Is it legal for me to help my dad at his business while I am getting unemployment benefits?

I am 22 years old and on unemployment in North Carolina. I am living with my
parents in their home at no expense. They do not charge me any rent or utilities.
My dad owns his own business. Since I have some extra time while being on
unemployment, I would like to help my dad at his office by doing some filing,
cleaning, and typing for him. He would not be paying me anything for my help,
therefore my unemployment benefit amount would not be affected. I want to help
him, but is this legal?

Asked on September 24, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The problem is, since you are an adult, if you work for him, you *must* be paid: the law requires all workers, including part-time workers and adult family members, to be paid for working (at least minimum wage) unless they are an owner of the business--only owners do not have to be paid. Since you will be paid, this will affect your unemployment benefits as per your state's rules about working while receiving benefits (every state varies on this subject). 

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