Is it illegal to be on a company payroll if you don’t work there?

My employer ’employs’ his kids and they’re never there. They have other jobs in a
different city where they reside. Consequently, there’s not enough money to give
us raises or benefits.

Asked on May 4, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your employer can have his family on the payroll, whether or not they actually come into the office. As long they are reporting their income on their tax returns, there is no issue here. To pay children for no-show jobs is not an illegal act, so long as the employer is the owner of the business. He can even give them full insurance benefits, depending on how his contractual arrangement is set up with the company's insurance provider.
Whether or not this leaves enough money for raises/benefits is of no legal consequence. Unless this treatement constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination (and it doesn't appear to) or this action violates the terms of company policy, an employment contract or union agreemnt (which you did not indicate), you have no claim here. The fact is that in an "at will" work relationship, an employer can set the terms and conditions of employment much as they see fit; this includes hiring no-show family members.


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