review telephone records for any inappropriate or personal use of a company cell phone. It is illegal by state law and prohibited by Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. to use a company cell phone while driving, except with a hands-free headset or device. Any injuries, accidents, traffic violations or any other result of an employee’s use or misuse of a cell phone will be at the employee’s expense.
It is the responsibility of each employee to provide transportation to and from work. This was a precondition of your employment, and there are no exceptions. Scooter’s Lawn Care, Inc. will provide transportation to and from the job site. There should never be personal vehicle at a job site.
Correct Address and Home Telephone Number
It is imperative that we have your correct address, telephone number, emergency contact information, and bank information. Utilize the online employee portal to update your information.
Criticisms and Grievances
We welcome constructive criticism on the part of every member of our company. We encourage open communication between staff and management. Airing a grievance with a fellow worker offer enhances the problem, whereas a discussion of the same problem with your supervisor may bring about a speedy and satisfactory solution. We expect your cooperation in this matter. No employee will be subject to retaliation or reprisal for airing a criticism or grievance with his/her supervisor.
Creditors are prohibited from contacting an employee at the work location during regularly scheduled hours. You should make every effort to meet your financial obligations.
Solicitation & Distribution
Employees are prohibited from soliciting in working and non-working areas on their working time but may solicit in non-working areas on their non-working time. Working time does not include break periods, meal times or other periods when you are not engaged in performing your work tasks. Employees are prohibited from distributing literature of any time in all areas at all times, except non-working areas during non-working times. Employees are prohibited from performing any work outside of scheduled work, including additional “cash jobs.”
Non-employees are prohibited from soliciting or distributing literature anywhere on the company premises or worksite at all times. Solicitations of funds in any manner or for any purpose shall not be permitted by any employee on the job unless approval of the owner or his designee has been secured.
Employees who wish to resign should be aware that there is a proper procedure. For hourly employees, a two (2) week notice is required. You may be required to provide written notice. For Supervisory and Management positions, a thirty (30) day notice is required. Following this procedure can be advantageous if you wish a reference completed that does not reflect a Quit Without Notice Statement.
Since you are employed at the will of both yourself and the company, the employment is terminable at any time with or without cause or notice at the option of either the employee or the company.
The following are steps that we may take to provide that opportunity for correction. These steps, however, in no way alter, amend or modify the at-will nature of your employment relationship. We reserve the exclusive right to terminate an employee at any time, to duplicate or skip any of the steps listed below.
Except in cases of discharge for cause, you may be first warned verbally that your performance or conduct is unsatisfactory. If the unsatisfactory performance continues, a written warning may be issued restating what was discussed in the verbal warning and informing you that if the problem continues, depending on the seriousness of the offense, either suspension or termination will follow. Also, you may be shown specific problem areas and given suggestions on how to perform the job satisfactorily. If your performance remains poor or you are suspended, the length of the suspension will be determined according to the offense.
Upon return to work after suspension, if your performance is still unacceptable, termination will likely result. Although dismissal action is instituted by your immediate supervisor, the approval of upper management is required for actual dismissal.